Recent conversations among us have led to a discovery of the delight of translations from Aramaic, particularly the Beatitudes and the prayer Jesus taught his disciples (aka the “our Father” or “The Lord’s Prayer). Various versions of these translations are easily found on a web search. An appreciation of the richly poetic and nuanced Aramaic and Syriac tongues adds a deeper dimension to biblical studies, and certainly has the potential to expand insights into the teaching and sayings of Jesus.
On another note, thanks to Graeme Worth for drawing our attention to ORBIS, a kind of Google Maps of the Mediterranean World for the centuries surrounding Jesus’ era. One could spend hours working out the most efficient travel routes by foot, donkey, chariot and trireme. A quick auto-calculation shows it would have taken Paul and his party 8.6 days to reach Damascus from Jerusalem whether by foot or donkey!