[b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Sat Dec 25 22:14:09 EST 2010

Hello Randall:

uh oh ...

the second most controversial statement about all biblical hebrew language
("BH"), buried in a polite and subtle statement you make at the end of your
post ....; essentially to wit:

the nice funeral for BH, as a commonly used and spoken language on the
streets of galilee, erred; BH survived and prospered via its successor
mishnaic hebrew.

how can this be? it's one thing to breezily and easily dismiss fred's
suggestions to that effect; it's quite another, when the credentialed
experts start making noises in that direction.


fred burlingame

On Sat, Dec 25, 2010 at 7:26 PM, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com> wrote:

> >> shalom Jack,
> >
> > shlama Randall
> yisga shlamax
> >
> ...
> >> You're a little too accepting here. Finding a Greek prophet scroll
> >> doesn't lead you to posit Greek as the common language of Judea, does
> >> it? Isn't it preferable to ask its pedigree, where it originated, and
> >> what it was doing there? Ditto for Aramaic Job.
> >> Muraoka showed that the Qumran Job targum appears to have come from
> >> the East. Muraoka, 1974. Hardly surprising.
> >
> > As you know, Ed Cook's review of Muraoka in "Qumran Aramaic and Aramaic
> > Dialectology" shows that the basis for the Eastern origin is flawed.
> > Cook, Edward M. “Qumran Aramaic and Aramaic Dialectology.” Pages 1-21 in
> > Studies in Qumran Aramaic. Abr-Nahrain Supplement 3. Edited by T.
> Muraoka.
> > Louvain:
> > Peeters, 1992.
> >
> Yes, but you must read the fineprint. Ed pointed out that most of
> Takamitsu's criteria referred to spelling and thus did not reveal what
> the actual features of the (spoken) dialect were. However, an Eastern
> spelling is still an Eastern spelling, which supports Muraoka's
> observations about an Eastern provinance for the document. Even if it
> turns out that the leather is local and it was a local copy job (I
> haven't checked), it would still show the pedigree of its exemplar
> from outside.
> >
> >> As for me, I would not accept the Genesis Apocryphon as a translation
> >> like what you see in the LXX, or even Onkelos. But if you are
> >> expanding the canon for a rewrite like Genesis Apocrypohon, you could
> >> add Aramaic Tobit. (Now I am pretty sure from the features of the
> >> language that Tobit was first written in Hebrew. But if you posit
> >> Aramaic, then the Hebrew 'targum' to Tobit becomes evidence in exactly
> >> the opposite direction that you are arguing.)
> >...
> > When it comes down to it, its rather simple for me. A
> > Targum is a translation, interpretation or paraphrase of a portion of the
> > Hebrew Tanakh into Aramaic and its purpose was to be read to the common
> > people in their common language.  For the Targums of Job, the Targum of
> > Leviticus and the Genesis Apocryphon, they all look, waddle and sound
> like
> > ducks to me.  They are translations, interpretations (the meaning of the
> > Aramaic word Targum) or paraphrases.
> Well, we differ greatly on this. The Genesis Apocryphon does not
> 'waddle' like someone needing a translation from Hebrew but from someone
> interested in interpreting the Hebrew and updating it to a more modern
> time, and either doing that in a language that will not compromise the
> integrity
> of the original and/or provide for a wider audience across the whole
> ancient
> Near East, and/or possible fitting in with the Enoch literature
> traditions. No one considers the Genesis Apocryphon to be even closely
> equivalent in style to
> the Aramaic Job at Qumran. (I don't really 'buy' the third reason that I
> listed
> here, since books like Jubilees were in Hebrew. the middle reason is the
> least contentious--providing a new book accessible thru the whole Near
> East.
> This is contrary to what Josephus did in writing to the galut in Hebrew.)
> > Ecclesiatical Latin (like Late Biblical Hebrew)
> > continued to develop in the Vatican and monasteries (like Qumran) but the
> > guy watering the lawn spoke Italian. ...
> >Similarly, pre-Mishnaic Hebrew acquires Aramaic loan
> > words with little loans to Judean Aramaic.
> Actually, the Latin analogy breaks down, since Mishnaic Hebrew was the
> "Italian" of a Hebrew diglossia a long time (millenium) before an
> ecclesiastical
> Hebrew developed with Rashi and co-temps.
> ...
> > It would seem that Job was special to the Aramaic speaking public as the
> > Enochian literature was to the Covenanters, most in Aramaic.  Even the
> > Genesis Apocryphon has correlations with Jubilees.  ...
> > Why would Job be important to the anwe ha-arets?
> It's good for you to start speculating, but why limit your thinking to
> the "Land"?
> LXX comes from Egypt, maybe Greek Job, too, with its use of Aramaic
> for its work. Qumran Aramaic Job still appears to be an import, even
> if it cannot tell us what the actual Eastern dialects sounded like.
> You might consider, while thinking about this, the peculiar dialect of
> the Hebrew Job source. That may play a major role in its
> unique popularity in translation in antiquity.
> ...
> >> Jack, if you've looked at all of the graffitti, you've surely noticed
> >> the Hebrew ones.
> >
> > In the 1st century?  I would be very interested in examples.
> Read through your RaHmani for starters. E.g., note the differences of
> words like isha/eshet versus itteta/ittat
> ...
> > It is now accepted by the majority of scholarship that Aramaic was the
> > common language of the 2nd temple period.  I no longer have the uphill
> > battle I had 20 years ago.
> > There is no evidence whatsoever that ordinary
> > people spoke Hebrew in the late 2nd temple period.
> that's funny.
> I'll be sure to remind most of those engaged in actual research and
> publication of mishnaic Hebrew and Judean Aramaic. Unfortunately,
> James Barr is no longer with us, who lamented 20 years ago that NT
> scholarship had not really digested the language discoveries that were
> being made by mishnaic Hebrew specialists.
> blessings le-shana ezraHit tova
> And a be-lated
> yom huledet sameaH be-hasigka seva,
> seva tova.
> Randall Buth
> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
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