[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Mar 10 16:03:16 EST 2004


First, I did not claim that Jews stopped 
speaking Hebrew as their mother tongue during 
the Galut Babel, but afterwards (Det var ikke 
mens, men noe generasjoner etterpå).

Secondly, Hebrew continued to be spoken, but 
the language cooed over the cradle was 
Aramaic, later Greek for many, but not Hebrew.

Third, I just made a quick electronic search 
through the New Testament, and every time the 
Hebrew language is listed by name, it is in 
connection with someone who was part of the 
educated elite. John was part of the high 
priestly community (John 18:16) and Paul was a 
student from Tarsus.

Finally, I thought that WAYYIQTOL and WEYIQTOL 
were the same form. Without points, apparently 
there is no difference. Now a question for 
clarification, were both forms used less in 
DSS and Mishnaic Hebrew than Tanakh?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: furuli at online.no

> Dear Karl,
> There are several misunderstandings in your post; see below:
> >Uri:
> >
> >snip
> >
> >The conclusion I draw is that the major
> >linguistic influences during that period were
> >Aramaic, followed by Greek and, my knowledge
> >is thanks to this forum, apparently Latin too.
> >Hebrew was a fossil language that continued to
> >be used for official records, religion and
> >high literature but not fluently spoken except
> >by a educated elite (though most could
> >understand at least some of it). Thus the loss
> >of the WAYYIQTOL form.
> There is absolutely no evidence that the Jews forgot their language 
> during the Babylonian captivity. A language is sociologically 
> speaking the essence of national unity, so that Hebrew should be 
> forgotten during three generations in Babylon is simply unbelievable.
> Around the beginning of the first millennium C.E. there is evidence 
> that both Hebrew and Aramaic were spoken languages. The question is 
> whether the mother tongue of Jeshua was Hebrew, and whether Aramaic 
> was the language of the educated people, or whether the opposite were 
> true. Geographical location could have played a role as well, as 
> Greek was widespread in some areas, perhaps at the expense of one of 
> the other languages. The evidence of the NT is that Hebrew was the 
> common language (Acts 21:40;22:2; 26:14) in the situations addressed. 
> The Aramaic and Hebrew words in the NT can be taken both ways, either 
> to show that the mother tongue of Jeshua was Aramaic (He used Aramaic 
> sentences), or that his mother tongue was not Aramaic (because his 
> Aramaic words were quoted but not translated, suggesting that they 
> were extraordinary and therefore should be transcribed). The same can 
> be said regarding his use of hebrew words. It is worth noting that 
> Josephus distinguishes between "Hebrew" and "Syriac" (Aramaic), and 
> this lends credence to the view that when the NT says "Hebrew," it 
> means "Hebrew". All the writings in Hebrew made at Qumran and 
> imported to Qumran similarly suggest that Hebrew was a  living 
> language in the last centuries B.C.E. and the first century C.E.
> >
> >Another evidence of fossil use of the language
> >is the fossilization of spelling during a time
> >of pronunciation shift. The pronunciations
> >preserved by the Masorites were not the same
> >as those spoken even at the end of the Galut
> >Babel. (Frozen spellings are fairly rare in
> >living languages, it is only within the last
> >couple of centuries that it was considered a
> >mark of an educated man to have consistent
> >spelling in English. Some languages have
> >periodic adjustments in their written
> >languages to reflect shifts in pronunciation.
> >Even in English the dictatorship of
> >dictionaries will come to an end.)
> As to WAYYIQTOL,  there is no evidence for its existence before the

> 5th century C.E. There is no distinction between WAYYIQTOL  and 
> WEYIQTOL (the conjunction WAW+YIQTOL) at Qumran, and there is no 
> distinction between the two in the transcriptions in the second 
> column of Origen's Hexapla. I argue in my coning thesis that there is 
> strong evidence that the Masoretes was the inventors of the 
> distinction between WEYIQTOL and WAYYIQTOL, although the meaning the 
> Masoretes ascribed to WAYYIQTOL  was different from the meaning 
> ascribed to it from David Kimhi onward. If this is true, it means 
> that the concept WAYYIQTOL  only is a fiction, a misunderstanding 
> based un a wrong interpretation of of Masoretic pointing. Thus the 
> WAYYIQTOL form could not be lost at any given point of time, because 
> it has never existed as an independent semantic unit!
> Best regards
> Rolf
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
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