[b-hebrew] Re: b-hebrew Digest, Vol 23, Issue 23

Alison Raborn AL-RAB at peoplepc.com
Fri Nov 26 18:51:50 EST 2004


Regarding the Hebrew grammar problem. It might be helpful to e-mail
Jerusalem Perspective at jerusalemperspective.com and ask David Bivin he was
at one time Director of the Hebrew Language Division of American Ulpan, and
has witten books on Reading and writing Biblical and Modern Hebrew. Is now
the Director of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research and has lived in
Jerusalem for all most 30 years.---Alison AL-RAB at peoplepc.com
----- Original Message -----
From: <b-hebrew-request at lists.ibiblio.org>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, November 26, 2004 12:00 PM
Subject: b-hebrew Digest, Vol 23, Issue 23


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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Re: Samekh/Sin (MarianneLuban at aol.com)
>    2. A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (wattswestmaas)
>    3. RE: Intermediate Hebrew Books? (Ken Penner)
>    4. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (Noam Eitan)
>    5. Re: Intermediate Hebrew Books? (C. Stirling Bartholomew)
>    6. Re: Intermediate Hebrew Books? (gfsomsel at juno.com)
>    7. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (Peter Kirk)
>    8. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (Sameer Yadav)
>    9. Re: A Modern Hebrew perspective on reading biblical hebrew
>       (was: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew) (Noam Eitan)
>   10. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (Yigal Levin)
>   11. Re: A Modern Hebrew perspective on reading biblical hebrew
>       (was: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew) (Sameer
Yadav)
>   12. Re: A Modern Hebrew perspective on reading biblical
>       hebrew(was: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew)
>       (Noam Eitan)
>   13. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew
>       (Dave Washburn)
>   14. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (Uri Hurwitz)
>   15. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew
>       (Dave Washburn)
>   16. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew (Rolf Furuli)
>   17. Re: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew
>       (Karl Randolph)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 12:59:13 EST
> From: MarianneLuban at aol.com
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Samekh/Sin
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <158.44ad24ae.2ed77771 at aol.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>
> In a message dated 11/22/2004 4:14:41 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> peterkirk at qaya.org writes:
>
>
> > >
> > >My Coptic grammar says thita can be an abbreviation for "t H"--such as
> > >"ethneete" for "t Heneete".  "Heneete " is "monastary" and "t' is the
> > feminine
> > >article "the".  I can't tell you why the thita is present in "ethouab"
> > because I am
> > >not sure of the meaning of the entire phrase.
>
> Well, Peter, here is your answer.  I was wrong.  There is a "thita" in
> Coptic--but in the Bohairic dialect--the dialect of the Delta, Lower
Egypt.  Mostly,
> we beginners in Coptic learn Sahidic, the Upper Egyptian or Theban
dialect.
> My grammar is Sahidic.
> Therefore, what is written with tau in the other dialects is mostly
written
> with thita in Bohairic.  What is the reason for this--I don't know.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 19:40:04 +0100
> From: "wattswestmaas" <wattswestmaas at eircom.net>
> Subject: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <FAEIIKJEKGHNGLFNMDBCMEANCDAA.wattswestmaas at eircom.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> Hallo All,
>
> I am wondering whether anybody would like to comment on an awkward issue
> that I am facing, and I do not really know from what perspective I should
> base continued learning on.
>
> Am receiving help with my studies from an Israeli who is doing a PHD at
Cork
> University.  Having chatted to him about how he reads and how he was
taught
> biblical grammar at school over a period of 12 years his perspective was
> somewhat surprising BUT very understandable.  We chatted for some time
about
> imperfect and perfect and he told me to forget about it, putting it
shortly.
> He sees a simple past present and future tense.  I understand that there
are
> issues of Mother-tongue here and the need for grammarians to dissect and
for
> the native person to just simply read unaware of his own grammatical
> formulas and all the fuss that foreigners make.  However I am wondering
what
> comments you could make that would help me to continue on the right
> perspective.
