[b-hebrew] John Gill and his dissertation - the Death blow?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Mar 29 12:42:54 EST 2005

On 27/03/2005 15:40, wattswestmaas wrote:

>Would it then be a thoroughly correct and empirical statement to INSIST that
>there is no reasonable  argument in existence that can even suggest the
>possibility that either vowel pointing or square script was being used in
>the time that Moses wrote (or his personal scribe) wrote hebrew.
>Do scholars have access to sufficient documentation that safely precludes
>such INSISTENCE that a possibility might arise to the contrary.
In these matters very little can be proved absolutely, as arguments from 
silence are never completely certain.

But, assuming that you are dating Moses some time well before 1000 BC, 
he was writing several centuries before the date of the earliest known 
inscriptions using anything remotely like the square script, and before 
a time when it is well demonstrated that the Israelites were using the 
archaic Hebrew (or palaeo-Hebrew) script.

And he was writing about 2000 years before the earliest known examples 
of vowel pointing, so I think it is fairly safe to conclude that he 
would not have used vowel pointing, at least in anything like its modern 
form. (I say that last phrase because I would not want to rule out 100% 
that he originally used cuneiform in a way analogous to the Amarna 
tablets, which do indicate vowels although not as pointing. But we have 
no evidence for such usage, no surviving tablets that could conceivably 
linked to Moses or the Pentateuch.)

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

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