Parts of the books of Ezra and Daniel in the Bible were written
in an Aramaic dialect, as were some notable Jewish prayers,
such as the kaddish.
In the course of its long history the Aramaic language broke up
a number of dialects.
Grammatically, Aramaic is very close to Hebrew.
The Aramaic alphabet was attested in the 9th
After c.500 B.C. its use became widespread
in the Middle East.
Papias of Hierapolis is quoted by Eusebius of
Caesarea as affirming that Evangelist Matthew
first "wrote the sayings of Jesus" in Aramaic.