From CBS News: Preserving The Language Of Jesus.
For thousands of years, a tiny Syrian village has kept a well-guarded treasure: the language of Jesus. Tucked away in the Qalamoun Mountains, just north of Damascus, Syria, is Malula — one of the last places on earth where Aramaic is still spoken.
Aramaic was a thriving language during the time of Jesus and his disciples. Many of the gospels were written in the Semitic language, along with sections of the Talmud and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
People who come to Malula take in a piece of history and hear in its purest tones the 3,000-year-old language closely related to Hebrew. For the religious here, keeping Aramaic alive is nothing less than a calling.
"Of course we are interested to maintain this language, because at the end, this is the language of Jesus Christ," says Father Toufic Eid of St. Sergius Church. [continue]