Learn Jesus' Teachings in His Own Language
Jesus’ Own Language, People and Times
From And There Was Light by Rocco A. Errico
“Let us view Rabbi Jesus, an Aramaic speaking Shemite, in the light of his own
language, people, and times. We are going to examine the background of the ancient
Aramaic language, Hebrew Scripture, customs, metaphors, and psychology, as well as
the unencumbered Aramaic style of writing behind the teachings and narratives of the
According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born of unassuming parents in a rural,
modest town in the province of Galilee. He grew up among humble people to whom
simplicity and poverty were the highest realities in life. These country peasants did not
speak or think in sophisticated ways. Jesus proclaimed and taught his message with
simple words coming from daily speech and illustrated with stories that everyone could
However, in a broader setting, Jesus came into a world that the great Roman
empire was ruling. Rome had established peace and order. Its military organization and
institutions were unequaled by any other nation until the beginning of the 20th century.
Rome’s laws were universal.
To this day the Galilean teacher receives ongoing worldwide acclaim and worship
through many forms, yet he never sought worshipers. He never attempted to inaugurate a
new system of worship. Nor did he wish to undermine the genuine underpinnings of his
forefather’s religion. He discounted honors and notoriety.
Deep faith and his personal relationship with God whom he called “Father” motivated him.
He taught no abstruse and mysterious doctrines. He did not wait for people to come to him. Jesus went to the people.
When he taught, he did so in the synagogues, marketplaces, at private homes, on
hilltops, at the seashore, and anywhere else he could find listeners. The Galilean master
originated no difficult terms to understand; he used familiar ideas. His comforting,
charismatic personality and his plain words and direct parables captivated the harried
Galileans who eagerly sought him and listened to him.
He called God Abba, “Father.” He ascribed to God, by implication, a universal and
special providence, humane in its action, doing good even to the ungrateful and the
wicked. He also ascribed to his Father a benevolent ethical nature. According to Jesus,
God’s nature consisted of gracious love, a spirit delighting in compassion and ready to
forgive, and desiring that same spirit to rule in everyone’s heart and soul. Jesus, in
eloquent simplicity, taught from a deep assurance that a human being, regardless of
imperfections, carries within his or her soul the transcendent power of God.”