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December 27, 2016, 3:26 PM

Maranatha

The New Testament of the Bible was written in the Greek of the first century AD. Greek in the Roman Empire was like English in the 21st century. It was the universal language of the empire. Many of the Jews in Palestine in Jesus’ day would have spoken Greek in order to do business, to talk with foreigners, and to speak to Roman soldiers.

But, the native language of Jesus and his countrymen was Aramaic. It is a language very similar to Hebrew. And, in the New Testament, there are eight Aramaic words or phrases preserved for us. You can read them in the following passages:

Matthew 5:22, Matthew 27:46, Mark 5:41, Mark 7:34, Mark 11:9, Mark 14:36, John 20:16, and 1 Corinthians 16:22.

Among the first Christians one Aramaic phrase became common no matter what other language they spoke: Marana tha! It means, Our Lord, Come! Paul alludes to it in I Corinthians 11:26, and uses it to end his letter in 1 Corinthians 16:22. John concludes his Revelation with the phrase translated into Greek: Our Lord, Come! Revelation 22:20.

Over 2000 years have passed since Jesus lived among us. In every generation since then, his followers have remembered his first coming, his first “advent”. And every generation continues to pray for his 2nd coming, his second advent. Amen. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!


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