[b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew
uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 26 14:38:55 EST 2004
Rolf Furuli <furuli at online.no> wrote:
If you are teaching students, I suggest the following test: Take a
narrative text of a page or so, and change all the finite and infinite
verbs into bare roots, to the point where there is no difference between
YIQTOL, WAYYIQTOL etc. Then, let your students translate the text
( they should be able to use a lexicon in order to understand the
lexical meaning of each root).
I would guess that those who have a relatively good grasp of Hebrew
would be able to translate the text rather easily, including the
temporal reference of each clause. If that turns out to be true, it
would show that the form of the verb (the conjugations) are less
important for grasping the broad meaning of a text, but they are
important for understanding the subtleties of the text.
I would suppose that the test would work quite well with modern Hebrew
University of Oslo
Your point is well taken, and could possibly applied to modern languages in general. In fact, we just recieved by E-mail a charming paragraph in which in every signle word the letters were badly garbled, yet the whole was nevertheless enirely readable and sensible.
On the other hand, one can think of verses and passages where no temporal indication could be given by a root alone.
Clearly I have nothing against further refinement of grammatical and analytical tools, but question whether the meaning of biblical original texts is unneccessarily and wrongly declared to be obscure.
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