[b-hebrew] Different ways of pronouncing words in Biblical hebrew

Chris and Nel wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Mon Sep 11 14:06:24 EDT 2006

Dear Karl,

Well that clears a little bit up, but still, Karl, whichever method they 
used could not account for some of the rather almost unnoticeable vowel 
changes which appear far more picturesque than practical.  It is rather like 
me saying: "I feel good" and another writing "I feeil good" in one place and 
everywhere else writing the standard:  "I feel good",  Do you see my point. 
Whether transcribed OR pronounced it still 'Sounds' the same in everyones' 

Karl wrote:


There is some controversy concerning the Hebrew pronunciation.

There are some who claim that the Masoretes accurately transcribed
Biblical pronunciation.

Others, and for clarity I admit I am in this group, believe that the
Masoretes had transcribed the pronunciation tradition that they heard,
but it was no longer the same pronunciation as was spoken before the
Babylonian Captivity. One of the evidences is that some of the
pronunciations make no grammatical nor logical sense, indicating that
the Masoretes were wrong.

The problem is that we now do not have enough information to answer
how close the Masoretes were.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/10/06, Chris and Nel <wattswestmaas at eircom.net> wrote:
> Dear All,
> Beginning from the correct perspective that Biblical Hebrew was a living
> SPOKEN everyday language for some time I am somewhat curious about the
> deviations from the common rules that are visible in the collective 
> grammar
> as a whole.
> Just One Example to clarify my question, which is not about this word but
> about the overall pattern of deviations that occur
> EG -- Rules governing the Perfect Hiphil (Pe-Gutteral) with and without 
> the
> vav conjunction are understandable and logical, but, what about when one
> should expect the rule to apply yet reads in Joshua 7:7 He'aVaDTah instead
> of He'eVaDTah.  Is it really to be believed that people in those days were
> so pedantically accurate? So minutley detailed in their pronounciation of
> the spoken language.
> I hope you can see where I am going with this and I do not see that an
> example in Joshua 7:7 does anything to convey a different sense or feel to
> the semantics of the sentence.  So what were the Masoretes so 'finigalty'
> about. Are they asking future generations to believe that there was such
> accuracy as say the pronounciation of a single vowel in what appears to be 
> a
> normal word with an already pre-defined well-accustomed manner of speaking
> it?
> This is a general question and I have only used this passage to clarify my
> "irritation".
> Thankyou
> Chris Watts
> Ireland.

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