[b-hebrew] Psa 107:19-21 (was WAYYIQTOL)

Charles David Isbell cisbell at cox.net
Sun Mar 14 20:41:22 EST 2004

Rolf writes,

"I have worked with questions related to Bible translation for many years,
and I have also translated works from different Semitic languages into
Norwegian; so I am very sensitive for translation issues. By studying
different Bible translations, the scholar will see that the translators are
heavily influenced by the traditional views of the Hebrew verbs, which in a
way serves as a straitjacket. I will estimate that if the model of my thesis
was used instead of the traditional one, that would necessitate a change in
the English tenses of more than ten thousand verbs, and many, many other
changes would be necessary as well. So our view of verbs does have

This is a bold assertion. "Ten thousand" errors by not following your model!
Perhaps the list could profit from seeing your English translation of Exodus
3.1-4.17 with this model. Or maybe you have another narrative passage that
you find more instructive. I appreciate that you are sold on your own
theory, but I cannot imagine the wholesale changes you predict, all of which
no one else has caught from LXX to JPS. And I cannot imagine the theological
gains to be made as a result. Bandying a new linguistic theory is one thing.
Claiming that your way of translation brings thousands of changes can only
mean that a new world of theology awaits. What have I missed?

I hope you are well today, that tomorrow you will be well, and that on
Tuesday you can say, "On Monday I was well."


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