Re: Hebrew and Greek as languages

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sat Apr 18 1998 - 23:13:33 EDT

I wrote earlier:
>>In fact, Hebrew script changed quite rapidly. I believe the block script
>>which is commonly taught in biblical Hebrew classes today is found in much
>>of the rabbinic writings (or at least a version similar to it), but it is
>>very different from what is found in inscriptions from the first century.
>>If I remember right, the inscription on the Caiaphas osuary (discovered
>>only a few years ago) would be illegible to many Hebrew Bible students.

At 11:26 AM -0600 4/11/98, Edgar M. Krentz responded:
>Michael is correct in what he says above, but his chronology is a bit too
>late. Actually the Dead Sea Scrolls use a script very close to the script
>used today in printing. However, in some of them the proper name of God is
>written in the old Hebrew script which you will find on the so-called Gezer
>calendar (an inscription of the Seventh Century B.C.). The burial
>inscription for the tomb of King Uzziah (placed later) is in a script that
>appears to be transitional between t he two.
>You might want to consult the work Frank Cross did on the paleography of
>the Dead Sea scrolls.


How would you interpret the evidence of the Caiaphas osuary (fairly clearly
dated in the NT period)? Is it just an archaic script used for effect or am
I remembering it incorrectly?

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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