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Re: orion Spoken DSS Hebrew

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Jim West wrote:

> At 11:24 AM 11/21/97 -0500, you wrote:
> >1. The very existence of Aramaic targums strongly suggests that there
> were
> >at least *some* people in Judea who understood Aramaic but not
> Hebrew. (For
> >parts of the diaspora, one could make the same argument about the LXX
> and
> >Greek). I cannot think of any way to demonstrate if the converse were
> true
> >- i.e., whether there were any who understood Hebrew but not Aramaic.
> >
> Yes- but these targums are quite late into the CE. and are certainly
> not
> contemporaneous with either the NT or the DSS.

    11Q10 (Targum of Job) and 4Q157 (Targum of Leviticus) are
certainlycontemporaneous with the DSS and the NT.  Then there is the
issue of
definition. 1Q20 (Genesis Apocryphon)..is it a Targum?  It certainly has

parallels in the later Targumim and Midrashim yet it predates the sect
itself in composition and the scroll dates by AMS and palaeographically
between 73 BCE and the early 1st century.  Just what constituted a
prior to the setting of a canon and the definition of what was Biblical
what was apocrypha?  It would seem to me that prior to the canon, an
Aramaic narrative that parallels Genesis is a Targum.

> >2. The widespread use of Aramaic in the scrolls (together with hints
> in the
> >NT, etc.) suggests (but does not prove) that Aramaic was the *most*
> widely
> >used language (which does not say *exclusively* used in any context).
> >
> One could argue that Greek was widespread using the same criteria; but
> with
> no final conclusions possible.

    But there was no widespread use of Greek in the DSS...at least those
thatsurvived... even though we are confident, from the epigraphic
evidence, that
Greek was widely used.

> >3. On the other hand, the evidence presented by Prof. Hays (and
> previous
> >posts in this thread) make it highly likely that Hebrew remained a
> spoken
> >language through to at least the Bar Cochba period.
> >
> This, too, is not really provable.

    Is it not strongly suggested, however, by the "evolution" of Hebrew
dialectswhich develops from spoken rather than literary or liturgical

    Isn't it reasonable to see Hebrew as a "high language" continuously
by certain groups sufficiently to develop dialects while Aramaic
even up to and through the Mishnaic period necessitating the use of
Targumim to render those "high language" texts for the general public?


Díman dith laych idneh dínishMA nishMA
   Jack Kilmon (jpman@accesscomm.net)