>
> I did mention that the general idea behind the perfect was a 'completed
> action' and imperfect 'incomplete action' but he did not even agree with
> this.  Is this a native speaker's personal view or do you think that it is
> really how the bible is taught to Jewish children and on into adult hood?
Is
> this how they really understand it.
>
> Thanking you, Chris from Ireland.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 15:04:54 -0500
> From: "Ken Penner" <pennerkm at mcmaster.ca>
> Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] Intermediate Hebrew Books?
> To: "'Dave Washburn'" <dwashbur at nyx.net>, <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <20041125200613.1E18D4C005 at happyhouse.metalab.unc.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> > When you describe J-M as "newer" do you mean "newer than WOC"
> > or "newer than GKC"?
>
> I meant newer than GKC. It seems to me that Muraoka's revisions were
> thorough. I suspect if it's in J-M, it has passed Muraoka's very careful
and
> well-informed scrutiny.
>
> Ken Penner, M.C.S. (Regent College), M.A. (McMaster)
> Ph.D. (cand.), Religious Studies,
> Biblical Field (Early Judaism major)
> McMaster University
> Hamilton, Canada
> pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
> Flash! Pro vocabulary software: http://s91279732.onlinehome.us/flash or
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flash_pro/join
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 15:21:25 -0500
> From: "Noam Eitan" <neitian at nyc.rr.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <000801c4d32c$56d4e0b0$7e565a18 at D56KTX21>
>
> >However I am wondering what
> > comments you could make that would help me to continue on the right
> > perspective.
>
> It's hopeless. I don't know if your Israeli has ever contemplated
seriously
> the alternative views, or is still in the naive stage. There are others on
> this list who can (and have) discuss this better than me, but if my path
> proves anything, than it's hopeless. I started from the (Modern Hebrew)
> naive perspective of past-present-future. I educated myself for several
> years about the way modern and past scholars view the issue, helped a lot
by
> this board. I am now back to a total rejection of imperfect and perfect in
> BH, I see everything placed in time from the subject's perspective (the
> 'noseh'). I don't know if it is childhood fixations, I just cannot read
the
> texts with the perfect/imperfect understanding imposed on them. I agree
with
> everything you quote from the guy - I feel like a recovering alcoholic
> resigned to and enjoying an alcoholic relapse.  I experience a wall of
> misunderstanding when I try to discuss this with non-native-Modern Hebrew
> speakers. Based on my sorry experience my advice to you is not to waste
your
> time.
>
>
>
> I'm curious what are the feelings of Modern Hebrew speakers on this board
> about this issue. I have a vague impression that they have been relatively
> quiet on this thorny grammatical problem on this board, maybe because
Modern
> Hebrew speakers don't experience any tension or cognitive dissonance when
> following the tenses (if that's what it is) in the text.
>
> - Noam Eitan, Brooklyn
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 12:23:08 -0800
> From: "C. Stirling Bartholomew" <jacksonpollock at earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Intermediate Hebrew Books?
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <BDCB7F2C.280%jacksonpollock at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>
> On 11/25/04 12:04 PM, "Ken Penner" <pennerkm at mcmaster.ca> wrote:
>
> >> When you describe J-M as "newer" do you mean "newer than WOC"
> >> or "newer than GKC"?
> >
> > I meant newer than GKC. It seems to me that Muraoka's revisions were
> > thorough. I suspect if it's in J-M, it has passed Muraoka's very careful
and
> > well-informed scrutiny.
>
> Is J-M a more of a reference work than a text book? I mean in comparison
to
> WOC which is both. I cannot imagine using GKC as a text book and I am
> wondering if J-M is more like GKC in that respect.
>
>
> greetings,
> Clay Bartholomew
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 15:34:14 -0500
> From: gfsomsel at juno.com
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Intermediate Hebrew Books?
> To: jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20041125.153414.-83206579.0.gfsomsel at juno.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
> On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 12:23:08 -0800 "C. Stirling Bartholomew"
> <jacksonpollock at earthlink.net> writes:
> > On 11/25/04 12:04 PM, "Ken Penner" <pennerkm at mcmaster.ca> wrote:
> >
> > >> When you describe J-M as "newer" do you mean "newer than WOC"
> > >> or "newer than GKC"?
