Ancient Hebrew and Phoenician are the same
by Matt Giwer, © 2007 [Oct 28]

This is no secret in the field. It is only when around bible believers do you find people who disagree. If you read the literature you will regularly find Canaanite/Phoenicians as a description. Canaanite being a tip of the hat to the imaginary Canaanites of the bible. The problem is the bible get nothing right about the Phoenicians just as it get nothing right about Egypt. So it is impolite to mention this among believers as it distresses them so.

A long time ago I looked into some claims being made about proto or archaic Hebrew. I took a look and found Phoenician. I do not claim to be any kind of expert or even read more than a couple words in either language but I know the Phoenician alphabet when I see it. And I was seeing Phoenician being identified as some form of early Hebrew.

With just a little time on images.google.com I came up with the alphabets for each.

Hebrew alphabet

Phoenician alphabet

Only the 7th letter is slightely different. It appears more different than it is because the different versions look like I and Z.

So I looked into how the two were distinguished. I found the answer very quickly. They noted where an inscription was found, referred to the bible to see of the Jews ruled there. If they did, the language was declared Hebrew. If not, it was declared Phoenician. A very neat bit of reasoning with a very small circle of fallacious reasoning. Yes, circular reasoning, something identified by the Greeks as a logical fallacy 2500 years ago.

All images available but not yet all incorporated in the discusion.