Aramaic and NT
We're starting and Aramaic reading group at Sheffield for Biblical Studies postgraduates and there are a fair number of NT postgraduates signed up which is great news. So at least in this particular sample there seems to be a desire to learn this language among NT people. Given that it was the language in which and some among the early church Jesus spoke, and given that there are Aramaic issues in the gospels, it seems a little unusual - with honourable insitutions and individuals aside - that it is not a big emphasis among NT scholars and historical Jesus scholars in particular. Thinking out loud (as it were) I wonder what the reasons for this might be: economic (e.g. lack of time and resources)? Influence of Greek teaching? And was there a difference between scholarship of yesteryear and modern day scholarship, much of which has (rightly in my view) broadened out dramatically since the 1960s (and is this another reason for a downplaying of Aramaic in NT circles...)? I also wonder if the recent stresses on a localised Jesus and his peasant context might lead to more interest in Aramaic?