> > >
> > > I meant newer than GKC. It seems to me that Muraoka's revisions
> > were
> > > thorough. I suspect if it's in J-M, it has passed Muraoka's very
> > careful and
> > > well-informed scrutiny.
> >
> > Is J-M a more of a reference work than a text book? I mean in
> > comparison to
> > WOC which is both. I cannot imagine using GKC as a text book and I
> > am
> > wondering if J-M is more like GKC in that respect.
> >
> >
> > greetings,
> > Clay Bartholomew
> ______________
>
> It's definitely a reference book -- much like GKC in many respects.
>
> george
> gfsomsel
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 7
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 21:32:53 +0000
> From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: Noam Eitan <neitian at nyc.rr.com>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <41A64F85.8090504 at qaya.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
>
> On 25/11/2004 20:21, Noam Eitan wrote:
>
> > ...
> >
> >I'm curious what are the feelings of Modern Hebrew speakers on this board
> >about this issue. I have a vague impression that they have been
relatively
> >quiet on this thorny grammatical problem on this board, maybe because
Modern
> >Hebrew speakers don't experience any tension or cognitive dissonance when
> >following the tenses (if that's what it is) in the text.
> >
> >
> >
> But surely there are places where the Hebrew Bible simply doesn't make
> sense if all verb forms are read as if they were modern Hebrew tenses?
> Aren't there? Can anyone suggest any examples? Perhaps 1 Samuel 1:5: is
> this understood as "And to Hannah he will give..."?
>
> And what do modern Hebrew speakers make of WAYYIQTOL and WEQATAL forms?
> I assume they cannot understand these simply as future and past
> respectively, plus the conjunctions. That approach would certainly lead
> to cognitive dissonance, not least in putting most of the historical
> events of the Bible into the future!
>
>
> --
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 8
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 14:20:11 -0800 (PST)
> From: Sameer Yadav <sameer_yadav2 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20041125222011.41000.qmail at web14205.mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
> I am sympathetic with Peter's thoughts about this.
> The grammatical problems of classical Hebrew are not a
> matter of "cognitive dissonance" that can be cleared
> up by native speaker intuitions about the
> *contemporary* stage of its development.  It is a
> problem for historical linguistics, and as such
> everyone is more or less confronted with the same
> descriptive difficulties with the same available
> resources to solve them, no matter what their native
> language is.
>
> - Sameer
>
>
> --- Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> wrote:
>
> > On 25/11/2004 20:21, Noam Eitan wrote:
> >
> > > ...
> > >
> > >I'm curious what are the feelings of Modern Hebrew
> > speakers on this board
> > >about this issue. I have a vague impression that
> > they have been relatively
> > >quiet on this thorny grammatical problem on this
> > board, maybe because Modern
> > >Hebrew speakers don't experience any tension or
> > cognitive dissonance when
> > >following the tenses (if that's what it is) in the
> > text.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > But surely there are places where the Hebrew Bible
> > simply doesn't make
> > sense if all verb forms are read as if they were
> > modern Hebrew tenses?
> > Aren't there? Can anyone suggest any examples?
> > Perhaps 1 Samuel 1:5: is
> > this understood as "And to Hannah he will give..."?
> >
> > And what do modern Hebrew speakers make of WAYYIQTOL
> > and WEQATAL forms?
> > I assume they cannot understand these simply as
> > future and past
> > respectively, plus the conjunctions. That approach
> > would certainly lead
> > to cognitive dissonance, not least in putting most
> > of the historical
> > events of the Bible into the future!
