--- Marc Turnage <marcturnage@...
> Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 09:48:19 -0800 (PST)
> From: Marc Turnage <marcturnage@...>
> Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Hebrew parables
> To: notley@...
> Jack Poirier wrote:
> "Their motivation, of
> course, was the ideologically freighted contention
> that all matters
> connected to the Torah must be formulated in the
> language. That
> the Mishnah, which is representative of the
> ideology of
> second-, third-, and fourth-century Palestinian
> rabbinic leadership..."
> Notley has already noted the linguistic difference
> between Mishnaic Hebrew and biblical Hebrew, as well
> as the dialectical nature of Mishnaic Hebrew as
> evidenced by the Aramaisms in the language. I would
> also add the number of Grecisms that penetrate into
> Mishnaic Hebrew indicate the colloquial and
> dialectical nature of the language--incidentally
> was a linguistic intrusion avoided by the Qumran
> community who sought to reflect a more biblical
> dialect and idiom. Given both the Aramaisms and the
> Grecisms that appear in Mishnaic Hebrew it would
> evident that we are dealing with a trilingual land.
> Moreover, your suggestion that rabbinic literature
> undergone a wholesale linguistic censor does not
> fit with the evidence of the Mishnah, which
> some sages sayings (e.g., Jose ben Yoezer and Hillel
> the Elder) in Aramaic. Furthermore, it has already
> been noticed that within Mishnaic Hebrew one can
> observe linguistic development moving from Hebrew
> to late-biblical Hebrew into a clearly distinct
> "Mishnaic" Hebrew. This would hardly seem possibly
> likely if a select group of scholars sat down to
> the language of the sages teachings.
> Also, on a methodological note, not one Aramaic (or
> may add Hebrew) text or inscription appears in
> excavations from the Galilee in the first century.
> While texts and inscriptions appear in Greek,
> and Aramaic the south from the first century. While
> it has been sugested that Hebrew held on in the
> as evidenced by both Josephus' and Paul's address of
> the Jerusalem mob in Hebrew in order to be
> by the population of the city, scholars have
> maintained that Aramaic and Greek were the only
> languages in the Galilee. In order to support this
> suggestion, however, they must appeal to 2nd, 3rd,
> 4th century materials ignoring the fact that all
> evidence points to social shifts and upheavals in
> Galilee after the Bar Kochba revolt in the second
> century C.E. Moreover, isn't this trying to do with
> the material remains what NT scholarship has
> with the literary evidence of early Tannaitic
> literature? Our only witness to the linguistic
> of the land of Israel in the first century
> the Galilee) comes from the literary sources.
> Ironically, although appearing in later rabbinic
> texts, the language of most of the Tannaim of the
> first century who originated from the Galilee is in
> Marc Turnage
> --- "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...> wrote:
> > Steven Notley wrote:
> > > I would be interested in knowing your
> > understanding of what motivated
> > the Jewish
> > > community en bloc to translate every single one
> > of these early
> > "Aramaic" parables to
> > > Hebrew (even in otherwise Aramaic contexts),
> > the development of
> > the language
> > > after the Bar Kokhba revolt clearly points us
> > the direction of
> > transition to Aramaic
> > > (and away from Hebrew), not the reverse.
> > Steve,
> > First, I would debate your contention that "the
> > development of the
> > language after the Bar Kokhba revolt clearly
> > us in the direction
> > of transition to Aramaic (and away from Hebrew)."
> > Scholarship is
> > sharply divided on what effect the Bar Kokhba
> > had on the
> > vernacular of Jewish Palestine: Segal, Rabin, and
> > Gafni all think that
> > Aramaic came more into prominence after the
> > but Yadin and Ros�n
> > have argued the opposite view: that the Bar Kokhba
> > revolt brought about
> > a shift from Aramaic to Hebrew. I personally
> > think the revolt had
> > much effect at all: I think that there was a shift
> > from Aramaic to
> > Hebrew, but that it actually occurred much later.
> > As for what motivated the "Jewish community en
> > to translate" all
> > the parables, I would first point out that we
> > dealing with the
> > "Jewish community en bloc" but only with a very
> > small portion of it: the
> > leaders of the fledgeling rabbinic movement.
> > motivation, of
> > course, was the ideologically freighted contention
> > that all matters
> > connected to the Torah must be formulated in the
> > holy language. That
> > the Mishnah, which is representative of the
> > linguistic ideology of
> > second-, third-, and fourth-century Palestinian
> > rabbinic leadership, was
> > compiled in a language that sometimes differed
> > the native language
> > of its component traditions has been argued by
> > Catherine Hezser: e.g.,
> > "If informal and private written notes existed,
> > language of these
> > notes may have been Aramaic rather than Hebrew.
> > This phenomenon may be
> > indicated by Y. Kil. 1:1, 27a, where an Aramaic
> > of various kinds of
> > produce allegedly written 'on the wall' (of the
> > house or study room?) of
> > Hillel b. Alem is quoted, which appears in Hebrew
> > M. Kil. 1:1" ("The
> > Mishnah and Ancient Book Production," in *The
> > Mishnah in Contemporary
> > Perspective*, eds. Alan J. Avery-Peck and Jacob
> > Neusner (Handbook of
> > Oriental Studies: Near and Middle East 65; Leiden:
> > Brill, 2002) 167-92,
> > esp. 179).
> > It is not my contention that the translation
> > was "carried out by
> > widely dispersed Jewish communities," but only by
> > the handful of editors
> > responsible for the passage of rabbinic tradition
> > through the centuries
> > in question, most of them located in Tiberias.
> > John C. Poirier
> > Middletown, Ohio
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