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Dating the NT

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  • Bob MacDonald
    With the discovery of a 10th century BCE alphabet as reported in the news, is it possible that more notes might have been taken during the period of Jesus
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 11, 2005
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      With the discovery of a 10th century BCE alphabet as
      reported in the news, is it possible that more notes might
      have been taken during the period of Jesus' ministry than
      the 19th and 20th century emphasis on oral tradition would
      allow?

      I have come across the name of Tremontant, Le Christ hebreu
      1986 - also Carmignac, Naissance des evangiles 1984 (cited
      in the Ellul forum 2005 Issue 36). Both did some
      retro-translation from the NT Greek to Hebrew - is this
      worth pursuing? He seems to have a theory similar to Millard
      (Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus) that there were
      earlier written records. What has become of the French
      scholars and how are theories of greater note-taking
      understood within the synoptic problem?

      thanks

      Bob

      Bob MacDonald
      http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
      Victoria, B.C., Canada
    • R. Steven Notley
      Bob Doubtless, there has been minimal response to your question because members are gearing up for SBL. I also don t have much time for a lengthy response.
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 14, 2005
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        Bob

        Doubtless, there has been minimal response to your question because
        members are gearing up for SBL. I also don't have much time for a
        lengthy response. Let me just say, however, that there are members of
        this list who do believe that Jesus taught in Hebrew. Indeed, the
        epigraphical evidence suggests that Judaea was trilingual (Hebrew,
        Aramaic and Greek), and there is no reason to suggest that Jesus could
        not have known all three. One of the most compelling arguments for
        Jesus' knowledge of Hebrew is his use of parables. It has been noted
        on this list before that story parables of the type Jesus is recorded
        telling ONLY are preserved in Hebrew. We have none in Aramaic, Greek
        (apart from the Gospels, of course) or Latin. New Testament
        scholarship in the 20th century which attempted to reconstruct Jesus'
        parables into Aramaic have overlooked this simple fact.

        New Testament scholarship has also barely taken note of the import of
        the discoveries of the scrolls found in the Judean wilderness (the
        Qumran scrolls, Bar Kochba, etc.) for reconstructing the linguistic
        landscape of first century Judaea. Hebrew accounts for over 95% of the
        Qumran library, and the Bar Kochba Letters demonstrate that a living,
        colloquial Hebrew was in use even into the second century CE. By and
        large, NT scholarship maintains the outdated 19th century proposal of
        Avraham Geiger that Hebrew was a dead language by the first century CE.
        Again, archaeological discoveries from the last century should have
        already buried this erroneous notion. Whatever reason NT scholarship
        tenaciously holds on to the "Aramaic only" or "Greek only" models, it
        does so in the face of mounting archaeological data to the contrary.

        Of course, the question you raise is not precisely the question of the
        linguistic environment of Jesus, but whether there could have been any
        written sources in Hebrew. Jewish and Christian scholars who belong to
        the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research have suggested that the
        Evangelists used Greek sources, but that some of these were themselves
        translations of earlier Hebrew accounts of the life of Jesus. The task
        of identifying possible Hebraisms within the Greek of the canonical
        Gospels is not a simple task, requiring work in the three languages
        prevalent in first century Judaea: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
        Nevertheless, we find it important to identify the idiomatic teaching
        of Jesus and his place within the rich and tumultuous environment of
        first century Judaism.

        shalom
        R. Steven Notley, Ph.D. (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
        Professor of Biblical Studies
        Nyack College NYC
        Member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research (www.js.org)




        On Nov 12, 2005, at 1:26 AM, Bob MacDonald wrote:

        > With the discovery of a 10th century BCE alphabet as
        > reported in the news, is it possible that more notes might
        > have been taken during the period of Jesus' ministry than
        > the 19th and 20th century emphasis on oral tradition would
        > allow?
        >
        > I have come across the name of Tremontant, Le Christ hebreu
        > 1986 - also Carmignac, Naissance des evangiles 1984 (cited
        > in the Ellul forum 2005 Issue 36). Both did some
        > retro-translation from the NT Greek to Hebrew - is this
        > worth pursuing? He seems to have a theory similar to Millard
        > (Reading and Writing in the Time of Jesus) that there were
        > earlier written records. What has become of the French
        > scholars and how are theories of greater note-taking
        > understood within the synoptic problem?
        >
        > thanks
        >
        > Bob
        >
        > Bob MacDonald
        > http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
        > Victoria, B.C., Canada
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
        >
        >
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        > ▪  Visit your group "Synoptic" on the web.
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        >  
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        > Service.
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • R. Steven Notley
        Bob Sorry, I forgot to mention this. You may find of interest a volume of collected studies that Brill Academic Publishers is releasing this month, Jesus Last
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 14, 2005
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          Bob

          Sorry, I forgot to mention this.

          You may find of interest a volume of collected studies that Brill
          Academic Publishers is releasing this month, Jesus' Last Week:
          Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels: Volume One. With the ink
          barely dry, it will be on display at SBL. To my mind, it is not
          simply the historical or biblical content that is important but the
          methodological issues that are on display in the work.

          An anticipated second volume will actually address specifically the
          issue of Hebrew in the first century and its importance in our reading
          of the Gospels.

          These are studies by Jewish and Christian scholars who live or have
          lived in Jerusalem and work with an intimate knowledge of Hebrew and
          the contours of Jewish thought at the close of the Second Temple
          period. What the authors share in common is a deep appreciation for
          the importance of Hebrew and first century Judaism for our reading of
          the Synoptic Gospels.

          shalom
          R. Steven Notley, Ph.D. (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
          Professor of Biblical Studies
          Nyack College NYC


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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