[b-hebrew] exodus, dating of linguistics

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jun 2 14:04:54 EDT 2004

On 29/05/2004 19:13, Michael Abernathy wrote:

>      I think you should reconsider your choice of examples. ...

Well, California was not that unique in the 19th century as plenty of 
other places saw massive migration. But I accept that California was not 
the best example, just one that came to me rather quickly, and one which 
you have some familiarity with. If you would like an alternative, 
consider the very gradual changes in the Turkic languages over several 
thousand miles from the Balkans to China. These were actually closer in 
the 19th century than now, because the modernisation of Turkish never 
took place in the more easterly areas. But the migrations of the Turks 
across this area took place many centuries earlier.

>    As for the mobility of the Hebrew people, I seem remember reading
>several articles to the effect that  Galilean Hebrew was dialectically
>different than that of Jersualem both in the Old Testament period and in the
>New Testament period.

Well, it would be interesting to see the details and the evidence given. 
Yes, the apostle Peter's Galilean accent was recognised in Jerusalem in 
the 1st century CE, but a recognisable difference of accent may go along 
with an almost identical literary style.

>Further, I suggested that if the language of the Hebrew Bible was indeed
>uniform, and that there were no editorial process involved, then the work
>would appear to have been written in  very limited chronological and
>geographical limits.  Personally, I don't subscribe to the possibility that
>it was so limited as to eliminate dialectical differences.  I would be more
>prone to think that we simply have a limited ability to recognize those

I continue to reject this conclusion. Firstly, the premise is not true 
as there are differences in style and language. But even if it were 
true, there is nothing to stop skilled authors in later centuries and 
quite different places from deliberately mimicking the style of the 
earlier books. To show this, consider that a skilled writer in America 
could today produce texts which are stylistically identical to 
Shakespeare (I don't say with the same artistic merit), but that does 
not prove that they were written in 16th-17th century England.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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