[b-hebrew] Moses' writing? [was: The New Testament]

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Oct 26 03:13:50 EDT 2006


Was ancient Israel illiterate? Or did the use of a phonetic alphabet
allow the use of basic literacy to permeate the whole society? I
always thought it was the latter.

When Moses wrote the Torah book, there were no walls to display it on.
And except for the copy that Joshua had made on the mountainside,
there continued to be no walls at the judicial center of the country
until Solomon, hundreds of years after Torah was written. So could the
absence of tablets from Biblical period Jewish sources be evidence
that Jews of that period did not have that tradition? Even the two
tablets of the treaty were made to be hidden away in a box, not
displayed publicly. And the Siloam inscription was basically workman's

Karl W. Randolph.

On 10/24/06, rochelle altman <willaa at netvision.net.il> wrote:
> Karl...
> [snip]
> > > You want to see the evidence? Remember, I've been collecting this stuff for
> > > more than 50 years...there are hundreds of examples just from the ANE and
> > > down through the 1st century BCE... when we get to CE, we get into the
> > > millions.  There are more than 250,000 examples in one Late Medieval
> > > cemetery -- can't use all of them now can I. You'll have to wait until I
> > > finish organizing the blurry book on the subject  -- this i going to take a
> > > lot of picking and choosing to fit into a single volume -- and then finish
> > > writing it up to see the evidence for yourself.. I've given you a few
> > > examples to look at so you get an idea.
> > >
> >One source stands out by its absence, namely tablets of Biblical
> >period Jewish origin.
> Boy, wouldn't we love to have some. We're lucky to find bits and pieces as
> it is... and every time something does turn up, it's decried as either a
> forgery or late post-exilic.Folks don't recognize a consolidated script,
> how do you expect them to recognize a consolidated text? On the latter, we
> get quellenscheidung -- as if a subject doesn't have its own vocabulary.
> But what we really have are two different traditions consolidated into one
> text... and that was not done post-exilic.That's the type of text we find
> under a consolidating monarchy. It sure isn't the first example, nor the
> last...oldest example I've run across is under Sargon I of Sumer and Akkad.
> .. as usual, he used religion.
> Now, the closest thing we have to examples of the original 10C are the
> Paleo- frags among the DSS. You see, from the format of the Leviticus
> scroll, it was taken down from a wall tablet.
> Point is: law codes, proclamations, and such like -- all issued under a god
> --  were displayed either on large stelae or on large tablets arranged as
> wall displays. The Egyptians did it, too.
> Do recall that Moshe displays the tablets to the crowd and the text is
> pronounced out loud. SOP back then:.display, call for attention, read it
> out. Why? Because a person was only liable for breaking a law if he or she
> had heard it. And, please, don't start on this aspect: it is very well
> known and attested right on down the centuries. It's what is done with
> illiterate populations.Hear ye, hear ye.
> Course, if one insists that people could just up and do things differently
> from what the general population recognizes as authoritative and still be
> accepted....
> > > Incidentally, if you want to know where the double tablet comes from, look
> > > at Syrian MSS, then Gothic, and then the Amianitus from the 8th CE.
> > >
> > > Now, shall we get back to BH?
> > >
> >My question about Moses was back to BH.
> Not really; this list is about questions on the language
> > > risa,
> > > Dr. Rochelle. I. Altman
> >
> >By the way, where did you get the idea of sapphire cubes you mentioned
> >to Yitzhak? He didn't say anything of the sort, at least not publicly,
> >nor is there any Biblical Hebrew source for that.
> OF course there isn't. Once again, the subject of what script and what
> material was used for the 10C has a good sized literature. Sapphire cubes
> happens to be one of them..
> Now enough; people want to talk about the language, not the methods of
> putting it there or how those words would be displayed.
> risa

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