[b-hebrew] Hebrew as a spoken language

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Oct 25 14:02:03 EDT 2007

On 25 Oct 2007 at 10:34, K Randolph wrote:

> Uri:
> On 10/25/07, Uri Hurwitz <uhurwitz at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >     True, in the second Temple period and later both Aramaic and
> >   Greek became more and more spoken, but Hebrew was still in use.,
> >   (Cf. the Bar Kokhba letters), though it became rarer.
> >
> >     In fact, the houshold of Yehuda the Prince, the redactor of the
> >   Mishnah, c 200 CE was praised in that "even the maid" spoke
> >    Hebrew.
> >
> Are the two paragraphs above not evidence that Hebrew was the "Latin"
> of its time and place?


In addition, I would point out that the Bar Kokhba letters, like the DSS, were produced by a 
small corner of the populace that had a specific purpose in mind; the DSS were religious 
documents, and the BK revolt was fiercely nationalistic.  It would make sense to use Hebrew 
simply to make the movement stand out, and says nothing at all about the general 
population.  So the scant documentation that we do have is equivocal, and really doesn't 
give us a picture of the "man on the street."

Dave Washburn
Why do it right when you can do it again?

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