> >
> >
> > --
> > Peter Kirk
> > peter at qaya.org (personal)
> > peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> > http://www.qaya.org/
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 9
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 18:04:50 -0500
> From: "Noam Eitan" <neitian at nyc.rr.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Modern Hebrew perspective on reading
> biblical hebrew (was: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew)
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <000401c4d343$2ad57bc0$7e565a18 at D56KTX21>
>
> I overlooked the header of the thread. There is nothing "Jewish" about
this
> perspective. Native (Jewish) English speakers I have discussed this have
the
> same facility in applying the perfect/imperfect to the text, that native
> Israelis have a hard time to digest (here's a grammatically dysfunctional
> sentence for you, transferring from Modern Hebrew into English without
> adjusting). Noam
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 10
> Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 01:11:50 +0200
> From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <00be01c4d344$3bf36420$0f664684 at xp>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> I must agree with both Noam and Chris' friend, but only to a degree.
Modern
> Hebrew speakers begin reading Tanakh at an early age, before they really
can
> have a grasp of grammar - modern or biblical. Think of an English-speaking
> six year old reading the KJV. How aware is he of the specific differences
> between the English he speaks and the English that the KLV uses? Sure,
there
> are some difficult words and expressions, but that's true of anything that
> the six year old reads.
> Most Israelis and Jews who learn Hebrew as a language of prayer and study
> from an early age do not get far beyond this stage. Of course, their
> vocabulary expands and so does their ability to understand the text, but
how
> many native speakers actually dissect every verb? You "know" what the text
> means by its context and by being taught. Only those few who happen to
study
> biblical grammar at a university level are even aware of the issues, and
> even then they seem more like nit-picking than really important for
> understanding the text.
> Specifically, the WAYYIQTOL form is called "Vav Hahippukh", "the inverting
> Vav", which turns a future-tense verb into past tense. Now I know that
this
> is a very simplistic way of looking at it, but that's what we were taught
in
> fifth grade (or whenever). "Perfect", "imperfect" and so on are term that
we
> first learn when we learn English!
> And as far as "And to Hannah he will give...", many Israelis tend to use
> present tense when speaking of the past ("he tells me...") anyway.
>
>
> Yigal
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> To: "Noam Eitan" <neitian at nyc.rr.com>
> Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, November 25, 2004 11:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew
>
>
> > On 25/11/2004 20:21, Noam Eitan wrote:
> >
> > > ...
> > >
> > >I'm curious what are the feelings of Modern Hebrew speakers on this
board
> > >about this issue. I have a vague impression that they have been
> relatively
> > >quiet on this thorny grammatical problem on this board, maybe because
> Modern
> > >Hebrew speakers don't experience any tension or cognitive dissonance
when
> > >following the tenses (if that's what it is) in the text.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > But surely there are places where the Hebrew Bible simply doesn't make
> > sense if all verb forms are read as if they were modern Hebrew tenses?
> > Aren't there? Can anyone suggest any examples? Perhaps 1 Samuel 1:5: is
> > this understood as "And to Hannah he will give..."?
> >
> > And what do modern Hebrew speakers make of WAYYIQTOL and WEQATAL forms?
> > I assume they cannot understand these simply as future and past
> > respectively, plus the conjunctions. That approach would certainly lead
> > to cognitive dissonance, not least in putting most of the historical
> > events of the Bible into the future!
> >
> >
> > --
> > Peter Kirk
> > peter at qaya.org (personal)
> > peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> > http://www.qaya.org/
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 11
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 15:17:11 -0800 (PST)
> From: Sameer Yadav <sameer_yadav2 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Modern Hebrew perspective on reading
> biblical hebrew (was: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew)
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20041125231711.42683.qmail at web14206.mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
> Thanks for the clarification.  I think the same point
> still applies, though.  An intuitive ease in
> translating the conjugations only suggests a
> sidestepping of the real descriptive problems in favor
> of whatever feels contextually appropriate, which is
> often vague and person-relative.
