Review of scribal education in ancient Israel: The Old Hebrew epigraphic evidence by Christopher Rollston
AbstractIn this illustrative and thorough article, Christopher Rollston argues for the existence of, in R’s words, “a formal, standardized scribal education” in Ancient Israel (47). R bases his argument on a systematic analysis of the epigraphic evidence of Old Hebrew (i.e. Iron Age II Hebrew, ca. 1000-550 ce) and offers the following as his supporting arguments: (i) In terms of the ductus, the stance, and the relative spatial relationship of graphs, the Old Hebrew (OH) script: (a) displays synchronic consistency, (b) demonstrates discernable, diachronic development, and (c) differs markedly from those of nearby polities (Phoenicia, Arameans); (ii) In terms of orthography, the OH script exhibits synchronic (and arguably regional) consistency with distinctive features that were in opposition with the features of the Phoenician and Aramaic national scripts; and (iii) In terms of content, hieratic numerals (which derive from a complex number system originally borrowed from Egypt) were inscribed on many OH documents, suggesting that an administrative or governing body routinized their usage (and practical dissemination) throughout Iron Age Israel
Albright, W. F. (1960). Discussion in City invincible: A symposium on urbanization and cultural development in the Ancient Near East, eds. C. H. Kraeling and R. M. Adams, 94-123. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Bordreuil, P., Israel, F. & Pardee, D. (1996). Deux ostraca paléo-hébreux de la collection Sh. Moussaieff. Semitica 46.49-76.
Crenshaw, J. L. (1985). Education in Ancient Israel. Journal of Biblical Literature 104.601-15.
Cross, F. M. (1961). The development of the Jewish scripts. The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of William Foxwel Albright, ed. G. E. Wright, 133-202. Garden City, NY: Doubleday [Republished in Cross (2003): 3-43].
___. (1982). Alphabets and pots: Reflections on typological method in the dating of human artifacts. Maarav 3.121-136 [Republished in Cross (2003): 344-350].
___. (2003). Leaves from an epigrapher’s notebook: Collected papers in Hebrew and West Semitic paleography and epigraphy. Harvard Semitic Studies 51. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
Cross, F. M. & Freedman, D. N. (1952). Early Hebrew orthography: A study of the epigraphic evidence. American Oriental Series 36. New Haven: American Oriental Society.
Davies, G. I. (1995). Were there schools in Ancient Israel? Wisdom in Ancient Israel: Essays in honour of J. A. Emerton, eds. J. Day, R. P. Gordon, and H. G. M. Williamson, 199-211. Cambridge: Cambridge University.
Delnero, P. (2010). Sumerian extract tablets and scribal education. Journal of Cuneiform Studies. 62.53-69.
Gesche, P. D. (2001). Schulunterricht in Babylonien im 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr. (AOAT 275), Münster.
Lemaire, A. (1981). Les écoles et la formation de la Bible dans l'ancien Israël. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 39. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Levin, I., Share, D. L., & Shatil, E. (1996). A qualitative-quantitative study of preschool writing: Its development and contribution to school literacy. The science of writing: Theories, methods, individual differences and applications, eds. M. Levy and S. E. Ransdell, 271-93. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Oppenheim, A. L. (1977). Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a dead civilization, ed. Erica Reiner, 2nd edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Robson, E. (2001). The tablet house: a scribal school in Old Babylonian Nippur. Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale. 93.1.39-66.
Rollston, C. A. (1999). The script of Hebrew ostraca of the Iron Age: 8th-6th centuries BCE. Ph.D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University.
___. (2006). Scribal education in Ancient Israel: The Old Hebrew epigraphic evidence. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 344.47-74.
___. (2010). Writing and literacy in the world of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic evidence from the Iron Age. SBL Archaeology and Biblical Studies, vol. 11. Atlanta: SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE.
Tinney, S. (1999). On the curricular setting of Sumerian literature, Iraq. 61.159-172.
Veldhuis, N. (1996). The cuneiform tablet as an educational tool. Dutch Studies on Near Eastern Languages and Literature 2.11-26. nes.berkeley.edu/Web_Veldhuis/articles/veldhuis_ds-nell_2-1.pdf
___. (1997). Elementary education at Nippur: The lists of trees and wooden objects. Ph.D. dissertation, Groningen University. http://www.rug.nl/research/portal/publications/pub(d7539f72-9851-4b83-841f-886ef19cb1be).html
Weeks, S. (1994). Early Israelite wisdom. Oxford: Clarendon.
Whybray, R. N. (1974). The intellectual tradition in the Old Testament. Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 135. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Copyright (c) 2018 Lingua Frankly
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
The full text of the author agreement is below:
I/We grant to Boston College the right to include and publish the above-described submission in the online journal Lingua Frankly. I/We will retain copyright ownership but hereby grant to Boston College the non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free right to use, copy, distribute, and display my submission in any format or medium for any educational, non-commercial purposes, including as part of the online journal. Boston College will apply the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported License to all works published in Lingua Frankly. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/)
These rights include, without limitation, the right to maintain one or more copies of the submission in multiple formats for security, back-up, and preservation purposes, and to allow a third party to hold one or
more copies solely for such purposes.
I/We represent and warrant that the submission is my/our original work, that I/We have the right to grant the permission in this agreement, and that, to the best of my/our knowledge, the submission will not infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights. I/We have obtained all necessary permissions to include in my/our submission any materials created or owned by third parties and any such third party
material is clearly identified and acknowledged within the content of the submission.
If the submission is based upon work that has been sponsored or supported by an organization or agency other than Boston College, I/We certify that I/We have fulfilled any right of review or other obligations required by any contract or agreement with such agency or organization.
Boston College will clearly identify my/our name(s) as the author(s) or owner(s) of the submission.
Nothing in this agreement shall be deemed to obligate Boston College to publish the submission.