Scala/Art Resource, New York, NY

Fishers of fish. Before Jesus called them to his ministry with the words, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), Simon Peter and Andrew worked as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Similarly James and John, before their calling by Jesus, worked as fishermen with their father Zebedee, as seen in this detail from the fresco Vocation of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew by the Italian painter Giusto de Menabuoi (mid-14th century-1393). Plying their trade in the Galilee, where many of the inhabitants were Greek-speaking gentiles, they would have had to speak Greek in order to conduct business with gentile customers. As a skilled craftsman from the same area, Jesus too would have had to speak Greek to deal with his gentile customers.

Professor Fitzmyer examines this point and many ocher lines of evidence to try to determine whether Jesus spoke Greek and, more importantly, whether he ever taught in Greek.