[b-hebrew] Linguistic Dating

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 22:49:34 EDT 2007


On 10/29/07, George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au> wrote:
> Karl Randolph wrote:
> > The book of Ruth, though it is a simple
> > narrative, shows linguistic evidence of
> > pre-Exile authorship, possibly David or
> > before.
> Actually, dating a book on linguistic grounds is very perilous indeed.
> The old distinction between Early Biblical Hebrew (EBH) and Late
> Biblical Hebrew (LBH) can no longer be sustained on chronological
> factors. They are distinct types of Hebrew, yes. However, close
> analysis reveals that both existed at the same time. You can find
> features of both types of Hebrew in books associated with both the
> pre-exilic and post-exilic eras. In other words, they were
> contemporary of each other, one being perhaps the more conservative
> (EBH) and the other a bit freer (LBH). But we probably need to find
> some new terminology to talk about these types of Hebrew.
> Look out for a book on this topic next year by Young & Rezetko, and a
> follow-up volume by Young, Rezekto & Ehrensvärd.
> Best Regards,
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774
Wouldn't part of it be how the authors date the books in question?

When the so-called Johoash stone made its appearance, my first
reaction was that it didn't feel right. Then I looked over at the
parts that didn't feel right and tried to verbalize why it didn't feel

In the same way, I have not made a detailed study of the differences,
but there is a turn of phrase, a spelling here or there, adding up to
a different feeling than when I read Esther or Nehemiah, but more like
what I'll find in Genesis or Numbers. or other early books. But if one
takes the dates of books as assigned by many modernist scholars, all
of that is lost.

So how do those authors date the books?

Karl W. Randolph.

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