Chris Watts wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:44 am Karl wrote :Karl, I refer to Ezra/Nehemiah and Daniel. Firstly, unless some fortunate Israeli Archeologist on a dig trips over a stone carved with a symbol of Aphrodite holding a bunch of red roses and next to it a clay jar within which he discovers a letter written by a young man to his bride to be in vernacular hebrew dated to 210 BC I guess you will not be swayed.There is evidence that native speaking of Hebrew ceased. There’s no evidence that the language was forgotten, a claim that I never made, but there’s also no evidence that Hebrew was the language spoken in the market nor on the street. In fact, the evidence from Ezra and Nehemiah was that Hebrew was not used on the street nor in the market during their time. I have seen no evidence that it was revived as a natively spoken language at a later date.
Thanks for the humor.
Latin continued to change and develop long after it was no longer spoken as a native tongue. It had become the language of religion, law and trade. Because Latin continued being used, its vernacular changed. Luther, in his disputation with John Eck, was able to show that certain documents were late forgeries, because the vernacular Latin was wrong for the claimed date. Everyone who spoke Latin, spoke it as a learned, second language. Latin is still a spoken language.
All the evidence I’ve seen is that Hebrew had the same function among second temple Jews as Latin had for medieval Europe—the language of religion, law, official records and official communication with other Jewish communities. As such, it had a vernacular that developed over the centuries. I see no evidence that it was anything other than a learned, second language for everyone who spoke it.
Chris Watts wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:44 am Point One : May I now refer you back to this:
Maybe I should refer you to Nehemiah 13:24. No doubt you know this verse, of course you do. Now surely one would assume that this corroborates your reasoning? Yes I could see how one might use this as an argument in your favour. However I see it differently, that the incredible resoluteness of Nehemiah and others to preserve national identity, to preserve language and to ensure that Judah returns not just to God, but to what was in danger of being lost, not what had already dissappeared.
What do you mean by “disappeared”?
Chris Watts wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:44 am Point Two :
Haggai chapter Two - Those that had seen the temple in its former glory were obviosly collectng their Temple Pension by now, but may I ask what language they were speaking in the market place? And if they were alive, and weeping, did they not have kids and grandkids? And would they not have spoken market place Hebrew?
By the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, they were long gone, unless they were well over 175.
Jeremiah didn’t specify when the very few would return. There were Jewish communities in Egypt during the Persian period, and they spoke Aramaic.
Daniel was a native Biblical Hebrew speaker, according to his autobiography. We’re not told how old he was when he started learning Aramaic, a guess would be in his teens. He continued reading the Hebrew Bible, as his reference to Jeremiah indicates.
I’ve been told by linguists that they can recognize any writing by a modern writer when the modern writer tries to write archaisms, modern writers can never compose 100% pure 17th century English.
Similarly, my first reaction to the Jehoash inscription was that the rhythm was off, even though the forger thought he copied Biblical era Hebrew. I also noticed anachronism.
Chris Watts wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:44 am My poetry contains old words and modern mixed. Put everything I wrote into a book, bury it for 500 years and boy would I love to see the grammarians conversations then. Karl, Literary styles change with age, what Iwrote 20 years ago has a different style and language than what I write today, yet composed into a single book and dicovered in 1000 years time I would be divided into Chris watts One and second and thrid Chris watts. This is just one reason why I have never agreed with a multiple authorship of Isaiah and find the critics in this area crouching between tightly packed historically literary compact walls through a linguistic escape tunnel.
