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Re: orion Spoken DSS Hebrew

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Dear all,

I have followed this discussion with great interest. The Norwegian scholar
Harris Birkeland wrote already in 1954 a small monograph arguing that the
language of the people in the days of Jesus was Hebrew. I have found his
arguments quite persuasive, and in relation to all the Qumran material both
in Hebrew and Aramaic, both languages must have been used; the question is
by which groups and in which areas.

I would give the NT witness some more weight than Fred does. According to
Acts 22:2 Paul spoke "Hebrew" to the people, and the heavenly voice spoke
"Hebrew" to Paul (26:7). The word "Hebrew" is also used in John
5:2,;19:13,17,20 of place names with Aramaic endings, thus the argument is
that "Hebrew" in Acts means "Aramaic". However, Fred`s German example "Wie
heisst ´Baby´ eigentlich auf
Englisch?" illustrates the weakness of this argument, because some words
from one language can be used in another. Interesting is also that "Hebrew"
ABBADWN in Rev 9:11 which may have Aramaic roots is used in Hebrew texts
such as Job 26:6. hAR MAGEDWN in Rev 16:16 seems to have Hebrew roots so
"Hebrew" in this verse seems in any case to mean "Hebrew".

I would like to ask Jack about the evidence from Josephus. In "The Wars"
VI,2,1 he says that the besieged inhabitants of Jerusalem spoke "Hebrew",
and in V,2 he calls this language HE PATRIOS GLWSSA. In view of the fact
that Josephus clearly differentiates between Hebrew and Syriac (Aramaic) in
Ant XII,2 how could he mean anything but "Hebrew" in the two references
from "The Wars"? Is there any other evidence indicating that "Hebrew" can
mean "Aramaic"?

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo