[b-hebrew] Potiphar's title

Stephen C. Carlson scarlson at mindspring.com
Thu Jul 10 18:17:07 EDT 2003

Peter Kirk <peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com> wrote:
>Stephen, you have a point. The full technical arguments for this being a 
>loan word have not been presented in this thread. But they have been 
>studied by many competent scholars for at least 100 years (as quoted in 
>BDB), and it certainly seems to be the scholarly consensus, as repeated 
>in Kohler and Baumgartner, that this particular word is a loan word into 
>Hebrew from Akkadian. In a case like this, if you wish to challenge the 
>accepted results, it is not enough to say "not proven", serious 
arguments are required.

I weighed into state that there is indeed a method for
distinguishing cognates from loanwords, rather than the
all-or-nothing approach that seems to be being argued
in other messages in the thread.

I agree that, in a thread discussion such as this, citing
the relevant authorities is sufficient to shift the onus
on the one challenging the scholarly consensus.  In my own
defence, I must have missed the post where you did exactly

Just because there is a "consensus", that does not make it
true.  It may be worthwhile to follow up the cites and re-
evaluate the analysis behind the commonly accepted result,
particularly if it had gone unchallenged for a century.
Methods and assumptions do change, after all, so the analysis
that produced the result may no longer be acceptable today.  
Sometimes, it may even turn out that no analysis had in
fact been done originally.

Please be sure that I am not suggesting that the responsibility
for this following-up be imposed on you, Peter.  You did your
part.  Let the challenger, if he is still interested, do his.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson, 
mailto:scarlson at mindspring.com 
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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