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The Use of Greek in Early Roman Galilee: The Inscriptional Evidence Re-examined

Charlesworth, Scott D. (2016) The Use of Greek in Early Roman Galilee: The Inscriptional Evidence Re-examined. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. pp. 1-40. ISSN 0142-064X

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Based on numbers alone, Greek had as much currency in first- as it did in second- and third-century Galilee. But measuring the use of Greek by calculating the number of inscriptions in each century is flawed methodology. This is because the inscriptional evidence is patchy and unrepresentative (as the very few inscriptions in Aramaic/Hebrew demonstrate). Scholars must first understand the various kinds of ancient bilingualism, then look for indications of these, including (written) Greek literacy. Literary and other evidence, especially factors that might encourage bilingualism, such as the influence of
the administrative cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias and the surrounding Hellenistic cities, the state of the Galilean economy, and rural-urban dynamics, can then help to fill in the gaps. On the basis of all of the extant evidence, knowledge of Greek was probably quite common, with most people picking it up by force of circumstance rather than through formal instruction.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Chancey, early Roman, Galilee, Greek, inscriptions, literacy
Fields of Research: 21 History and Archaeology > 2199 Other History and Archaeology > 219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Humanities, general
B - New Testament
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Dr Scott Charlesworth
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 06:25
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2016 06:25
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1977

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