[b-hebrew] Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a...

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Oct 17 17:51:21 EDT 2005


On 17/10/2005 13:45, Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:

>>>  
>>>
>...
>
>Still, I disagree.  I think a much more plausible hypothesis is that
>The Greek LXX more accurately reflects the pronunciation in the time
>of the time of the Greeks than the Tiberian pointing.  In fact, I'm a
>little surprised than anyone takes a rendition from -250 and from +850
>and considers the later one more accurate.
>  
>

No, Joel, you don't disagree, because at least for the consonants I 
agree that the LXX is an accurate transcription of the Hebrew names into 
the Greek of its time - given the restricted consonant inventory of 
Greek, with no gutturals and no fricative sounds like the fricative 
pronunciations of kaf, pe and tav. I suggest only one possible 
inaccuracy, in the transliteration of Keturah.


>...  Is
>there any other linguistic endeavor in which we would arbitrarily
>assign more accurace to a later transcription than to a concurrent
>one?
>
>  
>
Yes, if the concurrent one is known to be unreliable and the later one 
is known to be much more consistent and based on a more reliable 
tradition. For a specific example, in New Testament textology most 
people use a 20th century critical text rather than any single 
individual manuscript from a much earlier period, because each 
individual early MS is unreliable but a modern critical edition based on 
many MSS is reliable.
...

>  
>
>>Greek forms. There could be a number of reasons for this, not least that 
>>the LXX translators were working from an unvowelled text and in a 
>>    
>>
>
>So were the Masoretes, a millennium later.
>  
>

No, they were working also from what they heard read in synagogues. 
Maybe the LXX translators were also, but how reliable was the reading 
tradition in Alexandria? That in Tiberias was probably more reliably 
connected to the ancient tradition.

>  
>
>>If we put forward the hypothesis that for the LXX translators every 
>>Hebrew consonant was pronounced according to the standard reconstruction 
>>of Masoretic pronunciation, and the LXX translators rendered every 
>>    
>>
>
>There's enormous evidence against this hypothesis:  
>
>1.  Example such as:
>
>	    `Atarot (TH) -- Xataruth (LXX)
>	    'Ebes (TH) -- Rebes (LXX)
>    are many.  
>  
>

These may be simply examples of the LXX translators' unreliability, or 
of textual errors in the MT or the LXX Vorlage, or in transmission of 
the LXX. But I accept that one possible exception to my hypothesis 
relates to the dual pronunciation of ayin and het, although the 
alternative form of ayin is more often gamma in LXX, as in Gaza and 
Gomorrah.

>2.  Double letters in the LXX do not match up with anything in TH.  (A
>    particularly striking example comes from I Chronicles 24:13:
>    XuPah [TH; P=peh with dagesh] -- Oxxoffa [LXX]).
>  
>

Such examples clearly suggest textual corruption at some point.

>3.  We have already noted that syllable structure in the LXX does not
>    match TH.
>
>4.  We have also already noted that vocalization does not match TH.
>  
>

My hypothesis explicitly relates to the consonants only.

>5.  Methodological considerations --- including the time sequence and
>    the general unreliability of transliterations --- militate against
>    using the LXX to understand TH or perhaps Hebrew at all.
>
>  
>
Well, I tend to agree, but it was you who introduced the subject, 
suggesting that LXX transliterations could tell us something about 
Hebrew. I think they can tell us something but not much.

>>short vowels in word initial syllables have often changed from "a" 
>>sounds to hiriq since the LXX translators' times, cf. LXX Samson and 
>>Hebrew Shimshon - so this might explain the hiriq in Rivka (and in 
>>Milcah and Bil`am), and some other vocalisation anomalies.
>>    
>>
>
>I think a better explanation here is that TH regularly recorded chiriq
>between the first two of three consonants, not just RIVKA and MILCAH
>(names), but also Piel (DIBBER), infinitives (LISHMOR) etc.  This TH
>rule didn't exist in the days of the LXX.
>
>  
>
Agreed. But that is not "a better explanation" but a clearer statement 
of my own explanation.


-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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