What Language Did Jesus Disciples Speak?

Many people have wondered what language Jesus’ disciples spoke. The answer is not straightforward, as there are several factors to consider. However, we can make some educated guesses based on historical and linguistic evidence.

Background Information

Jesus and his disciples were all Jewish, and they lived in the region of Galilee, which was part of the Roman Empire at the time. Aramaic was the language spoken by most Jews in that region. However, Hebrew was still used for religious purposes and in scholarly circles.

The Role of Greek

Greek was also widely spoken in the Roman Empire, especially among educated people and merchants. It was the language of trade and commerce, as well as philosophy and science. Many Jews were bilingual or even trilingual, speaking Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek.

What Language Did Jesus Speak?

It’s likely that Jesus spoke Aramaic as his primary language. This is supported by the fact that he grew up in Galilee where Aramaic was the common language. Additionally, some scholars believe that certain phrases attributed to Jesus in the New Testament are actually Aramaic idioms that were translated into Greek.

Jesus’ Disciples

As for Jesus’ disciples, it’s possible that they also spoke Aramaic as their first language since they were from Galilee too. However, as mentioned earlier, many Jews in that region were bilingual or trilingual. Therefore, it’s likely that they also knew Hebrew and Greek to varying degrees.

The Language of the New Testament

The New Testament was written in Greek even though Jesus and his disciples lived in a primarily Aramaic-speaking community. This is because Greek was the lingua franca of the Roman Empire at the time when Christianity began to spread rapidly.


In conclusion, Jesus and his disciples likely spoke Aramaic as their primary language. However, they were also likely familiar with Hebrew and Greek due to the multilingual nature of the region. The New Testament was written in Greek, which indicates the importance of that language in the Roman Empire during that time.