[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53:8 lamo

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Dec 20 10:02:42 EST 2004


On 20/12/2004 14:45, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> ...
>
>It only implies that etymological analysis "may" be flawed. In fact, Hebrew
>etymology, due to the root system, is much more stable that in Germanic
>languages. ...
>  
>

Really? This is a very surprising statement. Do you have any evidence 
for it?

I can find a number of examples of semantic shift between cognates 
within the Semitic triliteral system. A simple one is "shalom" = "peace" 
(Hebrew) and "salaam" = "greetings" (Arabic). Semantically linked, of 
course, but the Arabic meaning is significantly weakened.

>No doubt, the contemporaries, speaking the living language, knew the correct
>meaning contextually. We don't possess this knowledge. Our best bet is
>etymological. Or do you think four (?) entries of lamo make  a context? ...
>  
>

Not four, but 55 for lamo plus four for lmo, which makes "dozens". 
That's enough to establish regular usage, although not enough to be 
certain that there are no exceptions.

>... I was learning English largely contextually, with little of formal grammar,
>and from some point without vocabulary. I can tell you empirically that
>meaning even of nouns is not clear from few instances. Service words, like
>lamo, need dozens of instances to clarify the meaning. Etymology is the best
>we have for Hebrew, though not without shortcomings.
>
>  
>
In some cases, something very bad is better than nothing at all. A crust 
of dry bread is better than starvation. But that doesn't stop it being 
very bad.

>>If you are not convinced, follow George's excellent advice and read
>>James Barr.
>>    
>>
>
>Why do you assume I didn't? ...
>

 From your failure to learn the basic lessons he teaches. But I see that 
in fact you have theological objections to his conclusions. I'm not sure 
if that says more about Barr's theology or yours.

>... Barr's most cherished concern is protection of
>the sacred pasture of theology from outsiders. He is perfectly willing to
>infuse his theological views in the semantics instead of reading the plain
>text.
>
>Vadim Cherny
>
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-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/





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