[b-hebrew] Hebrew as a Spoken Language vs. Aramaic

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Oct 26 16:30:14 EDT 2007



On 26 Oct 2007 at 17:09, Ken Penner wrote:

> For the record, I agree that Hebrew was a spoken language in
> first-century Judea. I just wanted to correct the impression made by a
> couple of statements, one by Dave Washburn, and one by Yishmor. 
> 
> Dave wrote:
> 
> > It is widely accepted that "Hebrew" in these passages refers 
> > to Aramaic.  See the commentaries.  Also, Jesus' cry on the 
> > cross was clearly Aramaic.
> 
> The first two sentences above are true, but that is because the
> majority of NT scholars are not up-to-date with their study of the
> history of Hebrew. They generally perpetuate theories developed over a
> hundred years ago (largely by Dalman, using the best data and research
> available at that time), i.e., before Segal's study, and before the
> discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Fair enough, but to the best of my knowledge these theories have not been firmly displaced.  
Again, I suggest that the DSS tell us nothing about Hebrew as a common language of the 
era.
 
> Dave's last point that Jesus' cry was "clearly" Aramaic is not quite
> so clear if one looks beyond the critical editions of the New
> Testament to the manuscripts themselves. But in any case, that cry was
> not called "Hebrew," and we're not arguing about whether Jesus could
> speak Aramaic. 

I've looked at the manuscripts themselves, in fact my Bachelor's thesis was on NT textual 
criticism.  But as you say, getting into that would take us far afield of the topic, so if we 
choose to discuss it we should probably do so off-list.

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



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