ANSWER: The Aramaic. The ancient name of Syria was Aram, the language of which was the northern branch of the Semitic, the tongue of the descendants of Shem. After the return from Babylon it was the dialect in which the Jews conversed and Jesus preached. The only remains of its literature in the Gospels are a few words in the New Testament: Talithacumi, ephphatha, Bethesda, Aceldama, Boanerges, and Bar-jonah. The Syriac and the Peshito versions very much resemble the Aramaic, as does the palimpsest of the Gospels recently discovered by two very learned and enterprising twin sisters, Mrs. Gibson and Mrs. Lewis, widows of Oxford professors.
— Steele's Answers pp. 133, 134.