[b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect? Psalm 107

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat May 22 14:23:22 EDT 2004

On 20/05/2004 14:01, furuli at online.no wrote:

> ...
> To ignore the examples that contradict one's view with the argument 
> that they are errors, does not recommend itself as a good scientific 
> method. Errors will occur, but they must be shown to be errors on the 
> basis of a scientific analysis. If you have studied the Philosophy of 
> science, you should be familiar with the problem of induction; one 
> million white swans do not prove that all swans are white, but two 
> black swans, who are not dyed or have gone through a fire, will 
> falsify the hypothesis. Thus, the 1.000 non-past WAYYIQTOLs are a 
> stronger basis for saying that WAYYIQTOL is not semantically speaking 
> past tense than the 12.000 WAYYIQTOLs occurring in past narratives. ...

Your argument from swans is an interesting one. Suppose we do find a 
million white swans and two black ones. What do we conclude? Of course 
not that all swans are white. But we suspect that there is some reason 
for the exceptions. Maybe the black ones are a different species, or 
mutations. Or maybe they have been in some special environment which has 
changed their colour. Good scholars will look for a reason. But they 
will not argue that "not all swans are white, therefore the colour of 
swans is irrelevant". However, that seems to be how you argue when you 
reject the significance of the observation that the great majority of 
WAYYIQTOLs are sequential, and most of these are in past context 
although some are future because they follow future verb forms.

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

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