cantillation makes a difference
peter_kirk at sil.org
Tue Feb 1 21:50:52 EST 2000
But surely the Greek (of LXX and Mark) is equally ambiguous? Here we
have no cantillation to rely on, and if the sentence first
prepositional phrase is unusual in Greek it may simply have arisen
from over-literal translation, or perhaps the LXX translator seeking
to retain the ambiguity in the unpointed MS in front of him.
Now my LXX has a capital E to indicate the "Christian" interpretation.
But how ancient is that capital E? And how ancient is the "Christian"
interpretation? I don't think it is necessarily that of the New
Testament authors, for both are compatible with the quotation being
used to illustrate a story set in the desert.
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: cantillation makes a difference
Author: <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk> at Internet
Date: 31/01/2000 18:11
On Mon 31 Jan 2000 (09:46:31), decaen at chass.utoronto.ca wrote:
> prepositional phrases in hebrew as in english are notoriously ambiguous
> as to syntax. in this case, bammidbar "in the desert", could go both ways.
> but the cantillation forces the reading,"A voice crying, "In the
> desert make way...."". However, this is a case where the other reading
> has come down to us through the Christian scriptures: "A voice crying out
> in the desert, "Make way...."". Both are possible without context. Quite
> different meaning, and again, this happens on a regular basis with such
A good point, Vincent. But don't you think it was the hellenistic Jewish
Septuagint that gave the "Christian" version, FWNH BOWNTOS EN THi ERHMWi
hETOIMASATE THN hODON KURIOU, ktl (Isaiah 40:3, quoted in Mark 1:2)?
Maybe the Massoretes reacted against this in their definitive pointing of
the verse in the MT, so as to wrong-foot the Christian interpretation?
Or is it simply a case of Ben Naftali as against Ben Asher (a la Hillel
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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