Aramaic, the language that Jesus and his followers are believed to of spoken is in danger of extinction. The ancient language has connections to both Hebrew and Arabic, butunlike Hebrew and Arabic, Aramaic speakers are dwindling.

The 3,000-year-old language was once common throughout the entire Middle East and was used for trade, government and divine worship from the Holy Land to India and China.

As a key language used in Israel from 539 BC to 70 AD, experts believe it was likely to have been spoken by Jesus.

As well as the belief that Jesus spoke the language, it is the language of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra as well as the Talmud and parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now speakers of Aramaic are scattered across the globe, only found in small pockets of unlikely places like Chicago. The plight of Aramaic is not a modern phenomenon however. Its decline began centuries ago.

The language lost its standing in the Middle East in the 7th Century AD when Muslim Muslim armies from Arabia conquered the area, establishing Arabic as the key tongue. Aramaic survived in remote areas such as the Kurdish areas of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

via: The Daily Mail