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

Ken Penner ken.penner at acadiau.ca
Mon Oct 29 09:47:36 EDT 2007

In response to Dave's position: 

> Again, I suggest that the DSS tell us nothing about Hebrew as 
> a common language of the era.

The official publication of the DSS would suggest they do: E. Qimron, "The Language," Qumrân Cave 4.V: Miq?at Ma?ase Ha-Torah (DJD 10; Clarendon: Oxford, 1994), 78-80.

Also, Mark Smith examined the time reference of the waw-consecutive verbs in a broad selection of Qumran texts (Pesharim, Rule of the Community, Rule of the Congregation, Rule of Benedictions, War Scroll, Temple Scroll, and Halakhic Letter). He concluded that two usages of tenses (literary and spoken) existed in both Biblical and Qumran Hebrew: the literary form preserved the use of the (past) waw-consecutive, and the spoken form discarded it.  (M. Smith, The Origins and Development of the Waw-Consecutive; "Converted and Unconverted Perfect and Imperfect Forms in the Literature of Qumran," BASOR 284 (1991):1-16; and "4Q462: A Preliminary Edition," Revue de Qumrân 15 (1991-2): 55-77.)


Ken M. Penner, Ph.D. (McMaster)
Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic vocabulary memorization software: 

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