Dating the Hebrew Bible

exile

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So I've been trying to figure out when the Hebrew Bible was attested. I've done a little reading and it appears that there is a difference morphologically between Archaic Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Dead Sea Scroll Hebrew, and Late Hebrew. I get that there are non-biblical fragments that were written in Archaic Hebrew. But what I don't get is what are our sources for Biblical Hebrew. Is it the Samaritan Bible or the Masoretic Bible? Was there one text (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls, Samaritan Bible, Masoretic Bible) that was written in 2 different forms of Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew and Late Hebrew?
 

wil

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Dating the Hebrew Bible.....give it up exile, I don' think she is your type....

Seriously....the books were oral tradition long before they were put to writing....and it is my understanding they were not compiled as today and cannonized till like 100 bc

Earliest books earliest dates I've seen were around 1100bc and most were 5-600 years later
 

radarmark

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So I've been trying to figure out when the Hebrew Bible was attested.

If you mean “certified” in the sense of becoming canon, the Masoretic Text (the only “Hebrew Bible”) dates, oddly enough, to the age of the Masoretes. The Torah scholars who produced the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmuds (600-1000 CE).

However, the text of what became the Masoretic Text long predates 800 CE.

I believe they just got tired of being told what was in “the Hebrew Bible” by Christians (see a previous post at http://www.interfaith.org/forum/old-testament-canon-15337.html#post266955). Having “canon” is really a latin-greek thing (imho). Shucks, the Masoretic Text includes the recent Daniel (must be before 4QDan at Qumran, about 125BCE, but not 200 or 300 years earlier).

I've done a little reading and it appears that there is a difference morphologically between Archaic Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Dead Sea Scroll Hebrew, and Late Hebrew.

Morphologically? What do you mean? In linguistics it usually in used in connection to word-grouping to form a new word (like in German the real terms are morphemes). Or do you mean "dealing with form" (kind like font substitutions), as in biology?

The first use does not apply because these are all the same language, expressed in different scripts.

“Archaic Hebrew” or “Old Hebrew” or “Paleo-Hebrew” was Hebrew in its earliest written form (a kind of Phoenician-Canaanite Script). “Biblical Hebrew”, including both “Standard” and “Late” versions is the classical script used in (OHMYGOSH!) the Bible or Masoretic Text. The difference between it and “Archaic Hebrew” on one side and “Dead Sea Scroll” Hebrew is really just a difference in fonts (the form of the letters).

The term “Israelian Hebrew” includes all three of these. It is Hebrew as a spoken language between 1000BCE and the time of Jesus. By that time, Aramaic (a kissing cousin of Hebrew, kind like the difference between Croatian and Serbian where the spoken word is understandable to each other over half the time but the written words are in different alphabets) had replaced Israelian Hebrew as the language of the masses. Realize, though that the written forms of Aramaic and Hebrew blend in parts of Ezra (I think), Daniel, and the Talmud. And that Syriac (the language of the Peshitta) is a form of Aramaic alive and well today.

I get that there are non-biblical fragments that were written in Archaic Hebrew. But what I don't get is what are our sources for Biblical Hebrew.

As stated above, “Biblical Hebrew” is the written form of Israelian Hebrew preserved in the Masoretic Text. To make it simple, our source for “Biblical Hebrew” is the “Jewish Bible”.

Is it the Samaritan Bible or the Masoretic Bible?

Major flaw here—there is no Samaritan Bible. Never has been.

You are undoubtedly, but nonetheless, incorrectly referring to the Samaritan Pentateuch. The Pentateuch or Torah or Five Books of Moses exist in both Samaritan and Biblical Hebrew (but they are but a very small part of the Masoretic text). A perfect analogy is Gaths:Yazna::pentateuch:Masoretic Text.

Is that clear?

The existence of the Samaritan Pentateuch means that Torah must have existed before somewhere between the Babylonian Captivity and 150 BCE. The first date is based on the fact that it and Torah are nearly identical and there is no oral tradition of Samaritianism before the Captivity. The latter date is the earliest real, physical evidence (the Samaritan Pentateuch is “virtually” the Septuagint's version), the latest “in toto” version of the Septuagint.

If one puts any credence into oral traditions and fragmentary data, it is likely that the Samaritan schism was 432-332 BCE. That means the Torah must have existed before that date.

