Old Hebrew

Question
I've been told that during the first century there was a transition from Old Hebrew to New Hebrew. I'm wondering if this is true, and if you can sum up what was happening. And what are the names of these two Hebrew languages?
Answer
Actually, the Hebrew language was always in flux. There was no particularly rapid change or influence on the language in the first century that differed tremendously from changes in other time periods. During the first century, there were Aramaic influences on Palestinian Jews, Hellenistic influences on the Jews of the Diaspora, and Babylonian influences on the Jews of Babylon. These caused slight variations in the language of each area, but were not significant enough to render them anything beyond different regional dialects. There may also have been some differences in orthographic style between these regions, but not so significant that they would not have been understandable to Jews familiar with a different style.


Answer by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.

Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr. is Co-Founder and President of Third Millennium Ministries and adjunct Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL.