[b-hebrew] WAYYIQTOL/YIQTOL/WEYIQTOL [was Kamatz katan; ...was: Translating]

rochelle altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Thu Oct 12 04:32:52 EDT 2006

At 01:16 AM 10/11/2006, K Randolph wrote:



>Going back to the example of Latin, it is still a living language in
>that it is still spoken, literature is still written in it, including
>poetry. True, the uses of Latin are but a fraction of how it was used
>400 years ago, but even 400 years ago, no one learned Latin at his
>mother's knee, yet Latin was spoken, literature written in it, some
>international agreements were written in Latin, and if you go 200
>years prior to that, almost everything of importance was written in
>Latin and almost all legal, trade and scholarly discussion was spoken
>in Latin.

Latin was the "lingua franca" in the West right into the 19th-century and 
is still a required language in many fields.. You are comparing apples and 

>Returning to Hebrew, in all of the examples you gave, which one cannot
>be an example of use the same way as Latin is used?

To name just one among those mentioned: The Genizah documents - We can 
hardly expect a wife to write a  letter to her husband complaining about 
his lengthy absence in a dead language, now can we. I have a complete 
listing of all documents from the Genizah that are in Hebrew or Hebrew and 
Aramaic oi Aramaic. It runs abut 400 pages. If you want an exact figure on 
how many are in Hebrew, I'll be going over the list in about a week or so 
and will be delighted to let you know when I have completed compiling the 
information that I need. I can run a check on the Hebrew for you at the 
same time...

>As far as I can remember, I have never said that Hebrew was not
>spoken, rather the evidence I have seen so far is that Hebrew was not
>taught at one's mother's knee, rather that those who spoke it, spoke
>it as a legal, high literature, religious, trade, etc. language, one
>that they learned at school, the same as medieval Latin.

See the Genizah note.  Kvetching about a husband wandering about in a 
personal letter is hardly "legal, high literature, religious, trade, etc. 

>A final question: while the DSS included documents that were old, I
>was always taught that the oldest documents were from about 250 BC.
>That includes those written in Paleo Hebrew script. Is there some new
>information that has come out?

Karl, I never expect anyone to read what I write, but when I have written 
on a subject, then I do expect people to do their homework.

There are a number of problems with the dating schemata devised by Cross. 
One of the most important is that what are actually simultaneous, 
synchronic scripts are stated to be
diachronic, layered as if they were pottery from archaeological sites. This 
"archaeological layering" technique makes it quite impossible to type 
scripts by location. Nevertheless, people did distinguish scripts by 
locale. Script = Identity. The Jericho script design differs from the 
Jerusalem script design. I discuss this and ILLUSTRATE it, too. See, figure 
2 at:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/altmanupdates.htm .

Now, what about the Paleo-Hebraic scripts. The Paleo fragmenmts are in a 
completely different script design from what has been dubbed the late, 
even, Herodian period use of Paleo. First of all, take the design used in 
11QPs.  -- that's the large Psalm scroll -, is a consolidation font. Herod 
was hardly a "consolidator." This fact alone should raise a huge red flag 
about dating that script. I discuss the design of tis script in my guest 
lectures for St. Mary's School of Divinity at St. Andrews.at:


Second, the script design of the Paleo- frags is NOT an archaization; those 
frags are actually archaic. That pushes their date back to at least the 5th 
century and they may be pre-exilic "treasures" that had been safe-guarded 
for centuries..

Next, and this has been mentioned before out here:


The "archaeological layering technique" glosses over all slight differences 
-- not only the different script designs used in different areas, but makes 
it impossible to distinguish hands on a document. There are FOUR hands in 
1QSa and they use the staggering technique, which means that the document 
was (1) the product of a bookshop, and (2) the document was dictated. So, 
with inkwells et al, a bookshop at Qumran is a distinct possibility. BTW, 
it also means that the document is a piece of literature, noit an actual 
rulke for a community.

May I also suggest that you read Writing Systems and Manuscripts  also at 
St. Mary's:


And it wouldn't be amiss to read the articles on the Orion site: "Some 
Aspoects" and the Report on the Zoilos Votive inscription..



>Karl W. Randolph.

Now, although the variant forms are relevant to the topic of this list -- 
after all, the Greek symbol assignments tell us what phoneme was attached 
to what form, I am quite certain that list-members are tired of this 
thread; shall we get back to B-Hebrew?

Best regards,


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