Matt Giwer wrote:
> benlizross wrote:
> > Matt Giwer wrote:
> >>>>>> have no evidence Hebrew was ever a spoken language.
> >>>>> What sort of evidence would you expect?
> >>>> I expect something never expected for anything in the OT but
> >>>> always expected
> >>>> for everything else, physical evidence. Got any?
> >>> What would be physical evidence of people speaking an ancient language?
> >> Contemporary mention of it is obvious.
> > What does this mean? Could you give me an example of "contemporary
> > mention" of people speaking Sumerian, say?
> For that we go to the other method, contemporary written material in
This makes it no clearer.
> >> Also contemporary writings in that language will do.
> > ?Don't know what this means.
> I find that difficult to believe.
Try harder. We have writings in the language in question or we wouldn't
be arguing about this. What do you mean by "contemporary" writings?
> >> Neither of which exists for Hebrew. Again the same rules that
> >> apply to everything else also apply to bible stuff without regard to
> >> belief in it.
> > If you haven't just made up these "rules", maybe you could mention some
> > place I can find them more clearly stated than you seem to be able to
> > do.
> I really do not keep track of everything I have learned over the
> decades. You
> will have to find them for yourself. They aren't rules per se rather simply
> methods of knowledge.
In other words, private rules of yours, rather than anything generally
accepted or shared.
> >>>>>> When the Judeans first
> >>>>>> appear in history (2nd c. BC) they are speaking Aramaic. There is no
> >>>>>> evidence of
> >>>>>> the bible or any of its stories or people being known before the Greek
> >>>>>> Septuagint appears. We know all the identifications of "proto-Hebrew"
> >>>>>> are
> >>>>>> indistinguishable from Phoenician and are "identified" by believers
> >>>>>> reading the
> >>>>>> bible to see if it says the Jews ruled the place where it was found.
> >>>>>> There is
> >>>>>> zero identification from anything intrinsic to the inscriptions. The
> >>>>>> oldest
> >>>>>> example of it is mid-1st c. BC among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
> >>>>>> Therefore is it a legitimate question as to when and perhaps
> >>>>>> why this written
> >>>>>> language was invented.
> >>>>>> It cannot be said to be a written version of a language that
> >>>>>> was never spoken.
> >>>>> But that sound like exactly what you are suggesting. If we find ancient
> >>>>> written records of a language, the normal assumption is that it was
> >>>>> first spoken, and then people devised a way of writing it. This is what
> >>>>> we assume about Hittite, Sumerian and the many other ancient languages
> >>>>> we know. Yet you appear to want to imagine that Hebrew was never spoken.
> >>>>> Why?
> >>>> We can imagine what we would like. However we have two popular
> >>>> versions of the
> >>>> people separate from mine.
> >>>> The first is the OT is correct. That means Abraham started
> >>>> speaking Akkadian or
> >>>> whatever from western Iraq. Then they spent several centuries in Egypt
> >>>> and
> >>>> somehow managed not to speak Egyptian as though Africans in the US still
> >>>> spoke
> >>>> the languages of then ancestors. Then when they appear in history they
> >>>> speak
> >>>> Aramaic. So when did this oddball language appear as different from both
> >>>> Akkadian and Egyptian and disappear before the 2nd c. BC? Is there
> >>>> something
> >>>> other than faith I am missing here?
> >>>> The second is they were evolving hill people who came to take
> >>>> over the city
> >>>> folk. I find this a desperate attempt to salvage the OT but it means
> >>>> their
> >>>> language would have been one of the native languages. Nothing like Hebrew
> >>>> appears in the region.
> >>> What can you mean by this? The region is full of languages related to
> >>> Hebrew.
> >> But no Hebrew which is intrinsically distinguishable from
> >> Phoenician. It is all
> >> identified by reference to the OT which is the fallacy of circular
> >> reasoning.
> > I.e. HEBREW=PHOENICIAN again.
