Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do we know more than Jerome about the Bible?

Chris referenced Jerome in the comments, and I suggested that we (as a community) now know more about ancient languages and the Bible than he did. Well, I have to confess I don't know too much about Jerome, and I am certainly no linguist (I leave that to the good looking half of the family).

What I have in mind is this:
1) we have access to more texts than the Ancients did (eg Dead Sea scrolls and so on);
2) we have access to archaeological evidence that the Ancients didn't have;
3) I suspect we also have a more nuanced understanding of language (although I may well be wrong on that); and
4) I'm pretty sure that we benefit from a larger and deeper pool of people studying these languages and the relevant texts (eg thousands of PhD students).

So I would want to stand by the general point, although I'm happy to be proven wrong about Jerome in particular.

I'd be very interested to know what John, Doug and Peter have to say on this, as they all know much more about it than me.

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