>
> - Sameer
>
> --- Noam Eitan <neitian at nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>
> > I overlooked the header of the thread. There is
> > nothing "Jewish" about this
> > perspective. Native (Jewish) English speakers I have
> > discussed this have the
> > same facility in applying the perfect/imperfect to
> > the text, that native
> > Israelis have a hard time to digest (here's a
> > grammatically dysfunctional
> > sentence for you, transferring from Modern Hebrew
> > into English without
> > adjusting). Noam
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 12
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 18:27:48 -0500
> From: "Noam Eitan" <neitian at nyc.rr.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Modern Hebrew perspective on reading
> biblical hebrew(was: A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew)
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <000a01c4d346$5ffb1b40$7e565a18 at D56KTX21>
>
> I'm rereading my post - I must have dropped the ball if two posters read
> into it a simplistic endorsement of an intuitive-native perspective,
> particularly with my "recovering alcoholic" self-deprecating imagery. My
> point was about a cultural-linguistic gulf that Chris cannot bridge with
the
> right "comments --- that would help me to continue on the right
perspective".
>  - Noam
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 13
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 18:16:07 -0700
> From: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <200411251816.07618.dwashbur at nyx.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> On Thursday 25 November 2004 11:40, wattswestmaas wrote:
> > Hallo All,
> >
> > I am wondering whether anybody would like to comment on an awkward issue
> > that I am facing, and I do not really know from what perspective I
should
> > base continued learning on.
> >
> > Am receiving help with my studies from an Israeli who is doing a PHD at
> > Cork University.  Having chatted to him about how he reads and how he
was
> > taught biblical grammar at school over a period of 12 years his
perspective
> > was somewhat surprising BUT very understandable.  We chatted for some
time
> > about imperfect and perfect and he told me to forget about it, putting
it
> > shortly. He sees a simple past present and future tense.  I understand
that
> > there are issues of Mother-tongue here and the need for grammarians to
> > dissect and for the native person to just simply read unaware of his own
> > grammatical formulas and all the fuss that foreigners make.  However I
am
> > wondering what comments you could make that would help me to continue on
> > the right perspective.
> >
> > I did mention that the general idea behind the perfect was a 'completed
> > action' and imperfect 'incomplete action' but he did not even agree with
> > this.  Is this a native speaker's personal view or do you think that it
is
> > really how the bible is taught to Jewish children and on into adult
hood?
> > Is this how they really understand it.
>
> The tense thing is from modern Hebrew, which William Chomsky described as
more
> Indo-European in nature than Semitic.  But as you may have gathered from
this
> board, the perfect/imperfect thing doesn't exactly work, either.  We're
> fairly sure that BH isn't tensed, but it doesn't really seem to be
aspectual,
> either.  That's why many of us are engaged in ongoing research, trying to
> figure out exactly what it is (at the moment, we can only tell you what it
> isn't).
>
> --
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> "No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 14
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 18:15:31 -0800 (PST)
> From: Uri Hurwitz <uhurwitz at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net>, b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20041126021531.55902.qmail at web51610.mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
>
>
> Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:
> "..... But as you may have gathered from this
> board, the perfect/imperfect thing doesn't exactly work, either. We're
> fairly sure that BH isn't tensed, but it doesn't really seem to be
aspectual,
> either. That's why many of us are engaged in ongoing research, trying to
> figure out exactly what it is (at the moment, we can only tell you what it
> isn't). "
>
> -- Now the mystery really deepens: if the above is correct, how could this
language have been in use for thousands of years, been  translated to
practically every written language; how could commentators delude themselves
they understaood it  -- since the the days of the Dead Sea Scrolls  at
least, if its very basic verbal system defies comprehension?
>
>   Perhaps it is simply the difference  between the use of a language on
the one hand, and the  grammatical tools  that are employed to analyze it,
tools that by their nature are  constructs and abstractions?
>
>   Uri
>
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
>  The all-new My Yahoo! - What will yours do?
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 15
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 22:37:15 -0700
> From: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <200411252237.15390.dwashbur at nyx.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="utf-8"
>
> On Thursday 25 November 2004 19:15, Uri Hurwitz wrote:
> > Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:
> > "..... But as you may have gathered from this
> > board, the perfect/imperfect thing doesn't exactly work, either. We're
> > fairly sure that BH isn't tensed, but it doesn't really seem to be
> > aspectual, either. That's why many of us are engaged in ongoing
research,
> > trying to figure out exactly what it is (at the moment, we can only tell
> > you what it isn't). "
> >
> > -- Now the mystery really deepens: if the above is correct, how could
this
> > language have been in use for thousands of years, been  translated to
> > practically every written language; how could commentators delude
> > themselves they understaood it  -- since the the days of the Dead Sea
> > Scrolls  at least, if its very basic verbal system defies comprehension?
