When God Spoke Greek

That is the title of Timothy Michael law’s new book on the Septuagint


This post is not about the book as I have not read it and do not know when or if I will get around to reading it. Instead this post is about two things. First, one has to deal with the obvious as that title is a bit misleading about God and his language capabilities.

God still speaks Greek today. In fact he speaks and thoroughly knows every language and dialect that is in existence or has ever existed and he speaks them simultaneously. This can be a mind-blowing fact if one limits God.

The Bible tells us that nothing is impossible for God thus knowing all languages and using them at the same time is not difficult or impossible for him. To be God he would have to have that ability as his followers are not limited to the English-speaking world nor are sinners in search of repentance.

Second, many archaeologists and scholars love to point out that Jesus and his disciples probably didn’t speak Hebrew but spoke the lingua franca of the time.  That is a very misguided statement to make and it is a misrepresentation of how a lingua franca is learned and used.

As a teacher of the modern lingua franca, English, I know for a fact that the native tongue of the people learning it is not forgotten, set aside, replaced, ignored and so on. The lingua franca is learned as a SECOND language not a primary one.

Part of the national identity of people are their native languages and no one in their right minds sacrifices part of their identity and replaces it with the language of another people. Jesus and the disciples spoke Hebrew, possibly Greek and Latin.

We do not know exactly what their language achievements were but it is safe to say they did not give up their native tongue and replaced it with Greek, Aramaic or whatever foreign language was the lingua franca of their time. Rest assured, they did speak Hebrew.

I will go as far as to say that Jesus knew all languages during his time on earth and still does. He wouldn’t be able to comfort or help many people if he was limited to only the language of his earthly years. it also wouldn’t be very compassionate if people were forced to learn a second or third language just to be able to communicate with him.

Don’t be confused by those supposed experts who make claims that Jesus and the disciples were illiterate in their own native tongue. They just do not understand how a lingua franca works.