I live amongst Polish people in Ireland. Next door to me are little children speaking Polish to their Polish friends and English to their English friends. I hear parents in the supermarket with their kids seaking Polish and English. The ones I talk with have been here already 10 some 15 years. These children want to speak Polish to their children. Now these people have no religious identity or common bond of tradtional legalisms and cultural habits that unite them as a people, plus they left their homes voluntarily and most do not wish to return to live. YET they continue with the importance of passing on their language, they, like other foreigners, prefer to mix with their own kind and speak not English but Polish. How much more, how much more Karl can you imagine the importance that a people in exile would wish to continue to pass on their market slang language AND huddle together in groups in Market language using the slang words they are used to while eating their olives and sandwiches over a mug of yoghurt and Persian tea? (of course I allow for exceptions, and yes I have here a university paper on the socio-economic situation of these people in exile and how many got rich and stayed behind and assimilated, BUT, this is important, the majority that returned would have been poor and landless along the Euphrates and South of Babylon, those were the ones that returned for the most part).
I lived among Chinese immigrants in San Francisco. You mention 10–15 years, the immigrants I worked with had been here 30–40 years or longer. Their children had been born in the U.S. They grew up here, got married here, now have children of their own. The American born want to pass the language and cultural identity on to their children. They send their children to “Chinese school” (which most kids hate) and celebrate Chinese festivals, but too many find that their own knowledge of Chinese language is limited to going to the market and restaurants, and domestic affaires. I remember one event where I was speaking with immigrant parents in Chinese, and I mentioned how I had jokingly called an abacus a “calculator”. Their teenage daughter, who had been listening, interrupted in English “Mommy, I don’t know that word.” The word she didn’t know was “abacus”. Another time I ended up translating between an immigrant mother and her American born daughter. Multiply those examples by many other rare uses of language that the American born don’t know except in English, so they can’t teach those concepts to their children except in English. By the time the grandchildren reach adulthood, they basically give up and speak in English almost all the time.
This is the same experience of the midwestern “Scandihoovians”—my mother’s grandparents were the immigrants, my father’s parents were brought here as small children, by the time of my mother’s generation, the Norwegian she picked up was often mangled, e.g. “du scufflebunk” (du skall få bank) and for my father things like “plättar” and “smör gås bord”. I learned only English at home. We still enjoyed some of the Scandinavian customs, like celebrating Sankta Lucia Dagen, but most of the time we were just like other Americans.
Now take the Jews in Babylon, the only thing that differs from the examples above, is that religious ceremonies and official records were kept in Hebrew. Most of their kids grumbled about going to “Hebrew school” and the amount of Hebrew they learned was often just enough to pass their bar mitzvah. From what I can gather, Jews in Babylon and later Persia were not herded into ghettos or shtetls where they had almost no interaction with other peoples. The end result is that by the third generation, most Jews would speak mainly the languages of their surroundings, even at home and in the market. And the majority language in Babylon was Aramaic.
Chris Watts wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:44 am Point 6
I know you will not like point 6 Karl, but I hve to re-iterate my feelings, I am not apologetic for their intrusion, for they remind my that we are talking about human experience and peoples' daily lives as opposed to generalising upon the coldness of a printed sentence that has been emptied of its breath, its tears, sweat and hopes and struggles. The emotions and forces that drive people today, are absolutely no different from what drove the returning Jews, or their teenage children. You say that the last person died out around 500 BC and that vernacular hebrew spoken over chicken soup while mosquitos and grasshoppers un-silenced the night was no longer used, I say there is no evidence to support this and that there is enough circumstantial evidence to refute this idea.
Don’t my examples above breath life into how I interpret those passages?
That would be interesting.
This discussion is going around and around in circles. You keep giving me speculation, I want hard data. All the hard evidence I’ve seen is that the common people didn’t speak Hebrew except often poorly as a learned, second language. Even the highly educated, the priests, learned Hebrew as a second language. The language on the street and in the market was Aramaic, and increasingly Greek during the Hellenistic age. What I would need is more than an isolated love letter, rather a description of a town or district where Hebrew, not Aramaic, was still spoken. So far, that description has not turned up. All the descriptions I’ve seen indicates that Hebrew was used only as a learned, second language while other languages were the daily languages on the street. That’s also why the LXX and Syriac translations of the Bible were made.
Karl W. Randolph.