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 Post subject: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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Was it Greek? I'm wondering because he communicated with Jesus and also with the Jewish crowd. The Jews at that time would have spoken Hebrew and Greek is that correct or would it be Hebrew and Aramaic? Is Latin a possibility? Also what about the Gentile language?


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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:06 pm 
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It is extremely doubtful that he would have known Hebrew....but educated Jews knew Greek because it was the lingua franca of the empire.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:26 pm 
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Thats what I was thinking. Where does Aramaic come into play though? Didn't that become established as common among the Jews?


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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:20 am 
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Yes. Hebrew was not a language of everyday conversation.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:59 am 
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He certainly spoke Latin and probably enough Greek to to deal with the citizens of the eastern empire.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:03 am 
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Desertfalcon wrote:
He certainly spoke Latin and probably enough Greek to to deal with the citizens of the eastern empire.


In the first century, Greek was the language of the western empire as well, Latin didn't begin to replace Greek in the west until the 4th and 5th centuries.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:13 am 
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Santa Doom wrote:
Desertfalcon wrote:
He certainly spoke Latin and probably enough Greek to to deal with the citizens of the eastern empire.


In the first century, Greek was the language of the western empire as well, Latin didn't begin to replace Greek in the west until the 4th and 5th centuries.

Well, among the intellectuals of the western empire, yes, but the common people spoke Latin or their native languages, Germanic or Celt tongues. In the east, even fish mongers would have learned and spoken Greek in everyday life. There were only a few Greek colonies in the west where it survived as a common language like Syracuse, Masilia, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:30 am 
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So...are these scenes somewhat accurate? Pilate is speaking Latin here, and Jesus is speaking Latin to him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n0VixkbyFk
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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:35 am 
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sparky wrote:
So...are these scenes somewhat accurate? Pilate is speaking Latin here, and Jesus is speaking Latin to him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n0VixkbyFk
--Ann
I would think so. Pilate would have used Latin and Jesus would need no interpretor. He could speak whatever language he wished. :)

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:58 am 
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According to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004), Pilate speaks fluent Aramaic as well as Latin (his first language) in this film.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:17 am 
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now there's a historical source for you :P

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:58 am 
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Desertfalcon wrote:
Santa Doom wrote:
Desertfalcon wrote:
He certainly spoke Latin and probably enough Greek to to deal with the citizens of the eastern empire.


In the first century, Greek was the language of the western empire as well, Latin didn't begin to replace Greek in the west until the 4th and 5th centuries.

Well, among the intellectuals of the western empire, yes, but the common people spoke Latin or their native languages, Germanic or Celt tongues. In the east, even fish mongers would have learned and spoken Greek in everyday life. There were only a few Greek colonies in the west where it survived as a common language like Syracuse, Masilia, etc.

I do not think that Pilate would be grouped among "the common people." Also his name was Oscan (and he may have been a Samnite) so that may well have been his native tongue.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:28 pm 
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I am confident Pilate knew both Greek and Latin. I am less confident that he knew Aramaic or Hebrew.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Didn't y'all see Ben-Hur? They ALL spoke English! :x

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:37 pm 
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It's all Greek to me.

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 Post subject: Re: What Language Did Pontius Pilate Speak?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
Desertfalcon wrote:
Santa Doom wrote:
Desertfalcon wrote:
He certainly spoke Latin and probably enough Greek to to deal with the citizens of the eastern empire.


In the first century, Greek was the language of the western empire as well, Latin didn't begin to replace Greek in the west until the 4th and 5th centuries.

Well, among the intellectuals of the western empire, yes, but the common people spoke Latin or their native languages, Germanic or Celt tongues. In the east, even fish mongers would have learned and spoken Greek in everyday life. There were only a few Greek colonies in the west where it survived as a common language like Syracuse, Masilia, etc.

I do not think that Pilate would be grouped among "the common people." Also his name was Oscan (and he may have been a Samnite) so that may well have been his native tongue.

I don't think anyone spoke the Samnite tongue by the time Pilate was alive. It died out at least a century before Christ as the region had been thoroughly Latinized. He may have spoken Greek, but as he was from the west and career bureaucrat and military officer, it's likely he would have spoken Latin almost exclusively. There is one theory that he was a common soldier from the ranks, that earned commission as an officer and procurator, which is why he was called "pilatos" in NT Greek, as it was a reference to the fact that he was once a common "spear carrier".

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