[b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Mar 6 16:28:14 EST 2004

On 06/03/2004 12:26, Ken Penner wrote:

>Blau probably is the main representative of the view that QH was not spoken.
>His article in _Diggers at the Well_ concludes,
>"The analysis of the various items in which Qumran Hebrew 
>differs from biblical Hebrew has demonstrated that no proof 
>exists that they reflect a spoken Hebrew dialect used by the
>members of the Qumran sect. Comparison with Middle Arabic
>texts shows that these deviations may as well be due to changes
>that occur in literary texts written in a literary language, no
>longer spoken, owing to various traditions, genres, fashions,
>scribal schools, and personal inclinations. Accordingly , there is
>no justification in abandoning the prevailing view, which explains
>in the simplest and the most convincing way all the details, that
>the main current of the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls reflects
>basically the latest stage of biblical (literary) language, exposed
>to the influence of the spoken vernaculars, viz. Aramaic and
>some sort of Middle Hebrew , which later crystallized as Mishnaic
Thank you, Ken. But note that Blau is NOT saying that Hebrew was a dead 
language at the time, and so he actually SUPPORTS my position. He 
accepts that there was at the time and afterwards a spoken language, 
"some sort of Middle Hebrew, which later crystallized as Mishnaic 
Hebrew", and that the Hebrew of the DSS was influenced by this Hebrew.

I never did claim and never would claim that QH was a spoken language, 
simply because rarely if ever is a written language identical to a 
spoken language. I didn't even claim that the writers of the DSS were 
mother tongue speakers of Hebrew. My claim was simply that QH provides 
evidence for contemporary use of Hebrew as a mother tongue, because it 
was influenced by it. And so I am in complete agreement with Blau.

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

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