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χαίῳ λέγει αὐτῷ, Σὺ τὸ ἄλφα μὴ εἰδῶς κατὰ φύσιν, τὸ βῆτα πῶς ἄλλους διδάσκεις ; ὑποκριτὰ, πρῶτον εἰ δίδαξον τὸ Α· καὶ τότε σοι πιςεύσωμεν περὶ τοῦ Β· “ Εt (Zacchæus) dixit ei (id est Jesu) omnes literas ab alpha ad omega, dilucide singulas expendens, atque accurate. Intuens autem magistrum Zacchaum dicit ei Jesus, Tu quum literæ alpha naturam ignores, quomodo alios doces literam beta? Hyprocrita doce prius si nosti literam alpha, et tunc tibi credemus dicenti de litera beta." And although the Parisian copy here names the Hebrew letters, and the Arabic Pseudo-Evangelium also in its 48th chapter, yet is the Mingarellian reading to be preferred, because it is evidently the oldest; for thus too reads Irenæus, whose testimony follows :—Ως τοῦ Κυρίου παιδὸς ὄντος, καὶ γράμματα μανθάνοντος, καὶ τοῦ διδασκάλου αὐτῷ φήσαντος, και θῶς ἔθος ἐςὶν, Εἰπὲ ἄλφα, ἀποκρίνασθαι τὸ ἄλφα· πάλιν τε τὸ βῆτα τοῦ διδασκάλου κελεύσαντος εἰπεῖν, ἀποκρίνασθαι τόν Κύριον. Σύ μοι πρότερον εἰπὲ τί ἐςι τὸ ἄλφα, καὶ τότε σοὶ ἐρῶ τί ἐςι τό βῆτα. καὶ τοῦτο ἐξηγοῦνται, ὡς αὐτοῦ μόνου τὸ ἄγνωςον ἐπιςαμένου, ὁ ἐφανέρωσεν ἐν τῷ τύπῳ τοῦ ἄλφα; “Quum Dominus puerili ætate esset, atque elementa disceret, ac ludimagister, ut mos est, ei dixisset, Dic alpha, respondit, alpha : quumque rursus beta dicere jussisset, respondit Dominus, Tu mihi prius dic, quid sit alpha, tumque dicam quid sit beta. Idque ita interpretantur, quasi solus ipse id quod cognitionem superat norit, quod quidem in figura ipsius alpha declaravit." This reading, then, as that of Irenæus, is obviously the one to be retained. Besides, in the 14th chapter of the Protevangelion it is written :Ἴδει γὰρ ὁ διδάσκαλος τὴν πείραν τοῦ παιδίου, καὶ ἐφοβήθη αὐτόν· ὅπως γράψας τὸν ἀλφάβητον, ἐπετήχευεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ πολλὴν ὥραν, καὶ οὐκ ἀπεκρίνατο αὐτῷ· εἶπε δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Εἱ ὄντως διδάσκαλος εἶ, καὶ εἰ οἶδας καλῶς τὰ γράμματα, εἰπέ μοι τοῦ ἄλφα τὴν δύναμιν· καγώ σοι ἐρῶ τὴν τοῦ βῆτα· “Noverat enim magister peritiam pueri, et tinuit eum: et scribens alphabetum, exercuit illum ad longam horam, et non respondit ei. Dixit autem illi Jesus, Si vere magister es, ac si recte literas nosti, dic mihi vim literæ alpha, et ego tibi dicam vim literæ beta.” What then do these passages indicate, if not that in the time of Christ the Greek was vernacular
in Judæa-so prevailing, in fact, that their children learned Greek at school? This apocryphal volume was composed, as we have already said, in the second century after Christ, not long after the subversion of Judæa, and consequently while it was well known what language the Jews spoke at that period. Nor, we must add, is it at all likely that the forger of the narrative, who of course desired to win general credence for his work, would have committed a mistake in a matter in which detection was the easiest thing in the world. Must we not, then, allow the Jews the use of the Greek language, seeing that this production claims it for them so clearly?
6. The Jews used Greek Bibles.
Our sixth proof is derived from the use of Greek Bibles by the Jews. In early times, the sacred books only appeared in Hebrew; and although the pure Hebrew was no longer commonly understood by the Jews after the Babylonish captivity, yet on account of their veneration for the sacred tongue, the Hebrew Scriptures continued to be read in their religious assemblies, an interpreter standing by the reader and explaining the text as he proceeded.' But about the time of Christ, the Jews, giving up the use of the Hebrew original, adopted the Greek version of the Seventy interpreters, and read it in their synagogues. We assert this on the authority of Justin Martyr, a Samaritan, who lived at the beginning of the second century, and who, treating of this same version, says :-" If any one should now object that these are not our books, but those of the Jews, because up to the present day they are kept in the synagogues," etc., etc. Tertullian's testimony is the counterpart of this, who says, "The Jews also read in public: the tributary (vectigalis) liberty is commonly enjoyed on every Sabbath." By the word vectigalis, is generally
' Maimonides, Hilcoth Tephil. cap, 12, § 10. Mischna in Tract. Megill. сар 4.
