“The Greek Injīl cannot be Jesus’ original Injīl, because Jesus spoke Hebrew or Aramaic.”
Zakir Naik has claimed,
“Though Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) spoke Hebrew, the original manuscript that you have is in Greek.1
It is true that Jesus probably understood Hebrew, though his mother-tongue was not Hebrew but Galilean Aramaic. Greek was the lingua franca of the time, and so it was also widely used in Palestine. Scholars say that Jesus, being a carpenter, would have known Greek as well. At certain times, his teaching would have been in Aramaic, in other times it would have been in Greek (for example when he Mark 7:26-30) It is clear that the New Testament (Injīl) was originally written in Koine Greek, not translated from Aramaic. Koine Greek was the most appropriate language for the scriptures to be in, for it was the most widely understood language in the world at the time. Scriptures are not revealed only in certain “superior” Semitic languages. The Qur’ān itself says that it was simply revealed “in Arabic, that ye may understand ” (12:2).
- Zakir Naik, The Qur’ān and the Bible in the Light of Science. (Adam Publishers, New Delhi, 2008) p.118.
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