> That is what believers tell us when they call Phoenician
> proto-hebrew. I am not
> the one saying it. I say it is all Phoenician because the Hebrews are
> >>>> And remember we are talking a primitive people with no
> >>>> interest in learning or scholarship.
> >>> According to whom? Is there some reason why a so-called 'primitive
> >>> people' should not acquire writing?
> >> You are saying they were not primitive? Fine with me. Show me ONE
> >> single
> >> contribution to human civilization from that part of the world. You really
> >> can't
> >> claim the region ever contributed anything to civilization. Art,
> >> literature,
> >> math, architecture, engineering, sanitation, astronomy, anything. You name
> >> it
> >> and they contributed nothing. Not even monotheism as we know they were not
> >> monotheists.
> > No, I'm saying your classification of them as "primitive" is of no
> > relevance.
> Perhaps you do not see it but I did at the time. The observation
> correct, relevant or not.
> >>>> So where did this language come from? Neither the believer or
> >>>> revisionist view
> >>>> lets it appear. Keep in mind the ONLY words of Hebrew that existed until
> >>>> the
> >>>> Zionists started borrowing from Arabic were from the OT. All words not
> >>>> in the OT
> >>>> are invented words. There is no other source of Hebrew words but the OT.
> >>>> This is
> >>>> why I say it was even a liturgical language. If there were a significant
> >>>> sample
> >>>> from any other source I would say something else. I know of none. If you
> >>>> do
> >>>> please let me know. The Babylonian Talmud is in Aramaic.
> >>> I'm not interested in defending either of your straw-man theories.
> >>> Gothic comes immediately to mind as an ancient language whose only
> >>> recorded remains are from a sacred text. Mycenean Greek is known only
> >>> from the palace account books. Nothing specially unusual about that.
> >> Which means they are also in the same fanciful category until
> >> discovered in
> >> fact. I do not see your problem here. That a silly assumption is expanded
> >> to
> >> others does not make it less silly.
> > So what does "fact" mean here? You are going to believe that Gothic and
> > Mycenean Greek were "made up", until somebody convinces you otherwise?
> > That is truly silly.
> I choose to believe nothing regardless of the subject matter. Should
> the issue
> come up I would certainly be looking for where they developed. However we have
> evidence of a transition from Phoenician to Hebrew and we probably have
> percentagewise more examples of the ancient writing in the region than from
> other. Again a primitive people who were not much into endevours which
> >>>>>> As it has no antecedent written language it cannot have evolved to its
> >>>>>> ancient
> >>>>>> form.
> >>>>> I don't know what you can mean by this.
> >>>>> The style of the letters is clearly invented.
> >>>>> ?? Unlike what other script??
> >>>> I mean there is an Olde English, a Middle English and a Modern
> >>>> English. Can you
> >>>> show me the same for Hebrew? I can show you a difference in American
> >>>> English
> >>>> between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Can you do
> >>>> that
> >>>> for Hebrew? And that means attaching dates to the writing not simply
> >>>> showing
> >>>> there are differences before the idea of a dictionary was invented.
> >>> I'm sorry, the clouds of confusion are rising again. Nothing in the
> >>> above has anything to do with the "style of the letters" being
> >>> "invented". You seem to be demanding internal variation within ancient
> >>> Hebrew.
> >> I am only saying it is required to support the assumption. You
> >> cannot have a
> >> language appearing in final form out of no where and also say it is a
> >> natural
> >> language.
> > What does "final form" mean?
> Hebrew is first found in final form in the 1st c. BC as I said. The
> "earlier" form according to believers is Phoenician.
Not an answer to my question.
> >>> I understand that such does exist within the OT, but somebody
> >>> else will have to give you examples. English has been written for over a
> >>> thousand years. If you don't find the same degree of change in Biblical
> >>> Hebrew the explanation will most likely be that it was not written down
> >>> over such a long period, and/or that later writers adhered to a
> >>> conservative form regardless of possible changes (or even complete
> >>> shifts) in spoken language. A better comparison would be the continuous
> >>> tradition of writing in Latin in Europe for many centuries after it
> >>> ceased to be anyone's mother tongue.
