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Aramaic s a family of languages or dialects belonging to the Semitic family. More specifically, it is part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily, which also includes Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician. The Aramaic script was widely adopted for other languages and is ancestral to both the Arabic and modern Hebrew alphabets.
During its approximately 3000 years of written history, Aramaic has served variously as a language of administration of empires and as a language of divine worship.
It was the language that Jesus supposedly used the most, the language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, as well as the main language of the Talmud. Aramaic was also the original language of the Bahrani people of Eastern Arabia, and of the Mandeans and their Gnostic religion, Mandeanism, as well as the language of the once widespread but now extinct Manichaean religion. The major Aramaic dialect Syriac is the liturgical language of Syriac Christianity, in particular the Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Saint Thomas Christian Churches in India, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Pentecostal Church, and the Maronite Church.