[b-hebrew] comparative historical linguistics was Re: Nun-Tav-Vet root

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Wed Nov 29 05:08:04 EST 2006

On 28/11/2006 23:55, davidfentonism at aim.com wrote:
>  Since there is not one single biblical Hebrew, given its evolution with some overlapping and the introduction of Aramaic, pre- and-post-exile, I would very much appreciate being edified as to what is meant by "biblical Hebrew" here. I presume it is not being limited to one period and therefore is not limited to one stage of its development.
David, thank you for asking. In this particular case I used "biblical 
Hebrew" in a very specific sense relating to Karl's position, which I 
thought was clear from the context. Karl's position seems to be that the 
Torah was written down by Moses in a form almost identical to the 
consonantal Masoretic text; he has now clarified that he accepts that 
there may have been copying errors and minor orthographic corrections. 
At this point I am using "biblical Hebrew" to refer to the hypothesised 
unchanging language of this unchanging text. This unchangeability of 
course relates only to the consonantal text, and not to the 
vocalisation, sin/shin distinctions etc, which on Karl's hypothesis came 

For what I would personally call biblical Hebrew, I would have to give a 
more nuanced definition to fit with my less simplistic model of the 
development of Hebrew.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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