[b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Sat Mar 6 17:08:19 EST 2004

On Saturday 06 March 2004 14:28, Peter Kirk wrote:
> 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
> >Hebrew."
> 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.

Could you clarify the difference, in your view, between a "spoken language" 
and a "mother tongue"?  Even supposing that a written language tends to be 
somewhat different than a spoken one, I would think that certain elements, 
especially grammatical and lexical, would generalize across both the spoken 
form and the writen form.  I get the feeling I'm not fully understanding some 
of your terms here, which is probably my fault...

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

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