Was there one text (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls, Samaritan Bible, Masoretic Bible) that was written in 2 different forms of Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew and Late Hebrew?

“Biblical Hebrew” and “Late Hebrew” (the correct term is Mishnaic Hebrew, the Hebrew of the Talmud) are not two separate languages, like say Hebrew and Aramaic, but another font (morphological or form) change. If one can read Masoretic Hebrew (“Biblical” Hebrew) one can read “Standard Biblical Hebrew” (earliest example about 750 BCE) through the Talmud (1000 CE) to today’s “modern Hebrew” (except for Aramaic or other borrowed words, like the kind that are in Ezra or Daniel above, which, once borrowed have now become Hebrew words).

I realize that is all dry and boring and non-referenced. I am at work right now. If you want I can provide references (not websites, but real, published works).
 

exile

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“Biblical Hebrew” and “Late Hebrew” (the correct term is Mishnaic Hebrew, the Hebrew of the Talmud) are not two separate languages, like say Hebrew and Aramaic, but another font (morphological or form) change.

I don't think so. Archaic Hebrew is morphologically different (words are older in form e.g Gathic Avestan vs. Zend Avestan) than Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew I guess must be morphologically different from Lat Biblical Hebrew. The fonts or writing system is Paleo-Hebrew and that doesn't change from supposedly 1000BCE to 100 CE. So I'm guessing that the Masoretic text (or some other source) is where these two morphologically different versions of Hebrew are attested. I scanned through "The History of the Hebrew Language" and this shows these morphological differences.

If your analogy is correct in that Gathas:Yasnas: Penteteuch: Masoretic text I'm assuming that means the Masoretic text doesn't include the Penteteuch. But if that's the case then what is our source for the Penteteuch?
 

radarmark

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Now, show me one academic or scholarly work that supports you (no websites, please).

As I said, they mean changes in the alphabet (the text or font the words are in) the Israelian Hebrew never changes in a linguistic sense of "morpheme" or "morphology".

No, as the Gathas are part of (within the broader test of) the Yaznas, so the Penteteuch is part of (the first five books of) the Masoretic text.
 

radarmark

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Okay. Yes there is a linguistic morphology component to the study of Hebrew (see Journal of Hebrew Scriptures) this is the study of word formation and pronunciation (actually inflection). Yes, where ancient (what I call Israelian) Hebrew got their words changed, the rules for words-formation changed. No big surprise we are speaking of about 1500 years. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures urges that it is just these series of word construction that help date the fragment. (Hard to have a latin-based word construction an claim the document is circa 100 BCE).

There are linguistic morphological changes in Modern, Spoken Hebrew. Does that make conversational Hebrew in the USA a different Hebrew from the European-derived Hebrew or Sephardi influenced Hebrew from the Beta Israel Hebrew. I don't think so.

Bottom line, yes there are morphological change in a language. That may ultimately "split off" daughter languages. Take Bosnian, Serbia, and Croatian. And while they have had wildly different histories (including alphabets) a trained ear can understand all three.

Find the reference (still) or quote the line in Saenz-Badillos. I do not find a way to infer Classic Biblical Hebrew being a different language from Mishnaic Hebrew (which is what your original claim was).

I still find not one reference for a morphological differentiation of the language 1500 BCE-0 CE. nor did I find him referring to multiple Hebrews.
 

radarmark

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wil, happens all the time everywhere. hidden agendas and ideologies abound. Like when I first moved here (ohio) from an intel position at Kirtland AFB NM. I became cubical mate with some clearances I did not have and we ended up "reading each other in". We were very "sophisticated" and "computer-savy" and "state-of-the art" operations analysts.

One day he just turned to me and asked, "so have you drive the underground highway the greys build from Ft Bliss to White Sands to Sandia to Los Alamos to Aztec Mountain to Las Vegas NV?".

I looked him right in the eye and said "we built a stretch in NM so we did not have to put personnel at risk, it is only a couple of miles long and is used to transport nuclear device. Aztec is not controlled by greys. There are no operational flying saucers stationed north of Las Vegas."

"Notice I did not hedge or say I cannot comment about it (we did have some of those need to know issues)."

Believe it or not, he just smiled tisked, wagged his finger, and said, "thanks for confirming it." He went on to become a big UFOlogist.

