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The Prestige Of Hebrew In The Christian World Of Late Antiquity And Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

Generally speaking, knowledge of Hebrew, and Aramaic, was extinct in the Early Church, except for its Oriental, Aramaic-, and Syriac-speaking part. On the other hand, Christians were well aware of the fact that they were the spiritual children of the Israelites, that the older and larger part of Scripture had been written in Hebrew, and that Jesus and his disciples were Palestinian Jews who conversed in that language. This lent a stature to Hebrew that was never to be forgotten. The chapter deals with a number of topics current among Greek- and Latin-speaking Christians who were unacquainted with Semitic languages; these topics suffices to give an idea of the lasting prestige of Hebrew in the Christian world until the Renaissance.

Keywords: Aramaic; Christian world; Early Church; Hebrew; Palestinian Jews



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