Pointing and canonical authority

John Richards jhr at universalist.worldonline.co.uk
Mon Oct 30 12:41:04 EST 2000

> However, the fact remains that when you pronounce
> a segholate noun's epenthetic vowel, in the majority of cases you're
> using a pronunciation that probably would have been unknown to anybody
> at any time that anybody would call "Biblical"...

Surely the exact pronunciation is not terribly significant. Whether the
writer or (original) editor had a Palestinian pronunciation or a Babylonian
one is not very important, nor whether pronunciation changed in details over
the centuries. It would be bound to. What IS important though is whether
later pointing has in any way altered the meaning - even with the best of
intentions. An example could be the possible substitution of a niphal in Ps.
42.2 to avoid the later anathema idea that one might be able to "see" God. I
am sure this sort of thing must have happened too.

John Richards

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