> >> Let me repeat, the believers label _every_thing indistinguishable
> >> from
> >> Phoenician as proto-hebrew for no rational reason and then suddenly it
> >> appears
> >> full blown in the 1st c. BC. There are no intermediates for this language
> >> anyplace. You can assume they have not been found but until they are using
> >> "they
> >> will be found" as a working assumption is illogical.
> > No, it's your belief in the universality of "intermediates" that is
> > illogical, and indeed contrary to fact.
> As with written Zulu there were no intermediates as I said. However
> we know
> that was invented.
"Invented"? In what sense?
There are many Amerind written languages which were also
Again, what does "invented" mean here, except that every written
language is "invented"?
> I clearly did not say it was universal.
What is your basis for thinking it has any application at all?
> >>>>>> The local Judeans spoke
> >>>>>> Aramaic so we would expect them to use written Aramaic. The evolution
> >>>>>> of every
> >>>>>> other written language can be traced but this one appears out of no
> >>>>>> where.
> >>>>> No, in fact virtually every written language appears out of nowhere.
> >>>> Excuse me but that is not only untrue but irrelevant. For untrue
> >>>> see the above
> >>>> on English.
> >>> Written (Old) English does in fact appear out of nowhere. Before (say)
> >>> 500 AD there was none. But we don't assume that nobody spoke it before
> >>> that, or that somebody "made it up" at that point. The fact that it went
> >>> on and continued to be written for a long time is irrelevant. We are
> >>> talking about first appearances.
> >> You are quite correct about Old English but I am talking about the
> >> analog of
> >> Modern English.
> > Why is Biblical Hebrew more like Modern English than Old English?
> It first appears in its only form unless you are a believer. If you
> are you
> believe it magically transformed from Phoenician to Hebrew leaving no evidence
> of that transition.
This does not explain why it is like Modern English.
> >> Hebrew suddenly appears full blown in the 1st c. BC and is ever
> >> after a dead language save for some imaginary vowel marks added nearly a
> >> thousand years later.
> >> The facts are the sudden appearance of a dead language. How
> >>is this explained?
> > You appear to have conjured this strange occurrence up out of your own
> > assumptions about dates and about what's normal in language. A classic
> > self-inflicted problem.
> You are free to show anything in fact everything which gives the lie
> to what I
> have said. Why do you not do that instead posting simple negations?
If you've missed the substance and are seeing only negations, you have
major reading problems.
> >>>> For irrelevant see all the claims the OT is from ancient writings.
> >>> Huh? You stated that Hebrew "appears out of nowhere", apparently as part
> >>> of your argument that there is something special and strange about it.
> >>> Why is it irrelevant to point out that you're wrong?
> >> The only source of Hebrew is the OT. It suddenly appears when
> >> either
> >> believers) no one has spoken it for centuries
> >> skeptics) there is no evidence it was ever spoken.
> >> So in fact it does appear out of no where in the 1st c. BC and is
> >> at that time
> >> a dead language without antecedents.
> > The "out of nowhere" aspect goes nowhere, as I've tried to explain.
> > The 1st century BC date appears to be crucial to your argument.
> The date is not crucial at all. You name the date of its appearance.
> > No doubt it is based on your "physical evidence" fetish,
> I am a scientist by training. Archaeology is a science. Only physical
> matters in science. I have no idea how anyone can choose to life on beliefs
> absent physical evidence. It is not rational.
But Lesson I in archaeology, and other sciences dealing with the past,
is that a large proportion of the physical evidence is no longer extant.
The work consists in constructing a plausible picture of the past
consistent with what physical evidence we do find.
> > which you elevate to the principle of a cornerstone of science.
> I did not to the elevating. That process developed during the
Not the fetish.
> > I'm sure others have pointed out
> > to you that the earliest extant manuscripts of any ancient text are by
> > no means necessarily contemporary with its composition, or even its
> > earliest written form. I'm not about to argue the specifics with you
> > since I'm not a specialist in the area.
