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[Synoptic-L] Reading and Writing

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Leonard Maluf writes -- ... It has been mentioned several times on Synoptic-L. Although Millard is not a NT scholar (as he admits himself), I think this is a
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 30, 2000
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      Leonard Maluf writes --
      >
      >I saw today in the Weston-EDS library a copy of Alan Millard's "Reading
      >and Writing in the Time of Jesus", Sheffield, Academic Press 2000. It
      >looks interesting, and I think it has perhaps been mentioned on this
      >list once before.
      >
      It has been mentioned several times on Synoptic-L. Although Millard is
      not a NT scholar (as he admits himself), I think this is a book which
      every NT scholar should possess. And it is an inexpensive paper-back.

      I would suggest a very important part of the book is the section "The
      Language of Jesus" on pages 140-147. Millard is Rankin Professor of
      Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages at Liverpool University, UK. Using
      his immense knowledge of Semitic languages he comes strongly to the
      conclusion that although Jesus may have spoken some Hebrew, the language
      in which he normally spoke and taught was Aramaic, and that Aramaic
      words spoken by Jesus may well be preserved in the synoptic gospels.

      For NT scholars who are interested in the origin of the Nomina Sacra in
      early Greek-Christian papyri, Millard uses his knowledge of the various
      kinds of Phoenician to put forward the idea that the "first and last
      letters" format of most Nomina Sacra in Greek-Christian writings may
      have originated from the Phoenician practice of sometimes contracting
      proper names to their first and last letters, as seen on some Phoenician
      and Palestinian coins of the Hellenistic period and in graffiti from the
      Punic towns of North Africa. (See RWTJ page 71, including the reference
      in note 32). Early Greek-Christian scribes from Cyprus, for instance,
      could have been influenced by this Phoenician practice.

      This is a startling hypothesis which scholars of NT papyri would do well
      to note. It is the first time anyone has ever given an explanation of
      the "first and last letter" format of Nomina Sacra such as IS (for
      IHSOUS), IN (for IHSOUN), QS (for QEOS), QN (for QEON), and so on. How
      fascinating that a scholar of ancient Phoenician has possibly cracked a
      problem which has troubled scholars of the Greek NT manuscripts for a
      long time.

      The book contains forty-one high quality beautifully-produced mono-
      chrome illustrations which are clearly relevant to the text, and look
      very useful for teaching purposes.

      The ISBN is 1-84127-070-9 .

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-mail; brian@... HOMEPAGE www.twonh.demon.co.uk

      Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
      > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
      > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
      _

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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