[b-hebrew] Potiphar's title

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Jul 10 18:54:01 EDT 2003

On Thursday 10 July 2003 15:35, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 10/07/2003 14:06, Michael Banyai wrote:
> >Dear Peter,
> >
> >Akkadian is a large word. Since not even the worst adepts of a maximalist
> > view would sustain the idea, that biblical hebrew antedated the Akkadian,
> > the fact whether saris is or not an Akkadian loan-word uninteresting to
> > pinpoint the bible on the 7th century.
> >
> >Should you try to become more specific, and say saris is a word existing
> > only in the neo-Assyrian begining by the 7th century, than of course its
> > loan ought postdate this evolution within the "Akkadian".
> >
> >Othwerwise we should state frankly, there is no subject for this thread.
> >
> >About Akkadian we speak beginning by the empire of Sargon of Akkade. At
> > which time point did it penetrate into the Hewbrew lexic? Can you make a
> > concrete statement about this time point?
> >
> >Second, Walter´s was that the loanword itself would mark the date of
> > creation of the work, what I doubt. How can you demonstrate the
> > redactional evolution of the work in your sense?
> >
> >All the best,
> >
> >Bányai Michael
> >Stuttgart
> Michael, I am not trying to support Walter here. Probably saris is a
> loan word from Akkadian. But that tells us very little. I don't think we
> can tell when it was loaned. Obviously 8th-7th centuries BCE was a time
> of close contact between Israel and Assyria when the loan might have
> taken place, but there was some contact much earlier. And then, as you
> pointed out so clearly, an earlier text may have been redacted in the
> 8th-7th centuries or later. So this being a loan word does not prove
> that Genesis is late. And conversely, those who wish to defend Genesis
> as earlier have no need to rely on arguments like "we can't be sure that
> this really is a loan word".

This isn't necessarily the only reason to question whether it's a loanword or 
not, and I have no stake whatsoever in whether Genesis is "early" or "late" 
or somewhere in between.  However, there are those who see most everything in 
the HB as being borrowed from somewhere else or someone else in the ANE, as 
if the early Hebrews were the precursors of the Borrowers or something (fans 
of children's books and movies will understand that reference).  So my 
question is, "how was such a consensus (assuming it really is such) arrived 
at?"  Until I know that, I have no way to determine whether someone's 
"research" is accurately based, built on speculation, or circular reasoning 
(e.g. Akkadian is "early" and Genesis is "late" therefore such and such a 
word in Genesis MUST be a loanword from Akkadian, which proves that Genesis 
is "late").  I couldn't care less whether Genesis is "early" or "late"; I do 
care about lexical and other linguistic methodologies.

Dave Washburn
"God does a lot of things in the Psalms
that He can't get away with in systematic theology."

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