Translation and communication across cultures

Malcolm Choat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Already in the New Testament, the many language communities which co-existed in the Mediterranean are refracted through the unilingual lens of the Greek text. The Aramaic that was spoken in Judea in Jesus’ time; the Hebrew which was read in the temple; the Latin spoken among the community at Rome to which Paul wrote; the local languages the apostles would have heard spoken as they dispersed through the cities in Asia Minor; all fade into the Hellenophone background. Speech in Hebrew is reported (Acts 21-22), and sometimes even directly, if briefly, quoted (John 20:16; Mark 15:34); Hebrew terms are translated (John 19; Matt. 1:23, 27:33; Mark 5:41) and Hebrew writing is reported (John 19:20). But despite this occasional intrusion of other languages, the linguistic variety which pervaded the eastern Mediterranean is ultimately reduced to a single channel, that of Greek.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe early Christian world
EditorsPhilip F. Esler
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351678308, 9781315165837
ISBN (Print)9781138200074
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Worlds


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