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orion Harrison on: Spoken DSS Hebrew.

Perhaps it might come as a shock to Harrison, but I have never advocated
"that the Jews in Judea spoke only one language or even just one
dialect". I have pointed out that among the DSS there are two languages
and a number of dialects. Perhaps that is difficult to understand. What
I have questioned is the inherent view that numerous people have of the
miraculous linguistic skills of ancient peoples for learning numerous
languages at once, ie I find the notion that the Jews were bilingual or
even trilingual simply fantastic. With a reasonably good education
system in a country like Germany in which they learn English from a very
early age in a systematic manner, you still get numerous people who
cannot put two words together. I have to ask for most ancient situations
how many people given no formal education at all had even a rudimentary
grasp of their own language -- whatever that may have been?

What do you want to make of the Zenon Papyri? You find recorded a
journey of an official through subjected territories dealing mainly with
local people. How many Egyptian Greek officials does one meet during
that journey?

Would you stop this attitude problem please?
>Do you really require a bibleography?

You say that the locals had to learn Greek to be upwardly mobile. How
many had to? The Tobiads being one family doesn't add up to be many at
all. How many Anglo-Saxons had to learn Norman French (and there were
many many more Normans in England than Egyptian Greeks in Judea)?

As to Greek names in Judea, do you not find German names in America,
like Carl? How much influence has the German culture had on America?
What makes one think that Onias was the form that the high priest ever
used? If he actually used it -- it is possible -- what do you want to
make of it other than he used a name that would have been easier to
manipulate by the "overlords"? I have no doubt that Greek culture had
infiltrated into Judea even prior to Alexander: just look at the imagery
found at Wadi ed-Daliyeh. Yet the main discourse here is how much Greek
language was actually spoken in Judea -- that Hellenization necessitated
widespread learning of Greek. And one of the things that seems to stand
out is the relative lack of loan words from Greek into Hebrew which
usually come with strong cultural contact.


John J. Hays
I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!