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Languages in Gibson's Passion

From:John L. Leland <lelandconlang@...>
Date:Monday, March 8, 2004, 6:16
I saw this film yesterday and was struck by several things that seemed to me
linguistic incongruities:
1) the Latin was given the "church"pronunciation instead of the reconstructed
"classical" pronunciation
2) Pilate addressed the Jewish crowd in fluent Aramaic (which I doubt very
much he bothered to learn)
3) Jesus conversed with Pilate in fluent (church) Latin, which I doubt very
much a Galilean (whose native territory was not under direct Roman rule) would
have much opportunity to learn (I suppose theologically one could argue the
Logos knows everything, but my personal theology would suggest the incarnate
Christ did not know Latin.)
4) Nobody at all used Greek, though in some cases (e.g. negotiations between
Pilate and the Sadducee elite) it would seem a much more likely common
language than either Latin or Aramaic. Even the famous trilingual inscription above
the cross appeared to be
bilingual, with no Greek.
John Leland


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