Just when was the Old Testament written?

The premise is this:

While ancient Hebrew underwent linguistic change, as do languages in general, the biblical texts seem not to reflect this chronology in a way that makes any kind of linguistic dating of the texts possible – in contrast to the consensus prevailing among Hebrew linguists until about a decade ago.

Essay based on Linguistic Dating of biblical Texts. Volume 1: An Introduction to Approaches and Problems. Volume 2: A Survey of Scholarship, a New Synthesis and a Comprehensive Bibliography. BibleWorld. London: Equinox Publishing, 2008.

The essay is here:

The Bible and Interpretation.

So, what do you think? If they are correct, and the Hebrew of the OT shows no changes over a supposedly millennium, does that harm the ‘authorship’ of the texts, especially that of the Torah? (Hardly, but I don’t want to answer for you.)

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2 Replies to “Just when was the Old Testament written?”

  1. I my uninformed opinion, I would think that the ancient scrolls or tablets had to have been recopied to preserve them. I would think that it would have been inevitable that “modern” words from the time of the recopy would have been introduced into the text. Just because NT writings were copied in a way that preserved them, doesn't mean that the Hebrew copyists had the same understanding of how their Torah should be preserved.

  2. I don't think the author is saying the texts aren't different, but rather that the diachronic differences cannot be accurately identified or relied upon for chronology as a result of archaizing tendencies, the variegated layering of the texts, and frequent redaction.

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