Jewish Palestinian Aramaic

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Jewish Palestinian Aramaic
Era150 BCE – 1200 CE
Hebrew alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3jpa

Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (abbreviated JPA) was a Western Aramaic language spoken by the Jews during the Classic Era in Judea and the Levant, specifically in Hasmonean, Herodian and Roman Judea and adjacent lands in the late first millennium BCE and later in Syria Palaestina and Palaestina Secunda in the early first millennium CE.[citation needed] The Son of God Text (4Q246), found in Qumran is written in this language as well.[citation needed]

There were some differences in dialect between Judea and Galilee, and most surviving texts are in the Galilean dialect. Michael Sokoloff has published separate dictionaries of the two dialects.[citation needed]

A Galilean dialect of JPA was the language spoken by Jesus.[1]


The most notable text in the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic corpus is the Jerusalem Talmud, which is still studied in Jewish religious schools and academically, although not as widely as the Babylonian Talmud, most of which is written in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. There are some older texts in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, notably the Megillat Taanit: the Babylonian Talmud contains occasional quotations from these.

Many extant manuscripts in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic have been corrupted over the years of their transmission by Eastern Aramaic-speaking scribes freely correcting "errors" they came across (these "errors" actually being genuine Jewish Palestinian Aramaic features).[citation needed] To date, all formal grammars of the dialect fall victim to these corruptions, and there is still no published syntax.

Following the Arab conquest of the country in the 7th century, Arabic gradually replaced this language.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Passion' Stirs Interest in Aramaic". National Public Radio. 25 February 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2011. Jesus would have spoken the local dialect, referred to by scholars as Palestinian Jewish Aramaic, which was the form common to that region, Amar says.