[b-hebrew] Proto-Semitic, was WAYYIQTOL

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Mar 15 17:08:13 EST 2004


Peter:

What we need to keep in mind is the 
influence of the logical positivists on 
western intellectual thought, particularly 
among scientists.

The logical positivists were illogical in 
certain, crucial areas. They were blinded 
by their presuppositions (which they denied 
they had) and thought methodology so that 
they could not recognize their cognitive 
shortcomings.

In particular, I refer to their 
presupposition that all knowledge is either 
scientific, or “nonsense” (which they 
defined in various ways). The problem with 
this presupposition is that there are 
different types of knowledge. The rules 
regarding historical evidence are different 
from those governing scientific evidence. 
Does that make a study of history 
“nonsense”? Even they recognized that 
history is not nonsense, but in their 
effort to assert the validity of historical 
studies, they went by the proposition that 
the present is the key to the past, i.e. 
the present day phenomena and processes 
that can be observed and repeatedly so, 
hence scientific, are the only ones that 
have acted throughout the history of the 
universe (not scientific). “Scientific 
cosmology” is an oxymoran.

While the logical positivists have largely 
passed from the scene, their belief that 
the present is the key to the past is still 
a factor. Historical artifacts are listed 
as “fake” based on this belief. Historical 
records are “myths”. Which is more 
trustworthy: modern theories concerning the 
past, or the actual observations of the 
past that were recorded in art or written 
documents?

Which is a more trustworthy indicator of an 
ancient language: modern theories about 
what moderns think the language should have 
been like, or surviving documents written 
in that language? Which is a better 
indicator of Biblical Hebrew: the 
postulated proto-Semitic, or the surviving 
documents written in Biblical Hebrew?

You wrote:
> you had better conclude that it is impossible to say anything about 
> Hebrew except what is immediately deducible from the surviving texts.

I think what is deducible from 
surviving texts is more accurate 
than that based on a theory 
derived from a proposition, 
especially a proposition that 
I believe is invalid.

Karl W. Randolph.
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