From: James Kass (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 02:57:37 CDT
Dean Snyder wrote,
> Modern Hebrew without the adjunct notational systems is Jewish Hebrew and
> DID exist while the Phoenicians were still around in the first few
> centuries BC. In fact Jews used both diascripts, Palaeo-Hebrew and Jewish
> Hebrew, contemporaneously.
Of course, you're right about the age of modern Hebrew
overlapping the age of Phoenician a bit. The wording in my
post, to say the least, was infelicitous.
I should probably have just asked:
Did the ancient Phoenicians write Phoenician in modern Hebrew?
> Obviously "Palaeo-Hebrew" is a modern term; the concept is however a very
> old one - just look at the Dead Sea scrolls, turn-of-the-era Jewish
> coins, etc., where it is employed in an archaizing way.
My pocket change is depressingly modern.
Some coins from the Phoenician region apparently have Phoenician numerals
and Hebrew legends suggesting that these coins weren't issued by the
Phoenicians. I couldn't find any references to coins bearing both Hebrew and
palaeo-Hebrew legends, but wouldn't be surprised if they exist.
(Numismatist's plain text database of coin legends, anyone?)
The Greeks issued coins with Greek legends and Phoenician numerals during
the reign of Alexander the Great, but moved to using Greek for the dates, too.
If palaeo-Hebrew and square Hebrew are the same script, then
it couldn't be said that the Jews abandoned the palaeo-Hebrew
script after the exile. Yet, this is what available references say
did happen. (By available, I mean to me. Additional citations
would be welcome.)
Negative proofs are kind of hard. I've been unable to find
anything which states that the ancient Jews considered
Phoenician and Hebrew to be the same script. If it were
easily found, I'd've found it already. In fairness, I've also
tried to find anything documenting that the ancient Jews
specifically considered Phoenician and Hebrew to be
separate scripts. Maybe it was such a "no-brainer" (either
way) for them that they never recorded their thoughts on
the subject. Or, maybe nothing survived. Or, maybe
nothing's been brought to light yet.
Or, maybe somebody knows better?
Religious scribes had very strict rules. The Word was supposed
to be copied *very* faithfully. Yet, older DSS appear seem to
have been in palaeo- and newer DSS in Hebrew.
Did the scribes think they were faithfully copying older scrolls
when they "abandoned palaeo-Hebrew script" and made newer
scrolls in Hebrew? Did they make the newer scrolls because they'd
abandoned the older script and no-one other than scholars could
*read* the older scrolls? Did the very strict rules begin some
time after the older script was abandoned? Does anyone know?
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