Linguistic dating of biblical texts


Polzin has also made a significant contribution to the study of Biblical Hebrew.Dong-Hyuk Kim argues that the methods Polzin developed in his 1976 study Late Biblical Hebrew: Toward an Historical Typology of Biblical Hebrew Prose have since been employed by a younger generation of scholars.

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When viewing the linguistic evidence in isolation it will be clear that a post-exilic date for the (final linguistic form of the) EBH texts is more likely. Conventional wisdom says that Early Biblical Hebrew (aka Standard Biblical Hebrew or Classical Biblical Hebrew) came first, and then Late Biblical Hebrew.But when you actually analyse the evidence, this view starts to unravel.Ian Young, Robert Rezetko, and Martin Ehrensvärd have argued very convincingly that Early Biblical Hebrew and Late Biblical Hebrew were not linear diachronic developments, but rather contemporaneous styles of Hebrew in antiquity.

This means that it’s practically impossible to date a biblical text based solely on linguistic criteria.

Their compelling argument can found in their two volume work, Once you “see” their argument, you can’t “unsee” it.