[b-hebrew] Re: PS /g/

gfsomsel at juno.com gfsomsel at juno.com
Thu Nov 18 07:59:15 EST 2004

On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 21:01:45 -0500 "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> Peter:
> I am not a scholar of Greek language, New Testament nor NT textual 
> criticism, never was, and so I leave the argument to those who are 
> scholars. Harstad and his school claim that the "Coptic" (referring 
> to Egypt, not language) rescension of Greek manuscripts is not the 
> oldest line, and I, beyond reporting about it, will leave the 
> discussion alone.
> However, I now think that the soft sounds of BGD KPT letters in 
> Hebrew are a late development, not original. And to see that at 
> least in the Byzantine tradition of NT manuscripts that some of the 
> transcribed names had the hard sound where later Hebrew had soft 
> gives some (weak) support to my theory. That the texts that Nestlé 
> is based on have a later pronunciation could very well be a result 
> that they were produced in a millieu where there were many Jews 
> (e.g. Alexandria) who could keep the scribes up to date on the 
> latest Hebrew pronunciations.
> The claim that the soft and hard sounds were original and peacefully 
> coexisted over the millennia until the Masorites codified them with 
> their points, does not match known patterns of language shift and 
> development. (Don't anybody say that I claim that the Masorites 
> invented anything other than the points themselves. They did not 
> invent the pronunciations they codified.) Languages both lose and 
> gain phones and phonemes, and I don't see that Hebrew should be an 
> exception.
> Karl W. Randolph.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> > 
> > On 17/11/2004 23:29, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > 
> > >...
> > >Harstad et al claim that the Byzantine tradition represents an 
> older tradition than Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and others of the 
> "Coptic" tradition. They say that accident of preservation does not 
> necessarily mean older tradition.
> > >  
> > >
> > 
> > Well, you can speculate that the Byzantine pronunciation is an 
> older one 
> > than the Nestlé etc one, but unless you can produce evidence for 
> this 
> > (and you cannot) you have left the realm of scholarship and for 
> that of 
> > speculation. And the word "Coptic" is quite inappropriate as these 
> are 
> > Greek language texts, of a family sometimes described as 
> Alexandrian, 
> > after the city founded by al-Iskandar = Dhul Karnain. He seems to 
> be 
> > cropping up in every thread!
> > 
> > >Of interest to the B-Hebrew subject, the Byzantine tradition 
> preserves more hard consonants than the Nestlé text, e.g. Nazaret 
> instead of Nazareth, Matthaion instead of Maththaion, Kaparnaum 
> instead of Kafarnaum (modern Kfarnahum) (e.g. Matt. 4:13). However 
> most hard consonants had turned to soft (t -> th, p -> f, etc.) by 
> that time, even in the Byzantine tradition.
> > This seems to suggest that the spelling differences reflect a 
> change in 
> > Greek rather than Hebrew pronunciation.
> > -- 
> > Peter Kirk
> > peter at qaya.org (personal)
> > peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> > http://www.qaya.org/


When I wrote my quick response last night I didn't have sufficient time
to elaborate or to deal with the rest of your point. 

Farstad "taught" at Dallas.  Even his colleagues there did not accept his
views.  He is now deceased so I will say no more regarding his views
other than to note that he was not very consistent in following his own

As regards you speculation regarding the Byz text being reflective of an
older Hebrew, I would say that the argument cuts quite the other way. 
The Byz text spellings reflect a later  *** "correction" *** of the older
to bring it into conformance with their view of the pronunciation of the
Hebrew.  Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, etc. are the more secure


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list