[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 3 10:04:03 EDT 2005


----- Original Message -----
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
> On 9/30/05, Karl Randolph wrote:
> >
> > > The difference between my evidence and your evidence
> > > is that your evidence requires accepting your beliefs.  My
> > > evidence is hard facts.
> > >
> > Where are your cold, hard facts that prove that Torah was
> > not written by Moses in about the 15th century BC? What
> > documentation do you have?
In other words, you have no "cold, hard facts", just beliefs, 
as the following attests to:

> My understanding is that Ugaritic is very close to Hebrew,
> but is far more archaic.  This would be evidence, hard
> evidence, in terms of the language of Ugaritic texts
> against the language of Biblical texts.

The way I read this statement, you claim that "My 
understanding" = "hard evidence". In other words, your 
beliefs, your theological position, is the basis of your 
claims. You need to have something more substantial.

The Bible makes certain history claims, which you so airily 
dismiss, that puts the Torah in 15th century BC. Ugaritic, 
according to the oldest dating which is contested, was first 
written a century later if not three centuries. While there is 
no question that it is a cognate language, how can it be 
more archaic when its oldest examples date from one to 
three centuries later?

Yes I admit that I am basing much of my understanding on 
"what if?" arguments, what if the historical claims are 
accurate? What if the text was accurately copied? You 
base your arguments equally on "what if?" arguments, 
what if the text was not accurately copied? What if the 
history claims are mythological? What if the accounts they 
relate are myths? What if ancient Hebrews learned the 
alphabet from the Phoenicians instead of the other way 
around? What if ...? What if ...?

If you had some documentary evidence to back up your 
"what if?" claims, then I would find them more persuasive, 
but as it is, with your faith claim countering my faith claim 
with no universally recognized hard evidence, why do you 
keep arguing?

> I don't need evidence for whether Moses did or did not
> write the Torah in the 15th century BCE for this discussion,
> because that question is theological and does not pertain
> to this discussion which is linguistic. 

It does pertain to this discussion. You have made certain 
claims concerning the development of the language, 
based on "hard facts". But if Moses wrote the consonantal  
Torah in the 15th century BC basically as we have it 
today, then the evidence from Hebrew contradicts your 
claimed "hard facts".

> ... it is obvious there is another hidden claim
> behind your argument.  That hidden claim appears to be
> basically, "Hebrew by definition cannot have more than
> 22 phonemes."
Since you can read my mind better than I myself, what 
else is there that I don't recognize? As usual, you have 
mangled my argument. 

In summary, since it is merely your faith claims against my 
faith claims, your attempts to change mine is nothing less 
than proselytism. Let's get back to a study of the language.

Karl W. Randolph.

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