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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






08 August 2005

The Languages of the Bible


Q: In what language was the Bible first written?

A: The individual books were not all written in the same language. Most of the Old Testament was originally set down in Hebrew. Some portions, especially later writings, were in Aramaic — the common language of most after the Babylonian Captivity and closely related to Hebrew. The New Testament manuscripts we have are in Greek, although some scholars suggest that Matthew and perhaps others may have addressed Jewish audiences initially, possibly writing in Hebrew or Aramaic with a Greek translation coming soon thereafter.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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