Collin Cornell deposited The Value of Egyptian Aramaic for Biblical Studies in the group Hebrew Bible / Old Testament on Humanities Commons 1 year, 6 months ago
Biblical Aramaic accounts for a small fraction within the two-testament Christian Bible. Studying it would seem therefore to present a modest value for biblical studies, and Egyptian Aramaic, a nonbiblical counterpart from the same historical era, even more so. The present article argues, however, that comparing Egyptian Aramaic with biblical texts sharpens understanding of the Bible’s distinctive theological profile. It demonstrates the value of Egyptian Aramaic through two comparative case studies: the first is lexically-focused and traces the contrast between “former” (as in, “former times”; Hebrew ראשון//Aramaic √קדם (and “latter” in Haggai and in several Aramaic letters from the Egyptian island of Elephantine. The second is more genrefocused and engages with the transmission of royal traditions, especially promissory oracles to the king, in post-monarchic texts: namely, biblical royal psalms and the Egyptian Aramaic Papyrus Amherst 63.