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Chapter One: Literary Sources

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Chapter Summary

The New Testament contains certain dispersed data which are relevant to the problem in hand. In any case, since Alexandrine Jews of the diaspora certainly spoke good Greek and Philo does not mention the presence of an interpreter during the conversation, the obvious assumption is that the emperor and the legation from Alexandria conversed in Greek. The Rabbinical writings are obviously highly important sources for the investigation into the knowledge of Greek among the Jews in Palestine and hence also the knowledge of Greek which the Jewish Christians could possibly have had. There are various problems, however. To begin with these writings contain statements dating from widely divergent periods. If they are to be used for forming an opinion about the knowledge of Greek among the first Christians, of about the first century A.D., then it is necessary to know from which period the rabbinical dicta date.

Keywords: Alexandrine; Greek; Jewish Christians; New Testament; Palestine; Rabbinical writings



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