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Re: Ezra, Nehemiah & an Aramaic forerunner

dear Ian,
>From a fragment one can learn nothing about an entire book, unless that 
fragment represents some "diagnostic" feature of the book. If ou had a 
fragment with both HEbrew and Aramaic, or with Hebrew where MT has 
Aramaic or Aramaic where MT has Hebrew, etc. that would be interesting. 
But, simply a fragment from one section of the book tells you that that 
section of the book, or its forerunner, or a parallel, or a later 
version, existed.  Look at the so-called PRiestly blessing amulet from 
Keteph Hinom. It shows that the "PRiestly blessing" was known in one or 
two forms, very close to MT but not identical (for all that may or may 
not mean), whenever the amulet was thrown into the burial chamber.  It 
may be based on Numbers 6, it may predate Numbers 6, it may be based on a 
parallel to Numbers 6, etc (excuse me for not being able to mentin 
specifically every possible maybe and if).  What one can not learn is 
that Numbers 5 or 7 did not exist at the time.  SO it is with the Ezra 
fragment.  Fragments are fragments. They do not prove the existence OR 
NONEXISTENCE of what is not in them. 
Victor Hurowitz

On Mon, 20 Jan 1997, Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> Given that both books (Ezra & Nehemiah) contain sections in Aramaic and in
> Hebrew, and given the fact that the only part of these texts that were found
> in the dss is part of the Aramaic section of Ezra, is there any reason to
> believe that that Aramaic fragment representing a part of the canonical book
> of Ezra is evidence of the canonical book and not the Aramaic forerunner?
> Ian Hutchesson