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Re: [Synoptic-L] The Aramaic-Greek transition (resent with signature)

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  • John C. Poirier
    Thanks for this, Dennis. Good to hear from you. (I m ready to go back to that Mexican restaurant.) It seems to me that the language of the James ossuary
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 14, 2003
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      Thanks for this, Dennis. Good to hear from you. (I'm ready to go back to that
      Mexican restaurant.)

      It seems to me that the language of the James ossuary would have been dictated
      by James' followers, or possibly his family. Certainly, the decision to have
      any inscription at all was probably not in the hands of the stonecutter (about
      70% of the ossuaries in Rahmani don't have any inscription at all), so
      presumably the decision as to what language to use would have been made by
      whoever decided to have an inscription. But even if it was the stonecutter who
      decided to use Aramaic, that still counts *in some way* as linguistic evidence
      for the first century. (Unless, of course, the last half of the inscription
      [which was written by a different writing instrument] was added a century or so
      later, and if we allow that *bar* could be colloquial Hebrew, in which case we
      would only have evidence for Aramaic in the second century.) Like everything
      else in history, it all boils down to probability.

      Unfortunately, it appears that a lot that should have been said about this
      ossuary was left out of the *BAR* article.


      John C. Poirier
      Middletown, Ohio


      Dennis Sullivan wrote:

      > More precisely, the ossuary proves that the family's stonecutter spoke
      > Aramaic--unless Ya'akov had the foresight to engrave his own ossuary
      > inscription before his death. The ossuary may have been prepared as long as
      > a year after his demise.
      >
      > I originally mentioned this in jest at our luncheon with David Bivin last
      > November, but the logic works.
      >
      > Dennis Sullivan
      > Dayton Ohio


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