[b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Mar 3 13:42:05 EST 2004

On Wednesday 03 March 2004 04:41, Peter Kirk wrote:

> >Notice, nowhere do I claim that Hebrew was not
> >spoken fluently by at least a minority elite,
> >just that the evidence pointing to a possible
> >majority of the people speaking Hebrew as
> >their primary language is weak at best.
> The important question here is one you have left open. Do you accept
> that there was a continuing community for which Hebrew was the mother
> tongue? That is what the DSS evidence strongly suggests, at least for
> the period before the destruction of the Temple. And if this did exist,
> it is what makes the significant difference from Latin in the modern
> period.

I'm not sure why you keep saying this.  The DSS are religious documents, and 
according to the prevailing theory they were written by a splinter 
*religious* group that separated from the Temple cult.  The vast majority of 
the documents are biblical texts, which of course would be in Hebrew, and the 
"community" documents set forth religious practices for the group.  So the 
DSS actually seem to argue more in favor of Karl's suggestion.  There are no 
grocery lists, letters from Aunt Bertha, or any such "secular" documents 
among them, which is what would be needed to make them show that Hebrew was a 
"mother tongue" to this group.  They used Hebrew in their religious documents 
and practices, but they also had Targums of the biblical texts including Job 
and Leviticus.  So I really don't think the DSS show what you maintain they 

Dave Washburn
Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list