Early Biblical Hebrew, Late Biblical Hebrew, and Linguistic Variability

A Sociolinguistic Evaluation of the Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts


Author: Dong-Hyuk Kim
In Early Biblical Hebrew, Late Biblical Hebrew, and Linguistic Variability, Dong-Hyuk Kim attempts to adjudicate between the two seemingly irreconcilable views over the linguistic dating of biblical texts. Whereas the traditional opinion, represented by Avi Hurvitz, believes that Late Biblical Hebrew was distinct from Early Biblical Hebrew and thus one can date biblical texts on linguistic grounds, the more recent view argues that Early and Late Biblical Hebrew were merely stylistic choices through the entire biblical period. Using the variationist approach of (historical) sociolinguistics and on the basis of the sociolinguistic concepts of linguistic variation and different types of language change, Kim convincingly argues that there is a third way of looking at the issue.

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Dong-Hyuk Kim, Ph.D., Yale University (2011), is a lecturer in Hebrew Bible and Christianity at several universities and seminaries in Korea, including Methodist Theological University, Ewha Womans University, and Myongji University.
" “The bigger, the better.” This rule seems to be the guiding principle of many doctoral dissertations published recently. Hence, it is so encouraging to see a dissertation which is concise and lucid, applies a clear methodology to deal with a specific problem, uses a wisely delimited body of evidence and arrives at conclusions which contribute to the current discussion on the topic. This is the case with Dong-Hyuk Kim’s book, which originated as a dissertation at Yale University. Its publication in the prestigious series of Supplements to Vetus Testamentum is an honour not only to the author but also to the series itself."

Krzysztof J. Baranowski, Folia Orientalia Vol. 50 2010
All who are concerned with the linguistic dating of biblical texts or who want to be introduced to the issue, and anyone interested in the linguistic study of biblical texts