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The New Testament And Rabbinic Hebrew

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Chapter Summary

The New Testament (NT) is written in Greek, not Hebrew. Rabbinic Hebrew (RH) being essentially a language of the third-fourth centuries or later, while the New Testament belongs to the first century. Semitic influence gave rise to many features in NT Greek that are unparalleled in other Greek texts. Study of the Semitic background often illuminates these peculiarities in the language of the NT. In a way, then, the use of RH in the philology of the NT epitomizes the methodological problem of using rabbinics in NT exegesis. The Hebrew of the Mishna and the Midrash is considerably removed, both culturally and chronologically, from NT Greek. Two examples are presented where RH may throw light on a problematic detail in the Greek text of the NT, one from the Gospel of Matthew and one from a Pauline epistle.

Keywords: Greek; Matthew; Midrash; Mishna; New Testament (NT); Rabbinic Hebrew (RH)



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