From the remarks which are occasionally to be encountered in books and articles dealing with the Gospels it would appear that some amount of vagueness exists in the minds of many non-Semitic scholars as to the existence of a clear distinction between Aramaisms and Hebraisms. By some scholars, in fact, the question of distinction is ignored, and the two terms are used indifferently as though they were synonymous. A glaring instance of this is to be seen in Prof. Schmiedel's remarks on the original language of St. Mark's Gospel in Encyc. Bibl. 1870. 'The language of Mk.', he says, 'Hebraizes still more strongly than does that of Mt. Nevertheless, the combinations of Allen (Expositor, 1900, i, pp. 436-43) do not prove that the evangelist wrote Aramaic, but only that he wrote a kind of Jewish Greek that he had derived from a reading of the LXX. Lk. also has Hebraisms, not only in chaps. I f. but elsewhere as well and, not only where he is dependant on Mk. or Mt. but also where he had no exemplar before him (as, for example, often "and it came to pass",  kai, gi,nomai ; see HS. p. 37), and yet no one holds Lk.'s writing to be a translation of a Semitic original.'

It is something of a feat to have crowded so many misconceptions into the space of a few lines. Mk. does not Hebraize at all in the proper sense of the term; but the fact that his Greek exhibits a strong Aramaic colouring is admitted by all Semitic scholars who have studied the subject, though they differ  as to whether this colouring implies actual translation from an original Aramaic document, or is merely due to the fact that the author was ill versed in Greek and accustomed to think and speak in Aramaic. Mk,'s 'Jewish Greek' cannot have been 'derived from a reading of the LXX', for it exhibits peculiarities (those which connect it with Aramaic) which are not found there, while at the same time the most striking Hebraisms is the first accurate statement which Prof. Schmiedel makes; but he goes on at once to confuse the issue again by equating the supposed 'Hebraisms' which are the result of dependence upon Mk. or Mt. with those which are found in passages in which the author 'had no exemplar before him'. The fact as regards the Marcan source in Lk. is that the third evangelist has made some attempt to smooth away the most palpable solecisms, but has by no means carried this out thoroughly or consistently; consequently a number of Marcan Aramaisms (not 'Hebraisms') remain in Lk.*

 

 

from pages 7-8, The Aramaic Origin of the 4th Gospel