Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Down comes the house of cards...

First, the conclusion of LDBT [Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts] that a linguistic history of Hebrew from the Iron Age through the Persian period cannot be recovered and therefore cannot be available for dating texts is erroneous. It is based primarily on an idiosyncratic axiom concerning the identification of late linguistic features in languages and on corollary assertions bearing on biblical manuscripts from Qumran, copyist practices vis-à-vis the language of texts from the Iron Age through the Hellenistic period, and on the vague notion of “linguistic fluidity” as a historical phenomenon. More-accurate descriptions of what is to be explained based on the agglomeration and classification of relevant data lead to significantly more-nuanced and accurate explanations of the data (see the essays of Bar-Asher Siegal, Fassberg, and Joosten in this volume.)—Zevitt in Diachrony in Biblical Hebrew, page 483

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