Accuracy of the Biblical text??
mc2499 at mclink.it
Thu Feb 24 10:36:19 EST 2000
At 10.06 24/02/00 -0500, Liz Fried wrote:
>> The basic assumption is unproven. If Hebrew as a West Semitic language
>> emerged say not much earlier than the first confirmed epigraphic evidence,
>> then it is improbable that a Moses got the law in Hebrew. If the evidence
>> points that way, can you conclude otherwise?
>What does this mean?
>Why would a language only emerge "not much earlier"
>than its epigraphic evidence?
>Do you mean we wouldn't have evidence for it's emergence much earlier?
My reading of the Garbini work on Semitic languages is that he argues that
when we actually get Hebrew texts, the Lachish letters, Hebrew is shown to
be a development of a language very similar to Phoenician -- if Phoenician
wasn't the source. He thinks that the "Gezer calendar" is an example of the
most southerly Phoenician dialect found yet. Others argue that the Gezer
artifact is indeed Hebrew. Let's assume Garbini is wrong. He is unable to
discern that the Gezer thingy is in Hebrew because of a number of factors
-- well, others can. Garbini's therefore wrong, but shows that the
difference between Phoenician and Hebrew is so minimal. He goes on to
describe Hebrew fundamentally as Phoenician with Aramaic infusions. Where's
the few hundred years of Egyptian influence? It isn't there. What we have
is a language that developed in Canaan, if not from Phoenician, from
something very close. If he can't see much difference at all between
Phoenician and Hebrew then the time of separation between the two is
probably not long.
This is mainly my crapping on, working from the indications in Garbini's
analysis. It would be interesting to here what NPL has to say on the
matter, given the fact that he has been known to teach Ugaritic up their in
the cold north.
>or do you mean it actually didn't emerge much earlier?
>and if the latter, how would we know that?
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