THE USE OF ARABIC IN BIBLICAL HEBREW LEXICOGRAPHY. By John Kaltner. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series, 28. Pp. vii + 122. Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 1996. Paper, $7.50. This well-researched monograph is a critical examination of several purported Arabic cognates to the Biblical Hebrew lexicon. It conclusively demonstrates that even well-known Hebraists have erred in some of their comparisons for several basic reasons. Two of the worst offenders cited by the author are Alfred Guillaume and G. R. Driver; however, other prominent scholars featured for false equations include Edward Ullendorff and the late Marvin Pope. I might add that another notorious overuser of the Arabic lexicons in his work on cognate Semitic languages has been John Gray (1913- ); (see, e.g., as typical his The Legacy of Canaan, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1957). It is somewhat surprising that his name does not appear in the book undergoing review. One of the characteristics all of the aforementioned scholars have had in common is their phenomenal productivity. The book consists of five chapters and two appendices. Chapter I, "The Problem and the Resources" (pp. 1-21), surveys the long history of the utilization of Arabic in Biblical Hebrew lexicography.
Hebrew Studies – National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Published: Oct 5, 1998