In Genesis, what language did god speak?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Medicine*Woman, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, yes I agree entirely that some certainly are mocking religion and god: But hey Timojin, don't you often set out to mock science?

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    You have heard about people in glass houses throwing stones?

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  3. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for breaking my glass bubble , I don't know if you have noticed that I like science, most of my post are in science.
     
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  5. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Before I read the rest of your post I apologise if I got carried away and appeared disrespectful.
    I will read the rest of your reply and get back later.
    Alex
     
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    OK fair enough.
    We can assume it was the language the person knew.
    You do well to point this out and perhaps I am guilty maybe a little. I apologise.

    I will try to be better.

    You treat me with respect and I appreciate that you do.

    I also appreciate you showing me how you think about things.

    I know what I know I need to know what others know and you help me ..thank you.

    Alex
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Your last question is the easiest to answer because, for obvious reasons, Hebrew is one of the most-studied human languages. The first evidence of Hebrew writing is on a stone shard found (more-or-less) in the historical region of Israel. It is dated (in round numbers) to 1000BCE.

    This doesn't necessarily mean that the Hebrew language came into existence at that time. The Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family (which also includes the Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, Egyptian and Omotic branches) is widely studied. The Semitic is the only branch with members in Asia. (And, maddeningly, even with modern DNA analysis, we have been completely unable to discern whether the proto-language was developed in Asia, and carried to Africa by colonists and adventurers... or vice versa!)

    Since that region of southwestern Asia was home to several of mankind's earliest civilizations, written language was developed early there. Nonetheless, since Egypt was one of the first civilizations to develop writing, the forms of the symbols in Asian writing, and the fact that many Asians had migrated to Egypt to take jobs building the Pyramids (tales of slave labor, including the Biblical stories about thousands of Jewish slaves, are preposterously exaggerated), I find that most linguists assume that the writing symbols of Mesopotamia were borrowed and modified from Egyptian hieroglyphics.

    So it comes down to: when exactly did God speak to this Jewish fellow? If it was in the remote past, he could have been speaking one of the Canaanite languages. But if it was more recent, it might have been an ancient dialect of Hebrew. The Hebrew/Jewish people have been overrun many times, so they were often forced to communicate in the language of one conqueror or another. Because of this, their own beloved language has been treated more as a religious relic than an actual communication medium. Thus, every Jewish man (and, increasingly, also women) is expected to be able to read the Torah in the original language.

    Modern Israeli Hebrew isn't exactly the same as the biblical version, but someone from King David's era would probably be able to understand it after being exposed to it for a few days. The biggest difference between the two dialects (other than modern slang and scientific terminology) is phonetics, rather than than grammar or vocabulary.
     

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