As the Genesis begins with a line identical in meaning, though not in wording, with the opening of Cmdmon's Hymn, we may perhaps infer that the writer knew and used Cmdmon's genuine poems. Some of the more poetical passages may possibly echo Cmdmon's expressions; but when, after treating of the creation of the angels and the revolt of Lucifer, the paraphrast comes to the Biblical part of the story, he follows the sacred text with servile fidelity, omitting no detail, however prosaic. The ages of the antediluvian patriarchs, for instance, are accurately rendered into verse.
On the other hand, they regarded it as necessary to present the sacred text in such a manner as best to convey the particular form of interpretation then current.
Hence we may reasonably infer that the mass of the people had adopted Aramaic at a considerably, earlier period, probably, as early as the 2nd century B.C., and that the need of Aramaic translations of the sacred text made itself felt but little later.