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orion Scribal traits
Hopefully we can agree from the linguistic evidence presented in
Qimron's analysis of DSS Hebrew that it was in fact that dialect of
Hebrew that was the preferred spoken language of the writers of the
unique works found at Qumran in Hebrew. Now it has been suggested here
on the list that the language wasn't important for the scribes (who
merely copied texts) -- there has even been the suggestion, in an
attempt to explain the language mix and traditions, that Qumran may have
been a copying house, not in Jerusalem but for some reason out in the
wilderness. The minimum line of argument is that the scribes of the
scrolls were adequate in both languages and the various dialects.
I know that Emanuel Tov has isolated a series of Qumran documents as a
group based on certain scribal traits. From what I understand all these
documents are in that dialect of Hebrew that reflects the majority of
uniquely DSS documents. I know that there has been an isolated example
of the use of palaeo-Hebrew characters in an Aramaic text, but do many
of these traits cross language boundaries? If they don't then this would
be a good indication of diverse origins of texts in different languages.
Can anyone more knowledgeable in this area shed some light on the
John J. Hays
I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!