Video: The Language of Christ Experiences a Revival in St. Ephrem School

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Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ, is being taught to young students in Saint Ephrem School in Bethlehem in order to prevent the disappearance of the already endangered language.

Father Peter Naama, pastor of the Church of the Virgin, a Syrian Orthodox parish in Bethlehem, said that Aramaic language is the language of the Syriac Church, the language spoken by Christ, which is referenced several times in the Old and New Testaments. It is the language of the Arameans, a group of people who lived in Mesopotamia, an area which encompassed present-day Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. Aramaic is also the basis of Semetic languages, from which Hebrew and Arabic have evolved.

“The Arameans are the descendants of Sam the son of Noah, and if we look to history we are able to see the important role played by the Assyrians and the Arameans in the creation of civilization and the transfer of cultures between East and West,” said Father Peter.

He also emphasized the importance of teaching this language to students and of the revival of Aramaic. He said, “Our aim is to preserve this ancient language, especially because it is the language of our mother the Church. The goal we seek is to preserve it from extinction and preserve its history and civilization.”

St. Ephrem School was founded in 2003 and teaches basic subjects to its students like other schools in addition to the Aramaic language, which Father Peter said has added weight on the shoulders of the school’s teachers, for “In the beginning Aramaic was a language foreign to the region. There is a gap between the people the students: parents cannot communicate with their children because they do not know the language and we teach the material in the school only, and the student does not return home for help. We help the student to study and master the language without having to refer to outside help.”

Father Peter said he thought that the plan had succeeded and thanks God for this. There was no shortage of students who shared his enthusiasm and who expressed their love for reviving the language of Jesus.