Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words today (May 26) over the language spoken by Jesus two thousand years ago, as the pope was about to end his three-day visit to the Holy Land, the Newsmax World website reports.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Pope Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but He knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.
A Jew, Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the Roman-ruled region of Judea, now the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He grew up in Nazareth and ministered in Galilee, both in northern Israel, and died in Jerusalem, a city revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and to which Israelis and Palestinians lay claim.