We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Friday, September 12, 2014


What if Margaret Barker is right?

Click image to read.


On the Septuagint ...


  1. "It is most unlikely that Jesus thought and taught in Greek".

    I would beg to differ. In the account of Matthew, the Holy Family fled to Egypt as a result of the persecution of Herod. If a Jewish family at that time were to go to Egypt, the most likely place to hide would be Alexandria, the home of the Greek speaking Jews of the time. As a child growing up in such surroundings, it is most likely that Jesus would have been conversant in the Greek of the time.

    But then, I've heard a lot of rot from alleged "Biblical Scholars" to the effect that Jesus was illiterate, that he spoke only Aramaic, and so on. Again, that is quite simply rot. If tradition and Scripture indicates that Mary was of those maidens who served in the Temple, then she was a native of Jerusalem, and it is therefore likely that Jesus learned Hebrew as His Mother's tongue. We have the witness of Scripture that Our Lord read from the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah, and so He was literate in at least Hebrew. As there are indications that Jesus returned to Nazareth and was with His mother and father on yearly visits to Jerusalem by the time of his Bar Mitzvah, it is more than likely that He would speak the languages common to Jerusalem and Nazareth: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and possibly even Latin (Nazareth was, after all, a Roman outpost, and as a technon, usually translated as 'carpenter', He would have to work for Jew and Gentile alike.

  2. Good to see that others have discovered the splendid Dr Barker whom I recently had the pleasure to hear in person. One of the most interesting parts of her thesis is her resolute preference for the Septuagint & its theology.

  3. Mr Brandt:

    I do not see how your opinion on the Lord's polyglotism conflicts with what Dr Barker says. Jews in Palestine probably did know Greek well, perhaps even a little Latin (Hebrew was a sacred, not a vulgar tongue so I leave it out). That said, He preached primarily to Jews during His earthly life and it was not until Pentecost that the need for other languages arose, by Divine Providence of course. Indeed, tradition long held (holds?) the Gospel of Matthew to be the oldest; both Matthew and Mark betray some instances of being translated from a Hebrew original, given the many Semitic idioms.

    I do esteem Dr Barker as a scholar. Still, her work really only confirms what the Fathers and bishops of the Church have said over a millennium and a half about the alteration of the Old Testament texts.

    Good post.

  4. Dear 'Rad Trad',

    My objection was to Dr. Barker's statement above that "[i]t is most unlikely that Jesus thought and taught in Greek..." Among other matters Scriptural, I will note that when the Centurion spoke with our Lord (Matt 8:5-13), it is unlikely that a Roman centurion of the time would learn Aramaic or Hebrew, and far more likely that the conversation would have taken place either in Latin, or in the Greek of one of the metuentes (which I believe that it is likely that the centurion was). I believe that there are other strong indications in Scripture that Our Lord was a hellenophone, but that will do for now.

    I, too, esteem Dr. Barker as a scholar. I appreciate her insights as to the Temple, and I shall be incorporating at least some of them into an address which I am currently working on, and will be delivering in Colorado Springs on February 3rd (for further details, please see

    But please permit me to differ with Dr. Barker on those occasions in which I believe her to be mistaken.