What Bible Did Jesus Read?

When Jesus taught in the Synagogue, what version of the Bible was he using?

Historians say Jesus likely spoke in Aramaic, a Semitic language thousands of years old, a dominant language for Jewish worship and practical life in Judea.

But it’s likely Jesus heard the Bible read in Hebrew when teaching in the synagogue, interpreting it in Aramaic using a “targum”—a “paraphrase” that included the traditional Jewish interpretations of the scriptures.

One example scholars suggest from discoveries of manuscripts and inscriptions is in Luke 6:36. Jesus says, “Be merciful as your Father is merciful," reflecting the Aramaic “paraphrasing” or “expanding” of Leviticus 22:28, "My people. . .as our Father is merciful in heaven, so shall you be merciful on earth.”

Whatever the Bible Jesus may have used, engage with this Book of all books in all its many languages!


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