[quote author=ÃƒÆ’Ã…Â½ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“ÃƒÆ’Ã‚ÂÃƒâ€šÃ‚ÂÃƒÆ’Ã…Â½Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¹ÃƒÆ’Ã‚ÂÃƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚ÂÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¾ÃƒÆ’Ã…Â½Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¿ÃƒÆ’Ã…Â½Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂºÃƒÆ’Ã…Â½Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â»ÃƒÆ’Ã…Â½Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â®ÃƒÆ’Ã‚ÂÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ link=topic=9694.msg130851#msg130851 date=1155124585]
An entirely unsupported assertion...lingua franca? Not for 300+ years and I have as much evidence of that as you do...none.[/quote]
My point is that if the Apostle John were not exposed to Greek thought, the Word of John 1 could not be an allusion to the Greek Logos. Skeptics consider Christianity to be a syncretic religion of apostate Judaism and pagan philosophies. That would not be possible if the earliest Christians were isolated from Gentile thought.
As for whether Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Middle East, it was such until replaced by Arabic during the rise of Islam:
"After the Jews were defeated by the Babylonians in 586 BC, they began to speak Aramaic instead of Hebrew, although they retained Hebrew as the sacred language of their religion. Although Aramaic was displaced officially in the Middle East by Greek after the coming of Alexander the Great, it held its own under Greek domination and subsequent Roman rule. Aramaic was also the language of Jesus. Following the rise of Islam in the 7th cent. AD, however, Aramaic began to yield to Arabic, by which eventually it was virtually replaced."http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/A/Aramaic.asp
"Aramaic: Semitic language that originally was spoken by the Aramaeans, but which served as the common language used between different peoples of the Middle East from around 600 BCE and until around 650 CE. It was then replaced by Arabic, which spread with the conquests of the Muslim Arabs."http://i-cias.com/e.o/aramaic.htm
"During the twelfth century BCE, Aramaeans, the native speakers of Aramaic, began to settle in great numbers in modern-day Syria, Iraq and eastern Turkey. As the language grew in importance, it came to be spoken throughout the Mediterranean coastal area of the Levant, and spread east of the Tigris. Jewish settlers took the language with them into North Africa and Europe, and Christian missionaries brought Aramaic into Persia, India and even China. From the seventh century CE onwards, Aramaic was replaced as the lingua franca of the Middle East by Arabic."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic#Geographic_distribution