[b-hebrew] exodus, dating of linguistics

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat May 29 16:57:16 EDT 2004

We do, indeed, have some evidence of regional dialectical variation in Iron
Age Israel. Within the Bible itself, there's the famous
"shibboleth/sibboleth" incident. The Samaria Ostraca seem to show that
"Israelean" Hebrew was somewhat different that Judaite Hebrew (for example,
the use of "$T" instead of $NT for "year"). Gary Rendsburg has done some
work on Israelean Hebrew within the Bible. But we should remember, that the
Bible as a whole is a Judahite book, in fact a Jerusalemite one. Most of the
pre-exilic material was composed in 8-6th century Jerusalem, and reflects
the dialect of a very narrow upper class (99% of the people in the ancient
world in general were illiterate). Most of the post exilic material reflects
5-4 century Jerusalem. And even if there were different spoken dialects even
within the land of Judah, most literate people were probably trained in the
same schools and adopted a similar style for writing certain genres.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: "Michael Abernathy" <mabernathy at isot.com>
Cc: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2004 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] exodus, dating of linguistics

> On 29/05/2004 12:38, Michael Abernathy wrote:
> >Peter,
> >I admit that there is more conformity to a written language; however, in
> >English language you continue to find a great deal of diversity in
> >until Webster published a standard dictionary for us to use. ...
> >
> Well, yes, but there is a considerable variety of spelling in the Hebrew
> Bible, and the form which we have is probably the result of some later
> partial standardisation.
> >... I believe you
> >also find that the written language varied considerably until we had the
> >standards of Shakespeare, the printed Bible, and finally a printed
> >Prior to these, the written language reflected the dialect. ...
> >
> Well, yes, prior to the establishment of a literary norm there was
> considerable variability. But once it was established there was much
> more uniformity, in both Hebrew and English, and many other languages
> for that matter. The standard form of a Bible probably had something to
> do with the establishment of uniformity, in both cases as it certainly
> did also in German.
> >... Even now,
> >regional differences can be seen in both written and spoken English.  For
> >example, a small region of southern Ohio refers to the rear storage
> >compartment of a car as a "boot." ...
> >
> As everywhere (as far as I know) in the UK. This is certainly an
> interesting regional variation, perhaps indicating late migration from
> Britain to that area. But would a native of this region use "boot" in a
> written work intended for national circulation? Probably not, as they
> would be aware that this is not the most widespread usage.
> >... Almost everywhere else in the country, it
> >is a "trunk."  I believe it is the same area of the country that
> >calls every soft drink a "pop."  Their neighbors to the east and the west
> >refer to it as a "soda" or a "soda pop."  Given any isolation in time or
> >geography, I expect that we should find that locals used a different
> >vocabulary and when they used the same words spelled those words
> >phonetically according to the local pronunciation.
> >Sincerely,
> >Michael Abernathy
> >I am ready to believe that the Hebrew Bible helped them develop a
> >use for the language.
> >
> >
> >
> Indeed, I have no doubt of this. But it does not imply a single editor
> or a small school of editors as you first suggested. One possible model
> is that the first few books were indeed from such a single source, and
> that later books were written in imitation of the style of these early
> books, which quickly became established as a stylistic model at least
> for this kind of genre.
> --
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
> _______________________________________________
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