Justinus Martyr, Cohort. ad Græcos, p. 14, lit. c. ed. Paris.
understood the liberty of hearing and reading, which the Jews purchased by the payment of a tax. The Rabbins confirm our view regarding the Septuagint, among whom R. Azarias, for instance, writes:-"The interpretation of the Greeks was confirmed by the whole congregation of Israel." Again he says: "It was confirmed by a decree of the Talmudists, that the law should be written in the Greek characters only,
they did not allow the שיכתבו ספרים בכל לשון אלא ביוגית:
sacred books to be written in any tongue but Greek." All these circumstances clearly prove that the knowledge of the Jews was confined to that language. But we also read, in the Talmud of Jerusalem, of a certain Rabbi Levi, who, hearing the Jews at Cæsarea reading the lesson, "Hear, O Israel," from the 6th of Deuteronomy, in Greek, would have stopped them; but Rabbi Jose was indignant, and said, Shall not he, who cannot read Hebrew, read at all? Nay, let him read in any language he understands and knows, for this is enough. An incident of a similar kind happened under Justinian, for during his reign the question was agitated of returning to the use of Hebrew in the synagogue; but Justinian interfered, and bade the Jews adhere to their vernacular tongue, the Greek, and the traditionary usage of the Septuagint. Nor were the Greek sacred books only read publicly in the synagogues; they were also commonly read and quoted by the Jews in private, by Christ, and by the apostles and evangelists, as has been noted over and over again by the learned. Of this the clearest proof is furnished in the New Testament, the writers of which, in citing the Old, depart widely from the Hebrew text, and follow closely the Seventy, whether they quote, as the technical phrase is, κατὰ λέξιν, or κατὰ διάνοιαν. Now this the Jews would never have allowed, had not the prevalence of the Greek among
1 Talmud. Hierosolym. Sota, cap. 7. Vide Buxtorfium, in Thesau. Rab,
אליגסתין binico, voce
* Justinianus, in Novella Constitutione cxlvi.
* Vide Lud. Capellum, in Critica Sacra, p. 62 et alibi.
them sanctioned this departure from the primitive language of holy writ, and the adoption of the Greek translation instead.
§ 7. That the Jews spoke Greek, is proved by the testimony of Josephus.
Our next proof is derived from the works of Josephus, who narrates of Titus, that, in his expedition to Judæa, he pitched his camp on one occasion at a place called Acanthon Aulona, that is, the Valley of Thorns; the historian adding that this was the name given in the native tongue of the Jews. The words of Josephus are:-Καὶ διανύσας ἡμέρας ςαθμὸς ςρατοπεδεύεται κατὰ τὸν ὑπὸ Ιουδαίων πατρίως· ̓Ακανθῶν Αἰλῶνα καλούμενον, πρός τινι κώμῃ Γαβαθσαοῦλῃ καλουμένῃ· σημαίνει δὲ τοῦτο λόφον Σαούλου· διέχοντα ἀπὸ τῶν Ιεροσολύμων, ὅσον ἀπὸ τριάκοντα ςαδίων· “ And when he had accomplished a day's march, he encamped at a valley which the Jews in their native tongue call the Valley of Thorns, near a certain village called Gabath-Saoul, which signifies the hill of Saul, being distant from Jerusalem about thirty stadia." That the name ̓Ακανθῶν Αὐλῶνα is Greek, every tyro in the language must know, var being a valley in that language, and 'Axardor, the genitive plural of axavda, a thorn. None but the Greek, then, was this native language of the Jews. Nor let it be said that Josephus, a correct and elegant writer of Greek, did here, for the sake of his style, translate the native name; for such a practice is opposed to his own usage as well as to that of the Jews. For the Jews, when they wrote in Greek, never changed the names of men or places on that account, but, whatever they might be, and how different soever from the tongue in which they were composing, scrupulously retained them in their native form. The testimony of Josephus, in his Antiquities, bears me out in this assertion :—Tà ràg ὀνόματα διὰ τὸ τῆς γραφῆς εὐπρεπὲς Ελληνιςαὶ πρὸς ἡδονὴν τῶν ἐντευξομένων· οὐ γὰρ ἐπιχώριος ἡμῖν ὁ τοιοῦτος αὐτῶν τύπος, ἀλλ ̓ ἓν τε αὐτῶν σχῆμα καὶ τελευτὴ μία· Νώεος γέ τοι Νῶε καλεῖται,
1 Joseph. de Bell. lib. 5, cap. 2, § 1, p 320.
καὶ τοῦτον τὸν τύπον ἐπὶ παντὸς τηρεῖ σχήματος· “The names are here Hellenized, that the style may please the readers. But our authors do not employ such forms, but all our proper names have the same form, and one termination. Noeus, for instance, is called with us Noe, and it preserves this form in every case." To this may be added, that the name Aulon was not new or uncommon in Judæa. It was used all over Palestine, and not confined to a single province. That vast plain which lay between Libanus and Antilibanus was, on the testimony of Theophrastus, called Aulon :-Kai peraži τοῦτον ἐςὶν, ὃν Αὐλῶνα καλοῦσι πεδίον πολὺ καὶ καλόν· “ And between them lay that large and beautiful plain called Aulon." And that plainlike valley or plain near Jericho and the Dead Sea, which the Jordan borders, was also named Aulon, according to Josephus, Eusebius, and especially Jerome, who says in so many words, in his Epistle to Evangelus, "the plain, which the inhabitants of Palestine call nowadays Aulon." Thus the name, it is perceived, was not confined to the people of Judæa, but was commonly given to places throughout Palestine. Now, if Aulon be allowed to be Greek as well as Acanthon, then, from the testimony of Josephus, it is clear that the Jews used Greek as their native tongue; nor is there any necessity to do violence to his plain testimony, to make it apply to all other instances.
$ 8. The region of Judea and its cities received Greek
Our eighth argument is supplied us by the territory and towns of Judæa, both of which from the period of the Maccabees dated the era of their Græcity (suam receperunt Græcitatem). This region was then no longer distributed into twelve
1 Joseph. lib. 1 Antiq. cap. 6, § 1, p. 21 et seq.
Theophrastus, lib. 9, c. 7, de Hist. Plantar.
Joseph. Ant. lib. 16, cap. 5, § 2, p. 798. De Bell. lib. 1, c. 21, § 9.
Hieronym. ep. 73, tom. 1, p. 444, ed. Vero.