[b-hebrew] re:the mystery of the vav-consecutive

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed May 25 18:35:08 EDT 2005

On 25/05/2005 18:27, Smith, Colin wrote:

>... The Hebrew Bible was the first body of Semitic literature to present sacred texts inprose form and it presented a unique circumstance in which a verbal form was created to suit the needs of the text - a narrative of the acts of a God of time/history rather than a god of nature.

This is an interesting theory, but I see a problem with it. A large 
proportion of the prose texts in the Hebrew Bible are narratives of 
history and/or legend. Although I accept that these narratives are not 
entirely non-religious, it is surely at least probable that these texts 
are at least in part a written form of a continuing tradition, probably 
originally oral, of history and legend - which would have also included 
stories about the acts of God or gods. For it is hardly likely that the 
biblical authors invented an entirely new genre for telling stories 
about the past. These pre-biblical narratives of the past must have had 
their own grammatical form indicating the successive events in a 
narrative. And, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it is 
surely highly probable that this grammatical form would have been the 
WAYYIQTOL or its precursor.

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

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