• Richard Dean



For approximately two centuries scholars have sought to identify “Aramaisms†in Biblical Hebrew texts and utilise their presence as evidence for a post-exilic date of composition. In this article it is demonstrated that many features which have historically been identified as Aramaisms were not stable during the transmission of the Bible, as the presence or absence of Aramaic elements varies between the Masoretic Text and the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. It is thus argued that the presence of Aramaisms is not a reliable criterion for linguistic dating as Aramaisms could often reflect Aramaic influence during a stage of the text’s transmission, rather than the time of its composition.


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How to Cite

Dean, Richard. 2016. “ARAMAISMS: NOT WHAT THEY USED TO BE”. Journal for Semitics 25 (2):1080-1103.



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