What language did Jesus speak?

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The Pope, Netanyahu Debate Jesus' Language

That was the topic of debate between Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week during the pope's three-day tour of the Holy Land.

Netanyahu claimed the Holy son spoke Hebrew, but the pope said Aramaic. Netanyahu responded, saying Jesus spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.

While the spiritual leader's life itself is still hotly debated, historians have attempted to find out what language a man like him would have spoken.

Most scholars agree Jesus spoke primarily Aramaic, because it was the common language and Hebrew was a written language for holy scriptures spoken by a lower class.

Netanyahu's point wasn't necessarily about linguistics, though. It was about politics.

The leader wanted to emphasise a link between Jesus and modern Israel, where Hebrew has become the dominant language.

Both Israelis and Palestinians lay claim to Jerusalem, where he died, and Palestinians sometimes describe him as a Palestinian, something Israelis object to.

But as far as the language goes, a linguistic professor told Reuters Jesus was a native Aramaic speaker, but he also would've known Hebrew. So they were both right.
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