[b-hebrew] Blau's explanation for how ultimate stress became inHebrew
furuli at online.no
Tue Aug 3 08:01:35 EDT 2010
I agree with Barry that in order to develop a balanced and
well-founded view of some ancient linguistic matter, one must have a
good knowledge of what different scholars have written about the
subject. I also agree with James Spinti that because of Blau's
excellent scholarship we should give a careful consideration to his
But we must remember that Classical Hebrew grammar and phonology, as
we understand them today, are based on induction and indirect
evidence and includes a lot of scholarly guesswork. We also see a
clear tendency in monographs, textbooks, and reference works
discussing ancient phonology, grammar, and lexical semantics to
repeat what others have said without checking their conclusions
I will give one example that deals with ancient Greek , but which
clearly is relevant for Classical Hebrew studies as well.
In 2010 Gunnar Samuelsson published his dissertation "Crucifixion in
Antiquity." The author has done an extensive research (413 pages),
and his conclusion, which I heartily endorse, is that much of what is
said in textbooks and reference works about the basic words used for
"cross; crucifixion" is without any foundation. On the back cover the
author points out that almost all accounts from antiquity that
scholars have used to prove crucifixion must be rejected; at the
best, some of them are ambiguous. Then he says:
"The New Testament is not spared from this terminological ambiguity.
The accounts of the death of Jesus are strikingly sparse. Their chief
contribution is usage of the unclear terminology in question.
Over-interpretation, and probably even pure imagination, have
afflicted nearly every wordbook and dictionary that deals with the
terms related to to crucifixion as well as scholarly depictions of
what happened at Calvary. The immense knowledge of the punishment of
crucifixion in general and the execution of Jesus in particular,
cannot be supported by the studied texts."
We have exactly the same situation in connection with many ancient
Hebrew issues. So we should carefully study the conclusions of the
leading scholars, but be skeptical regarding their conclusions.
University of Oslo
>----- Original Message ----- From: Isaac Fried
>Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 1:31 PM
>Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Blau's explanation for how ultimate stress
>>I don't know and it irrelevant to me.
>Ok, thanks. In my own academic training, I was taught that some
>knowledge of the published writings in a given area was essential to
>my own work, so I find this lack of knowledge... surprising. You
>must be operating on different principles.
>N.E. Barry Hofstetter
>Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
>(2010 Savatori Excellence in Education Winner)
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