Aramaic is a constant thread running through the various civilizations of the Near East, ancient and modern, from 1000 BCE to the present, and has been the language of small principalities, world empires, and a fair share of the Jewish-Christian tradition. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic history as a continuous evolution from its beginnings to the advent of Islam. For the first time the individual phases of the language, their socio-historical underpinnings, and the textual sources are discussed comprehensively in light of the latest linguistic and historical research and with ample attention to scribal traditions, multilingualism, and language as a marker of cultural self-awareness. Many new observations on Aramaic are thereby integrated into a coherent historical framework.
So, now it is time to announce an upcoming worshop on Galilean Aramaic in March as well as start finding what times work for both in-person and online Galilean Aramaic classes. Polls for the classes are below.
Galilean Aramaic: Speaking The Language of Christ
Registration is $50 (and waivers will be available for those in need) and it’s happening on March 28th, 2015 from 1PM to 4PM. It’s a condensed 3 hour workshop which goes over history, the basics of reading, writing, and speaking and some storytelling and conversation. The fee also covers printed learning materials.
Registration will be $100 (waivers also available). It will meet one hour, twice a week for four weeks (8 sessions total) at Christ Church New Brunswick and will cover introductory conversational (spoken) material, reading, writing, memorization, and recitation. Each student will keep a S’far Da‘watha (“Book of Knowledge” or “Book of Opinions,” a journal of one’s work and inspirations) in which to keep their notes and musings.
If it is well received, this class will become the first step towards a certificate program that will award, to accomplished students who pass written and oral exams, the title Talmid Leshana (“Student of the Language”).
The following poll will be used to help schedule the class.
Presently the lesson is complete for numbers between 1 and 100, and — where the slides are up — I’m putting the final edits on the audio for how numbers up to and beyond 10,000 work as well as the final part which goes over Aramaic numerical notation for both numerals ( = 1,234) and gematria ( = 1,234).
No, this isn’t some epic battle or what not, but more a brilliant metaphor for what can be seen when one looks at the New Testament through Aramaic eyes.
When one recites Shakespeare in its original accent, there are puns and wordplay that leap off the page that are simply not there in modern language. In the same manner, when one looks at the words of Jesus and his early followers in Aramaic, one sees things that they cannot even fathom in Greek or English.
Note to self: If I’m ever in London, I need to check out one of the Globe performances in OP. 🙂