[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53:8 lamo

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Dec 20 09:05:54 EST 2004

On 20/12/2004 13:23, Vadim Cherny wrote:

>>>Everywhere but in Hebrew and to some extent in Chinese. Of course, modern
>>>languages, for one, deviated from etymological meaning, and for another,
>>>accumulated huge contexts. This does not work with Tanakh, ...
>>So, are you claiming that Hebrew was preserved by divine intervention
>>from the processes which affected all other human languages? Hebrew
>>already had centuries, maybe millennia of use before the Bible was
>>written and had plenty of time to accumulate "huge contexts" and
>>semantic shift.
>Had we possess these contexts now, I would agree with you. Since Tanakh is
>more or less all we have from that time, other texts amounting to a fraction
>of it, we have too little data for contextual analysis. Etymological
>analysis is a better bet.
>Had we the Library of Congress amount of data for Hebrew, I would agree with
>you that we have to proceed contextually.
We don't have the contexts to work from, I agree. But they did exist in 
ancient times, at least in spoken language if not in written. The 
implication is that semantic shift did take place - even if we don't 
have evidence of it. This implies that etymological analysis is 
seriously flawed.

If you are not convinced, follow George's excellent advice and read 
James Barr.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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