Date and Language of Ezra and Daniel (was Sam, Chr & Josephus)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Mon Mar 19 14:05:48 EST 2001

>I am with Peter on this one, Ian. I read your translation of the Garbini
>article, too. Garbini ignores the Qumran texts of Daniel. They show the
>transition from Hebrew to Aramaic. The earliest copy is from the late second
>century BCE, within 50 years of its composition.

We are not dealing with Daniel though I don't mind the possibility that it ended up
in Aramaic within fifty years. Our subject is Ezra.

>What is the "sizable amount of Aramaic from the Persian period" you are
>referring to? The Elephantine papyri and what else? What can this tell us
>about "how Aramaic might have been spoken in Judaea in the 5th century BCE"?

As I don't have access to the sources at the moment and won't have for a while let's
be happy with the several dozen papyri from Egypt, which show the various features
of Persian Chancelry Aramaic. We are not interested so much in the hypothesized
Aramaic which may have been spoken in Judea in the 5th century when we have letters
which are supposed to have come from the Persian Chancelry embedded in the book.

>P.S. What do you do with Garbini's claim that Ezra is earlier than Daniel?

He can claim what he likes, but then I don't think he does -- at least from other
writings he's published. I think he agrees with my position that Ezra as we have it
is a reworking of an older form of which 1 Esdras is a Greek translation.


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