[b-hebrew] Early and late biblical Hebrew

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Thu Nov 24 18:37:28 EST 2011

David Steinberg:

1.  In a short article on the Internet, “Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts“, Ian Young rhetorically remarks:  

“Once it is admitted that the language of the biblical texts has been changed in scribal transmission, the claim that the language of the current texts is evidence of the date of the original authors is thrown into serious doubt.”

Do you agree?

2.  Ian Young considers, and often attacks/refutes, the following possible bases for dating a Biblical text:

(a)  Presence of Early Biblical Hebrew linguistic features

(b)  Presence of Late Biblical Hebrew linguistic features

(c)  Presence of Persian loanwords

(d)  Presence of Aramaic features.

You will note that Ian Young  n-e-v-e-r  considers whether the presence of Hurrian proper names should be given any consideration whatsoever in dating a Biblical text.  He doesn’t even refute such an idea.  Why?  Why are university scholars so certain, apparently without ever having given the matter a moment’s thought, that the presence of Hurrian proper names should be totally ignored for all purposes in dating a Biblical text?  When I mention the presence of 6 Hurrian-based names for the Hurrians at Genesis 15: 19-21, why isn’t that at least worth considering as a factor in dating the composition of the Patriarchal narratives?  In particular, if Qa-a-ni-ya/QYN-Y and Qa-ni-zi-ya/QN-Z-Y at Genesis 15: 19 are the only two names in the entire Bible that are Akkadian-based names with Hurrian characteristics, why isn’t that a critical clue in dating the Patriarchal narratives?

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois

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