[b-hebrew] phonetic writing, was Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a...

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Oct 25 13:39:36 EDT 2005


On 25/10/2005 18:14, Karl Randolph wrote:

>Peter:
>
>But that's just the point. While the number of names that 
>Joel Hoffman presented is small, that the same names 
>have radically different pronunciations calls all the 
>pronunciation schema into question. ...
>

I don't see why the variations in Greek transliterations, generally made 
by people whose grasp of Hebrew was inadequate, calls into question the 
Tiberian pronunciation of Hebrew.

>... Further, none of the 
>pronunciation points nor transliterations were extant when 
>there were still native speakers of Biblical Hebrew to 
>interview. The earliest was generations later. Who knows 
>what changed before.
>  
>

This is not true. There were certainly still mother tongue speakers of 
Hebrew when LXX was translated. But they probably were not in Alexandria 
where it was translated. Josephus is a different matter, as he surely 
knew mother tongue speakers of Hebrew in Jerusalem before it fell.

>And I will add to that that even within the tradition of the 
>Masoretic points, it is demonstrable that some of them are 
>wrong. Remember, I gave an example concerning 
>Proverbs 1:19 a while back.
>  
>

Well, no human work is perfect. The Masoretic text has a few clear 
errors, although remarkably few considering its size and complexity, and 
the absence of computer checks!

>The probability that after 1000 years of war, upheaval, no 
>native speakers, exiles, foreign accents and so forth, that 
>the MT should accurately preserve Biblical pronunciation 
>is a vanishingly small probability. Hence I can confidently 
>claim that the Masoretic points do not reflect Biblical 
>pronunciations.
>  
>

I agree that it is highly improbable that the Masoretic text is 100% 
accurate in reflecting "biblical" pronunciations, whatever you might 
mean by that. But that is absolutely no help to us in determining what 
changes might have taken place.

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




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