Did not need to ask questions, the greys had talked to him.
 

wil

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hee hee....awfully interesting that folks who think there are these extensive tunnels think anyone would drive in them....

the ones I've been going from DC to WV are like drive-up bank tubes....
 

exile

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Okay. Yes there is a linguistic morphology component to the study of Hebrew (see Journal of Hebrew Scriptures) this is the study of word formation and pronunciation (actually inflection).

Find the reference (still) or quote the line in Saenz-Badillos. I do not find a way to infer Classic Biblical Hebrew being a different language from Mishnaic Hebrew (which is what your original claim was).

I still find not one reference for a morphological differentiation of the language 1500 BCE-0 CE. nor did I find him referring to multiple Hebrews.

So are you saying that Biblical Hebrew and Mishnaic Hebrew is morphologically identical?

Saenz-Badillos speaks of original forms and how there different from later forms. But where do these original forms in Biblical Hebrew come from? Archaic Hebrew was the language of I guess non-biblical fragments for the most part. But was one section of the Hebrew Bible written in using original forms and other sections written using later forms? And which texts are being used to determine this? The Samaritan or Masoretic texts. It's not the the Dead Sea Scrolls is it? I take it the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in Hebrew that is distinct morphologically from Biblical Hebrew and Late Hebrew or am I wrong?
 

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pg. 57, 71, and 85 in "The History of the Hebrew Language" discusses morphological differences and pg. 69 discusses phonological differences.
 

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Greek and Latin transcriptions represent an earlier stage of Hebrew than the Masoretic text pg. 86
 

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I gotta say my linguistic know-how is limited, but they sure don't make it easy to understand the linguists behind the Hebrew language. I didn't have this much trouble studying the Indo-European languages.

I can make an analogy to the Iranian languages: Gathic Avestan the language of the Gathas is more archaic structurally than Zend Avestan the language of the non-Gathic Yasnas, Khorda Avesta, and Visperad and Zend Avestan is more archaic than Artificial Avestan the language of the Vendidad and all this Avestan is more archaic than Old Persian the language of Acheamenid inscriptions, so on and so forth. The word-phrase Mazda Ahura in Gathic Avestan, for example, becomes Ahuramazda in Old Persian.

The linguistic differences in Hebrew do not appear to be only paleographic differences, and there appears to be other linguistic differences, structural differences, such as morphological differences which show archaisms , but that is pretty much all I can discern. It's not clear to me, however, what our sources for these archaisms are. Sources for Biblical Hebrew that I know of is the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Bible, and the Masoretic Bible, and other later versions. So were these texts attested in both Classical Biblical Hebrew and Late Biblical Hebrew (maybe even Archaic Hebrew), I don't know. Would anyone care to speak on this?
 

radarmark

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Depends on what you are looking for. Just look up anything by Rendsburg of Cornell or Heltzer at Haifa.

What you will not find (because it is not there) is some division of Israelian Hebrew into different languages. Yes, there are differences classical biblical Hebrew to Mishnaic Hebrew (like there are between American and British English), they are much less than those between Chaucer and modern English). My sister could sit down and read Chaucer cold, the first time, most of us cannot. There is far less variance in the linguistic, structural, and morphological differences across written Isrealian Hebrew (1000BCE to 200CE, covering, please note all the "Hebrew Languages" you mention). The only differences one finds from Classical Biblical to Mishnaic Hebrew are differences scholars have found (mainly after they began studying it to provide a basis for Modern Hebrew) to Jews, they were just variances in the language, since they learned all the forms at one time.

The "Jewish Bible" is written in Biblical Hebrew and it is the Masoretic Bible. Merely use wiki, this is not hard. You will find noting indicating anything else. PERIOD! The Dead Sea Scrolls, the (FALSELY NAMED) "Samaratan Bible", even the Septuagint have nothing to do with the Masoretic text. And nothing to do with Judaism.

If what you are looking for is something that dates the Bible in Hebrew (that which became the Masoretic test) from these sources you will not find it, believing it exists is just an exercise in frustration.

You will not find your answers on the web (probably), use a library and get the classical references (including all the ones you got your notions from and order them as inter-library loans). Do like I do, find a good school of religion (U of Dayton) and peruse copies of AHRC or SBL or JPS publications (probably some of what you have found, which, I remind you you have never produced). Or go to the source, ask a Rabbi or a Jesuit with Hebrew skills.