>
> Sarcasm doesn't get us anywhere.  If you have it all figured out, let's
hear
> it.  We know what doesn't work.  Feel free to show us what does work - for
> every instance, not just a pet few that seem to support a pet theory.
>
> And of course, our problem here in the 21st century is that the language
in
> its Tanak form died out nearly 2,000 years ago.
>
> As for translations, they are approximate and frequently don't agree with
each
> other for those very reasons.
>
> Oh yes, and the amazing diversity of opinions in the commentaries hardly
> supports the idea that anybody really understands it completely.  So
thanks
> for making my point.
>
> [snip]
>
> --
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> "No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 16
> Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 06:51:48 +0100
> From: Rolf Furuli <furuli at online.no>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <41A6C474.80103 at online.no>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>
> Dear Uri,
>
> 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
> as well.
>
> Best regards
>
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
>
> Uri Hurwitz wrote:
>
> >Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:
> >"..... But as you may have gathered from this
> >board, the perfect/imperfect thing doesn't exactly work, either. We're
> >fairly sure that BH isn't tensed, but it doesn't really seem to be
aspectual,
> >either. That's why many of us are engaged in ongoing research, trying to
> >figure out exactly what it is (at the moment, we can only tell you what
it
> >isn't). "
> >
> >-- Now the mystery really deepens: if the above is correct, how could
this language have been in use for thousands of years, been  translated to
practically every written language; how could commentators delude themselves
they understaood it  -- since the the days of the Dead Sea Scrolls  at
least, if its very basic verbal system defies comprehension?
> >
> >  Perhaps it is simply the difference  between the use of a language on
the one hand, and the  grammatical tools  that are employed to analyze it,
tools that by their nature are  constructs and abstractions?
> >
> >  Uri
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 17
> Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 02:28:30 -0500
> From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical
> hebrew
> To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <20041126072830.89A22164002 at ws1-4.us4.outblaze.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Uri Hurwitz" <uhurwitz at yahoo.com>
>
> >
> >
> >
> > Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:
> > "..... But as you may have gathered from this
> > board, the perfect/imperfect thing doesn't exactly work, either. We're
> > fairly sure that BH isn't tensed, but it doesn't really seem to be
aspectual,
> > either. That's why many of us are engaged in ongoing research, trying to
> > figure out exactly what it is (at the moment, we can only tell you what
it
> > isn't). "
> >
> > -- Now the mystery really deepens: if the above is correct, how could
this language have been in use for thousands of years, been  translated to
practically every written language; how could commentators delude themselves
they understaood it  -- since the the days of the Dead Sea Scrolls  at
least, if its very basic verbal system defies comprehension?
> >
> >   Perhaps it is simply the difference  between the use of a language on
the one hand, and the  grammatical tools  that are employed to analyze it,
tools that by their nature are  constructs and abstractions?
> >
> >   Uri
>
> How much do we know about the language?
>
> After reading through Tanakh several times in Hebrew, I have now come to
the conclusion that we don't know as much about Biblical Hebrew as we
thought we did. It's like a person who knows only modern English who then
tries to read Shakespeare or the King James Version translation. Sure,
around 95% is understood, and the rest can be guessed at, but there is just
that amount that we don't know, even though we think we do.
>
> Because this is the book that founded Western society (though modern
modern trends have been a return to paganism) that has led to people
translating the book, even though some sections didn't make sense. I have
repeatedly said in the past that it is demonstrable that the Masoritic
points are sometimes wrong, in fact I think wrong points is often the reason
for Ketib/Qere in Tanakh. Because 95+% is understood correctly in every
detail, a translator can muddle through the few sections he doesn't
understand completely to get a final result that accurately covers all the
main points.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
> --
> ___________________________________________________________
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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
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> End of b-hebrew Digest, Vol 23, Issue 23
> ****************************************




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