Sunday, October 31, 2004

Some People Still Speak Aramaic!

I just ran across this interesting article about the current use of Aramaic today. It fascinated me. I'll put just a blurb of it here and if you want to read the whole story, just click on the title above or the link button below. (I backdated the post so that it would not take up a bunch of front page space.)

"ELI, Eli, lama sabachthani," cried out Jesus on the cross, in Aramaic, a language that would have served him fairly well on the winding streets of Ma'alula today.

For this little Syrian town, tucked inside a sharp ravine of the Kalamoun range, just half an hour's drive beyond Damascus, is home to 2000 speakers of the New Testament's vernacular language.

You can still hear locals in the coffee houses and food stores greeting each other in its distinctive, thickly consonantal words: "Och Chob," they say, smiling: "How are you?"

And in the famous monastery here dedicated to St Tecla, first of the female Christian martyrs, services are still routinely held in Aramaic, under the benign eye of Mother Superior Pelagie, a committed fighter for the survival of the language...


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