CHRISTIAN

 

 

Language Influence

The original language that the Israelites spoke was Hebrew. The Bible they used was the  Torah .This was a Hebrew translation of the first five book of Moses. It included the Ten Commandments. When they were exiled in to Egypt they continued to preserve this language.

During the time of Jesus, the Jews living around Rome had forgotten this Hebrew language. Most of those Jews spoke Aramaic an Afro-asiatic Language including Jesus. The Romans spoke Latin. However, Many Jews also could speak Koine Greek .The educated Romans also learned Greek. The Bible that Jesus used was the Greek Septuagint. (Old Testament)

The Greek Language was the primary reason the apostles were able to spread Christianity to the Gentiles . Living in this area required the ability to speak several languages. Jesus' primary language was Aramaic .He was also know to speak Greek and Latin. He could also read Hebrew scripture at 12 years of age similar to the well trained rabbis of his day. 

 

Philip encounters an Ethiopian eunuch and his retinue. He is at once exotic, powerful and pious. Greeks and Romans were particularly fascinated with dark-skinned Africans (Martin 1989:111; Diodorus Siculus Library of History 3.8.2-3; Strabo Geography 17.2.1-3). Although Ethiopian was used generally for anyone with these physical characteristics, here it refers to an inhabitant of the ancient kingdom of Meroe, which covered what is now northern Sudan south of Aswan to Khartoum (see NIV marginal note; compare Youngblood 1982:193; Crocker 1986). This man is powerful, the chief treasurer of a kingdom wealthy from its iron smelting, gold mining and trading position. It was a conduit for goods from the rest of the continent. Candace, queen of the Ethiopians (better "Queen Mother, ruling monarch of the Ethiopians," since candace is a title, not a proper name), cared for the duties of state. The king was regarded as a god, "child of the sun," too sacred to engage in administration. The candace in this instance was Amanitare (A.D. 25-41; Wead 1982:197; Crocker 1986:67).

Luke does not identify the eunuch as either a proselyte, a Gentile convert to Judaism, or a God-fearer, a Gentile adherent to the Jewish monotheism, ethic and piety (compare Acts 2:11; 6:5; 10:2; 13:26, 43; Levinskaya 1990). He presents him only as pious according to the Jewish faith. The eunuch is returning to Meroe after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for one of the feasts, and he is sitting in his chariot reading Scripture. The chariot is probably a four-wheeled covered vehicle, like an oxcart, large enough to accommodate the eunuch, his driver, Philip and possibly another servant (who would be reading the manuscript aloud if the official is not doing so himself). The carriage is moving slowly enough to allow for reading and for Philip to approach it on foot. Reading aloud was the common practice in ancient times, and was especially necessary when words were strung together on a manuscript without spacing or punctuation (Bruce 1990:226).

Under the guidance of the Spirit (compare 10:19; 11:12; 13:2, 4; 16:6-7), Philip obediently overcomes any social reticence, approaches the wagon, walks briskly alongside and engages the eunuch in conversation about his reading. Luke consistently tells us that reading and understanding Scripture are not the same thing, especially for those who do not have the hermeneutical key (13:27; compare Lk 6:3; 10:26). Correct spiritual understanding is a gift (8:10; 10:22). The eunuch admits his need. His humble, teachable stance is the essential first step to achieving knowledge of salvation (compare Acts 17:11).

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