ANE6510EN - Biblical Aramaic

Course description

Introduces the grammar of biblical Aramaic. Students are then guided in the reading of Aramaic passages in the Old Testament in the books of Daniel and Ezra, such as Daniel in the lion’s den, the writing on the wall, letters sent between Ezra and the king of Persia and other officials, and the impact of these letters on the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

How this course benefits students

Students acquire the ability to read a significant portion of the Old Testament in its original language. Students further gain an understanding of the complexities of intercultural ministry as reflected in the lives of Daniel and Ezra.

Why this course is important

Aramaic was the lingua franca in the ancient Near East for more than two millennia. During the Babylonian exile of the Jews, which began in the early sixth century BCE, the language spoken by the Jews started to change from Hebrew to Aramaic. Therefore, some of the texts from the Old Testament, such as in Daniel and Ezra, are written in Aramaic.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Ancient Near East
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Zacharias Kotze, Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The Old Testament contains more than two hundred and fifty verses in Aramaic. Mastering the language enables students to read a sizable part of the Old Testament in its original language.

Missionally driven

The course focuses the redemptive mission of God in and through the lives of Daniel and Ezra.

Contextually informed

Students are sensitised to the complexities of intercultural communication and conflict through the reading of key Aramaic texts in Daniel and Ezra.

Interculturally focused

The topic of intercultural contact is central to the books of Daniel and Ezra.

Practically minded

The course teaches students to be sensitive in their treatment of people of other races and ethnicities.

Experientially transformed

The course encourages students to reflect upon the impact of their own lives and testimony when engaging with people of other cultures.