[b-hebrew] John Gill's Dissertation

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Mar 26 14:29:41 EST 2005


While I have not read Gill, the claim that the "square" script is actually
the "original" Hebrew script does appear in rabbinic sources. While the
rabbis were aware of the paleo-Hebrew script, they also considered the text
of the Torah that they knew to be exactly the same text as that given by God
to Moses - to the very shapes of the letters. For example, there is a
tradition that the Tablets were "carved through" by God Himself - all the
way through the stone. This would mean that the centers of the Samekh and
the Final Mem "stood in the air", which was considered to be miraculous. But
in the paleo-Hebrew script, there were no final letters, and the Samekh did
not have a "center" - the Ain did instead. So one idea suggested, was that
the Israelites were "punished" after they worshipped the golden calf and had
their script "replaced" by what the rabbis called "da'ats" (paleo-Hebrew).
The "original" script was the "returned" in the days of Ezra.

Does Gill quote this midrash?

Yigal
 ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2005 1:51 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] John Gill's Dissertation
>
>
> > Dear Chris:
> >
> > John Gill did the same thing that the present documentary hypothesis
> advocates do: in the absence of physical evidence either pro or con,
> speculate based on preconcieved presuppositions.
> >
> > John Gill lost me in his first chapter, where he tried to prove that the
> Aramaic square characters with the points were the original Hebrew
alphabet,
> one that goes back to Adam. From archeology, we now can say that Torah
most
> likely was written using proto-Sinaitic glyphs, the prophets using archaic
> Hebrew glyphs, with even variations among them, and the square characters
> being adopted only a little over 2000 years ago. Gill's argument is
> impressive, but speculation upon speculation.
> >
> > It is stuff like this that makes me insist on physical evidence, the DSS
> is one example of such, as the minimum standard before I will accept any
> claim that contradicts the internal dates as recognized by attestation
where
> applicable, and style or internal evidence (e.g. Kings, Chronicles).
> >
> > Sure, I can speculate with the best, but who will such speculations
> convince?
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: wattswestmaas <wattswestmaas at eircom.net>
> >
> > >
> > > It shall be nice for once to be able to contribute to this forum
instead
> of
> > > draining you all of brain power so here is an offer.
> > >
> > > I noticed that some months ago there was a discussion about the
> Masoretes
> > > and vowel pointing.  I realise that this is a subject of debate in
some
> > > circles and that someone gave information about John Gill who wrote a
> > > lengthy dissertation in 1767 on "The antiquity of the hebrew language
> and
> > > vowel pointing".   If anyone is interested I can save them money and
> trouble
> > > by emailing them this work via word.doc as an attachment.
> > >
> > > regards, Chris Watts. Ireland.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
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> >
>





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