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Aramaic Studies and the Bible

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with material both published and discovered in the last thirty years. The material deals with a chronological rather than a typological point of view. The author has set the end of the Persian period as the limit of this article and therefore has not deal with either the Aramaic material from Qumran or Targumic studies. There is an unpublished group of clay tablets that deal primarily with loans and bonds and have helped to clarify the terminology used in the Hebrew Bible. One of the important conclusions drawn from the material published during the last thirty years, is that Aramaic was not a single dialect as it is usually described. At an early period, as anyone with linguistic training might assume, there were already a variety of dialects in use. Under the Assyrians, Aramaic had become a lingua franca in the West, and also in the East.

Keywords: Aramaic material; Assyrians; Dialect; Hebrew Bible; Lingua Franca; Persian Period



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