[b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 12:51:41 EST 2010


On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 7:08 AM, fred burlingame <tensorpath at gmail.com>wrote:

> hello karl;
> how, when and by whom the biblical hebrew language was consumed bear
> intimate relevance to the purposes of this forum, your inability to see it,
> notwisthstanding. perhaps your wish not to see it.

Then your 10 AD date is clearly irrelevant, as Biblical Hebrew was written
mostly to a people who learned Biblical Hebrew at their mothers’ knees and
used it in the marketplace.

A few of the late books were written to a people who had studied Hebrew and
used it in official documents and communications with other Jews, even when
they used it only as a second language as Aramaic was their primary

> and it's not my conclusion that the isaiah scroll would have been read
> in hebrew language and then in aramaic language in the synagogue in 10 a.d.,
> galilee. because the congregation understood no longer the hebrew language.
> jack's learned comments implied and/or stated that conclusion.

You misread Jack’s comments. The reader would read the Hebrew text expecting
his hearers to understand at least the gist of the reading, then expound on
the text in the same manner as a sermon with that sermon being in Aramaic.
An example of that is Jesus’ reading of Isaiah in the synagog, then sitting
down and not rereading it in Aramaic, rather expounding on what he had just

> my conclusion = aramaic, being the language of the congregation's bitter
> and historic enemies (just like the arab speaking people today), would no
> more have darkened the doorstep of the 10 a.d. synagogue ... than the arab
> language darkens the doorsteop of the 2010 a.d., synagogue ... in galilee.

Aramaic was a language of resistance to the Hellenization started under
Alexander, and continued under the Romans. Therefore it did not have the
cachet of an enemy tongue in 10 AD. Yet most Jews knew at least a smattering
of Greek, many were fluent, and many spoke Greek rather than Aramaic as
their primary language.

Your conclusion has no basis in history or fact.

> regards,
> fred burlingame
> If you want to discuss how Tanakh was “consumed”, then you need to go back
to the primary audience at the times the books were written. The evidence
from the DSS is that Tanakh predates the Roman era, and internal evidence
(vocabulary, figures of speech, etc) indicate much earlier.

How people “consumed” Tanakh much later has no relevance on how it was
written, nor on the language in which it was written.

Karl W. Randolph.

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