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Title: An investigation into the theory adduced by F. Zimmermann and H.L. Ginsberg, that the Hebrew of Daniel 8-12 was translated from Aramaic, in the light of textual evidence
Author: Rollinson, Janet M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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Although a number of scholars in past centuries have viewed the Hebrew of Daniel 8-12 as translation from Aramaic, only F Zimmermann and H L Ginsberg have put forward a large body of evidence to support this theory. It has not been accepted as proof and the issue has been left open. This work appraises their evidence through: study of the general character of the Masoretic Text and the difficulties of its language; detailed description of their evidence with additional material adduced by L F Hartman, and H H Rowley’s and John J Collins’ brief rebuttals. It proceeds to critique both sides of the argument, rejecting any form of Aramaism including calque and particularly semantic interference, as ultimate proof of translation from an Aramaic Vorlage. These conclusions are reached through reflection on the similarities between thought and written text. Since the proponents paid little attention to textual evidence for comparison with their Aramaic solutions to problems in the Hebrew, a vertical and horizontal study of primary textual witnesses was carried out to compare with the small amount of their evidence which seemed to indicate an Aramaic Vorlage. The textual study itself produced two examples where variation between the Masoretic text and the Old Greek could be solved by recourse to Aramaic. This set the eventual direction of the work towards analysis of textual solutions by retroversion of the Masoretic Text to Aramaic and the Versions to Hebrew and Aramaic, and by interaction with recent textual studies in Daniel. Two types of evidence are collated; calque, which is ambiguous but supportive and evidence for an Aramaic manuscript behind the Hebrew. It concludes that absolute proof is not possible, but the instincts, not the methods of Zimmermann and Ginsberg were correct: the Hebrew probably was translated from Aramaic, and the Old Greek is a translation of a translation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available