[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 98, Issue 19
kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Feb 15 01:12:50 EST 2011
On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 8:55 PM, Chavoux Luyt <chavoux at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Rolf
> You wrote:
> > The witness of the Targums and the LXX cannot
> > be used to find the meaning of the Hebrew text.
> Why do you say that? I would rather think the opposite since Hebrew was
> still a spoken language at the time that the Targums and LXX were made
> (although not by everybody), so I would assume that the translators had a
> better understanding and knowledge of the language than what we can have
The question comes down to, how do you define spoken language?
If you define it as a language used in spoken communication, then it never
ceased to be a spoken language, it just changed over the centuries.
If you define it as a language learned as a primary language at one’s
mother’s knee, then used as one’s primary language throughout life, then
there is evidence that Hebrew ceased to be such a language during the
Babylonian Exile. Among the evidence for that is that some of the more
obscure terms used in the Hebrew Bible seem to have been forgotten by the
time the LXX was translated.
> They might not have known the modern grammatical terms, but still
> understood the meaning of the language. As far as the Masoretes and
> are concerned, I would agree that their understanding might be more
> influenced by other spoken languages of their time, since Hebrew was no
> longer their native language, but only heard in synagogue.
Why would the same not be true for the Hebrew spoken at the time of the LXX
and the Targums?
> Chavoux Luyt
Karl W. Randolph.
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