Matthew (NKJV): And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (27:46)

Matthew (USB5): περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων, Ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι; τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν, Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες

John (NKJV): Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” (20:17)

John (USB5): λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς, Μή μου ἅπτου, οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα· πορεύου δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφούς μου καὶ εἰπὲ αὐτοῖς, Ἀναβαίνω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν καὶ θεόν μου καὶ θεὸν ὑμῶν

Matthew is a translation of the Aramaic words Jesus spoke; while John is a direct quote of what Jesus said to Mary.

Does Aramaic have the same structure as the Greek? In other words is the Greek "God of Me" an Aramaic expression or would the English "My God" be the expression in Aramaic? And is there any significance of Jesus making the same statement but having it presented in different cases when He says"God of Me"?

  • Aramaic is essentially a dialect of Hebrew.
    – user10231
    Jul 19, 2016 at 17:48
  • 2
    Aramaic is not a dialect of Hebrew. It is a separate Semitic language.
    – fdb
    Jul 19, 2016 at 18:08
  • Hebrew came from Aramaic right about the time of Abraham (Ref: Genesis 14:13, Genesis 31:47) So in a way your both correct.
    – Decrypted
    Jul 19, 2016 at 20:38
  • 2
    Whatever are you talking about, @Decrypted?
    – fdb
    Jul 19, 2016 at 21:54
  • All the languages descended from Noah, Noah had a son named Shem. Languages that derived from Shem we call Semitic languages. Shem had a son named Aram and its likely that his line spoke Aramaic. Semitic languages do have similarities, and they do have differences. Abraham's line goes as follows: Noah - Shem - Arphaxad - Shelah - Eber - Peleg - Reu - Serug - Nahor - Terah - Abram. However it was Laban that named the "witness pile" in Aramaic, yet Jacob named it in Hebrew. (Genesis 31:47). Laban (Terah - Nahor - Bethuel - Laban) shows Biblical record where Hebrew as a language was mentioned.
    – Decrypted
    Jul 20, 2016 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


Greek has five cases and their use is determined by grammatical rules. If you are addressing someone you use the vocative case, e.g. θεέ μου. After the preposition πρὸς, meaning "towards" you use the accusative case, e.g. πρὸς τὸν... θεόν μου.

Aramaic does not have grammatical cases. So “my god” is the same regardless of whether you are calling him, or speaking about him.

  • Does that apply when speaking? In other words would a speaker saying "My God" in the two situations sound different? Jul 19, 2016 at 14:49
  • 1
    Of course. The spelling reflects speech.
    – fdb
    Jul 19, 2016 at 15:00
  • I have revised the question to reflect the difference between what Jesus and what is wriiten. Jul 19, 2016 at 17:47
  • I have expanded my answer accordingly.
    – fdb
    Jul 19, 2016 at 18:12
  • Since there are 5 cases in the Greek and a single one in Aramaic, which is the single Greek case that corresponds to the Aramaic? IOW writing it down in the Greek will necessitate using the correct Greek case, but in every situation the starting Aramaic word is the same regardless of which case is required to make the statement in Greek. Another way to consider the question is this: there are two different Greek expressions of a single Aramaic word. Is there any 1 of the 5 Greek which corresponds to the Aramaic? Aug 8, 2016 at 21:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.