[b-hebrew] The lost years of the Hebrew Bible

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Tue Apr 26 10:30:44 EDT 2011


>* From the time the Hebrew Bible was written down until the first
> translations and Hebrew manuscripts they have today, I assume
> there were 500 to 1000 years or more, so how do they know
> during those lost years the people didn't accidentally or
> intentionally make changes to the Hebrew Bible? Do scholars
> just assume that things stayed the same or what? People
> always say scholars follow the evidence, but what if the
> evidence was tampered with?
Kenneth Greifer >


First, this forum is about the language, not the Bible per se.
But it is a fair question. However, that doesn't mean that the
answers will be accessible to all. At some level the 'how and
why' is a discussion among experts.

On the language, experts can examine the internal consistency
of the language, it's possible and probable development, various
epigraphic support throughout the period, and the relationship
with cognate languages along with probable explanations that
can explain the diverging trajectories. However, this only gets
us to the language, not to the integrity of the documents

On the text, we can only "see" back into the Second Temple
period. However, the spelling of the "First Temple Documents"
shows (statistically, not in any one word/sentence) that those
documents were in their approximate shape by the mid-6th
century BCE. Beyond that we are without data.

Randall Buth
Randall Buth, PhD
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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