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Re: read before you rape
>Judith Wegner seems to think that it was merely a written
language kept bookishly alive by a few rabbis; I regard that, as you
seem to, as nonsense.
Frederick H. Cryer
Assoc. Prof./Univ. of Copenhagen
Dear Fred: here you are hoist with your own petard; in this same post you said
to Larry, >wouldn't it be an idea to actually *read* a post.....<
I never came to a conclusion as to whether people in general DID speak Hebrew
in everyday life during the period under discussion; all I said was that one
could not ASSUME this simply on the basis of scholarly literature written by
priests and scribes, and that one therefore needed some other, more probative
evidence before one could make that postulation. People at once helpfully
responded with various kinds of such probative evidence. I'm delighted (as
anyone might guess) that such evidence has been uncovered in sufficient quan-
tity to refute what you neatly call the "kept-bookishly-alive" hypothesis. For
a change, my heart was on the side of the angels here!
What I had actually SAID (now with emphasis added) was as follows:
>But the fact that "sacred scriptures" were written by scholars in Hebrew has
absolutely no bearing on THE QUESTION WHETHER Aramaic was the language of every
day life -- not only for hoi polloi but even for the scholars themselves.
Even if the scrolls contain, as you claim, occasional "casual posts" (please
give some examples), these too were presumably written by literati, and again
DO NOT FORCE THE CONCLUSION that Hebrew was the spoken language of everyday
life.< [I concede that"ABSOLUTELY" was a foolish overstatement, sorry!]
My intention was only to query the logic of what looked to me like a gap
between premises and conclusion -- not expressing a firm belief one way
or the other. I (and perhaps others) needed precisely the input we then got,
which gave a far more detailed picture of the totality of the evidence we now
have on this question -- and once again, I am delighted with the update and
hope others are too.
Judith Romney Wegner