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Aramaic language spoken by Jesus may be revived

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 9:47 p.m. MDT

Girls study Aramaic in the Arab village of Jish, northern Israel. (The Blaze ) Girls study Aramaic in the Arab village of Jish, northern Israel. (The Blaze )

Our take: The Aramaic language spoken by Jesus has long been a "dead" language, found mostly in writings and almost completely unspoken for centuries even though it was once the dominant language in the region where Jesus lived. Today, Christians living in several small villages have been working to revive the language by making a focused effort to teach it to the next generation.

Two villages in the Holy Landís tiny Christian community are teaching Aramaic in an ambitious effort to revive the language that Jesus spoke, centuries after it all but disappeared from the Middle East.

The new focus on the regionís dominant language 2,000 years ago comes with a little help from modern technology: an Aramaic-speaking television channel from Sweden, of all places, where a vibrant immigrant community has kept the ancient tongue alive.

In the Palestinian village of Beit Jala, an older generation of Aramaic speakers is trying to share the language with their grandchildren. Beit Jala lies next to Bethlehem, where the New Testament says Jesus was born.

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