[b-hebrew] Verbs

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Thu Jul 28 18:29:50 EDT 2005

Dear Harold

What I have tried to show with my translation is that tense does not exist 
in classical Hebrew. There is no one-to-one relationship between tense and 
aspect in English or in other aspectual languages. Therefore, if tense is 
lacking in Hebrew, and even though aspect exists, on which basis do we make 
a tense discintion in the target language between QATAL, YIQTOL, and 

I have never said there is no semantic difference between QATAL and YIQTOL. 
To the contrary, I argue there is such a difference. But this difference 
does not related to tense.  So again, if tense is lacking in the SL, on 
which basis do we fix tense in the TL?

Best regards

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 8:36 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Verbs

> Dear Rolf,
> You know what it looks like? It looks as though you're saying, "It
> creates a lot of theoretical difficulties trying to unravel how these
> various verb forms function in their contexts, so let's just throw
> them all out and make up the meanings that seem logical to us."
> In this example you have succeeded in ridding the text of any shades
> of time and perspective inherent in the verb forms. There are all
> these different objective forms, and in every language I have
> studied, such differences indicate a difference of meaning, but you
> have nullified the differences.
> It may be difficult for us to discern how the QATAL and YIQTOL forms
> were used, and many scholars have spent a great deal of ink doing so.
> Until we fully understand the system, I feel much safer trying to
> abide by the guidelines established scholarship has laid down rather
> than just throwing the evidence out the window the way you seem to do
> (plus all the scholarly guidelines).
> There are generally ways to gain some understanding through the
> perfect versus imperfect distinction, and that may be the case at
> 53:12. Perhaps the imperfect at "make intercession" is a concluding
> comment on the Servant's life to explain that in all He did He was
> intervening for rebels. This might cover His healing and teaching
> ministries as well as His suffering. At any rate, there may be a
> meaning-based explanation for the form, and i would prefer to work
> towards it rather than become indifferent to the forms.
> Thanks your your efforts, but form and function are closely related.
> Various forms did not usually exist for no purposeful reason. I have
> probably missed the purposeful reasons you have given for the forms,
> but seeing your translation, the purposes were not that meaningful.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard

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