> I do not claim to be a specialist but if you have facts at all why
> are you
> bothering to post?
> >>>>> Sometimes we can see that the writing system has been taken over from
> >>>>> that of some other language, sometimes not.
> >>>> Which is not the point as when letters are copied for phonetic
> >>>> sounds they also
> >>>> represent the local words. Someone mentioned Zulu. We have no
> >>>> discriminate
> >>>> between Phoenician and proto-Hebrew other than where the bible says the
> >>>> Hebrews
> >>>> ruled. There is nothing in the words or letters or subject matter or
> >>>> anything
> >>>> but bible stories which separates the two.
> >>> So? Your "out of nowhere" argument still goes nowhere. It sounds like
> >>> you're back to HEBREW IS PHOENICIAN.
> >> I said only believers claim Hebrew is Phoenician and that supports
> >> my case the
> >> OT is invented fiction because the OT is not Phoenician history.
> > ....because Phoenician history is what is written in Phoenician texts,
> > and Hebrew, although it is in fact Phoenician, is "made up", so it can't
> > be real Phoenician history...
> > Are you getting dizzy yet?
> I am not because I am dealing with two separate claims and I can keep
I'm suggesting your claims form a circularity.
> >> My real position is that all the identifications of "proto-hebrew"
> >> are
> >> bullshit, stated only by believers.
> >>>>>> So what is it? Where did it come from? Why was it invented?
> >>>>> Your understanding of both language and writing is so muddled that I
> >>>>> suspect you don't even understand your own questions, let alone any
> >>>>> answers anyone might offer.
> >>>> At least I am safe in the knowledge that believers do not have
> >>>> any
> >>>> understanding at all as they are speaking from faith which is NOT in any
> >>>> doctrine or dogma so they make it up as they go along.
> >>> But I'm not a believer.
> >> But you argue as though the OT contains fact despite all the
> >> evidence that it
> >> is total myth.
> > Clearly you have been misreading me all along. I am not arguing at all
> > about the historicity of the OT texts. I am arguing about the nature of
> > the language in which they are recorded.
> They are recorded in three languages.
All of which are "made up"?
> >> Why?
> >>>>> But very briefly: It's a written form of a
> >>>>> Semitic language. It came from the same place as Phoenician and other
> >>>>> related languages and scripts. And it (the writing system) was invented
> >>>>> for the same reasons that other ancient writing systems were invented.
> >>>>> The spoken language underlying it was not "invented".
> >>>> So therefore the creators of Hebrew in the first century BC were
> >>>> the "Last of
> >>>> the Phoenicians". Is that really what you want to say? Or are you going
> >>>> to write
> >>>> the novel?
> >>>>> I'd say you were on the right track in changing to Hebrew=Phoenician.
> >>>>> (The Greek theory is complete flapdoodle.) But you're so confused by
> >>>>> your own obsessions that you've probably done the right thing for the
> >>>>> wrong reasons.
> >>>> I have no obsession other than the reject anything and
> >>>> everything that is
> >>>> without physical evidence. That is the only scientific approach. Science
> >>>> has
> >>>> shown itself to be the only route to progress in this world.
> >>> When you figure out what sort of physical evidence people leave when
> >>> they speak a language, get back to me.
> >> Contemporary mention. Contemporary writings in that language. Why
> >> do you not
> >> know the obvious? These are EXACTLY the same things we use to identify the
> >> languages of other ancient people.
> >> If you are not a believer why do you want to exempt the bible
> >> myths from the
> >> same rules that apply every place else?
> > See above.
> Why do you bother responding without a single fact to bring up?
You'd better go back and look for the facts. My original reason for
getting into a discussion with you at all, contrary to my usual
practice, was that you seemed to have excelled yourself in credulity by
taking seriously this HEBREW IS GREEK nonsense. Since you seem to have
backed off on that one, there may be no point in continuing.