[b-hebrew] Why assume the Masoretes recorded spoken Hebrew?
kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Feb 11 13:35:07 EST 2005
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vadim Cherny" <VadimCherny at mail.ru>
> I would stop discussing this issue, ...
> Vadim Cherny
That would be a good idea.
You don't have to have the final word.
>From what I have seen of the language, I have come to the following conclusions:
1) the Masorites recorded their points to the Hebrew that they heard. They didn't pull their points out of thin air.
2) Hebrew had ceased to be a spoken language at the hearth and in the market for about a thousand years by the time the Masoretes came on the scene, but, like Latin in western Europe, continued on as the language of official records, scholarship and religion. Again like Latin, it was a sign of an educated man that he could speak in Hebrew, no matter what the language he was taught at his mother's knee.
3) there were regional differences in Hebrew pronunciation. These regional differences show up in manuscript traditions of the New Testament as well: the Byzantine family of mms appears to me to be slightly closer to the Masoretic points than the Coptic family, which includes many of the oldest surviving manuscripts -- the LXX reflects more the Coptic regional pronunciation. In particular, the Coptic regional pronunciation had a greater percentage of the begadkepat letters as fricatives.
4) that there were major changes in Hebrew pronunciation, much of which happened by the time of the Maccabbees.
Finally, this mail list is dedicated to the study of Biblical Hebrew. In view of the above, arguing fine points of Masoretic pronunciations won't help much in the stated goal. Let Peter have the last word.
Karl W. Randolph.
Sign-up for Ads Free at Mail.com
More information about the b-hebrew