Let me state it real clearly once more. The Pentateuch (Torah, five books of Moses) date from at least the time of the Samaritan schism at the time of the Babylonian Captivity. The words that became the Masoretic text date at least from the time of the Septuagint (and since it was already "the revealed text", probably from sometime long before with a couple of late-comers like Daniel and Ezra). The Masoretic text dates form the time of the Talmud and is merely a collection and canonization (not really, but is the equivalent of church canonization), probably in response to the proliferation of Christian "Old Testament" books (like Maccabees) that Christians kept saying were "the real old testament". As much as I dislike the theology and ideology of Luther, in this much he was right, if one wants to claim continuity with Judaism, you must use their Old Testament (the Masoretic text).

SUMMARY: look up the references, even start with wiki and you can only verify the objective truth of this post. There is no conspiracy hiding the development of the Masoretic text nor is there any proof that all these different Hebrews you go on about were different languages.
 

radarmark

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I have ordered Saenz-Badillos, Blau, Horowitz, and Yaeni via inter-library loan. After I have skimmed them I shall return. I do not think I will find anything to contradict what I have stated: "there is only one Isrealian Hebrew, while there are evolutionary changes, it is one language circa 1000BCE to 200CE."

That is my thesis and will report back.
 

radarmark

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One last point, I was Jewish by birth (not choice). Rabin's "A Short History of The Hebre Language", while somewhat dated (40 years or so) is, in my humble opinion, still pretty dang good as a reference (and you can get the whole thing on the web).

I could (and probably could again, if I cared to) read anything from "Classic Biblical Hebrew" to "Mishatic text" (Talmud). I did not learn a difference.

Everything (I think) exile refers to are minor thing we learned in Hebrew School (like the substitution of SH for S or the even newer TH for SH). Do they make a difference to the meaning? NO! Do the indicate a "separate Language" (what I believe exile is creating in his head). NO! Stay tuned when the references come in.
 

exile

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One last point, I was Jewish by birth (not choice). Rabin's "A Short History of The Hebre Language", while somewhat dated (40 years or so) is, in my humble opinion, still pretty dang good as a reference (and you can get the whole thing on the web).

I could (and probably could again, if I cared to) read anything from "Classic Biblical Hebrew" to "Mishatic text" (Talmud). I did not learn a difference.

Everything (I think) exile refers to are minor thing we learned in Hebrew School (like the substitution of SH for S or the even newer TH for SH). Do they make a difference to the meaning? NO! Do the indicate a "separate Language" (what I believe exile is creating in his head). NO! Stay tuned when the references come in.

Looking forward to what you discover, because yeah I'm confused about it. I thought we agreed there were morphological differences which would mean some words from some text are more archaic than the cognate words in some text. Maybe there are just different dialects, but Saenz-Badillos distinguishes between original forms and what I apparently are not original forms which point to an earlier and later stages of the Hebrew language.

These archaisms (older Hebrew language) if they exist, must have something to do with how the Hebrew Bible is dated and the dating system is not dependent on paleographic evidence.
 

exile

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The author of this site The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament sounds pretty wild, but what he's saying sounds similar to what Saenz-Badillos says about Greek forms of Hebrew in the Septuagint showing an earlier stage of Hebrew. To answer my own question it looks like the Masoretic text is the source for most of the Hebrew forms that we know of today (though the author doesn't put the Hebrew of the Dead Sea scrolls into perspective, and he doesn't say anything about the Samaritan pentateuch). Also from what I can gather the Paleo-Hebrew writing system was used for the Hebrew fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it wasn't the writing system used for the Masoretic text which was written much later in the 9th-11th century CE. The writing system that was used for the Masoretic text was, I think Aramaic. It's also interesting to note that the Septuagint and not Hebrew sources were used by authors who have made our earliest references to the Hebrew Bible (OT). Authors like Josephus and Philo and I guess also authors of the New Testament.
 

radarmark

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No, the Masoretic text is the Hebrew text, period. Just read the first line of Masoretic Text - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I so far have found not one academic text that contradicts by thesis that there is only one Isrealian Hebrew, while there are evolutionary changes, it is one language circa 1000BCE to 200CE."

"Greek forms" are loan words. We have many, many copies of the Hebrew text prior to the Masoretic text (the Sepuagint and the Qumran fragments).

Why do you believe that the "Hebrew text" mysteriously just appeared in "aramaic" in the 800-1000s? Neat idea, no proof.
 
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