[b-hebrew] virginity

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 00:12:29 EDT 2007


You wrote, "Yes, well, Karl sees christian doctrine forcing changes in
the meaning of Hebrew words among native Hebrew speakers, ..." This is
libel, take it back. It is libel because it is a deliberate and
willful broadcast of a falsehood.

On 7/16/07, Tory Thorpe <torythrp at yahoo.com> wrote:
>  On Jul 16, 2007, at 8:51 AM, K Randolph wrote:
> > Tory:
> >
> > You are guilty of pushing a particular reading for what historically
> > have been ideological reasons.
> I disagree that the reading "young woman" in Isa. vii 14 is
> ideologically driven. In fact, I have never heard or read any modern
> Hebrew scholar make that claim.

Who and how do you define "modern  Hebrew scholar"? Your definition
may be too restricted.

>   This reading allows for physical
> virginity.

This is like when talking about an old crone you simply call her a
"mature woman". A mature woman includes any woman from 18 and older,
while crone is a subset of elderly women. Yes, you are technically
correct, but far from accurate.

>  > It is my understanding that there was no problem among Jews with the
> > understanding of (LMH meaning "virgin" until after the Christian claim
> > that Jesus was born of such. The belief that Messiah would be born of
> > a virgin continued among some Jews as late as the 1400s AD (mentioned
> > in Rafael Patai "The Messiah Texts", I'm citing from memory having
> > read the book decades ago
> I have this book and I've been searching but cannot find where a
> belief in a virginal conception and birth of the Jewish Messiah was
> maintained in Judaism from ? down to the 15th century. And you must
> understand, saying there was "no problem among Jews with the
> understanding of (LMH meaning 'virgin' until after the Christian
> claim that Jesus was born of such" is unfounded and highly offensive.
> It reminds one of a similar libelous claim that Jews altered their
> Bible in response to Christian claims.

This inference is libellous.

As for my statement, I will quite willingly take it back if you can
show me pre-Christian Jewish references that state directly that (LMH
cannot mean "virgin", indicating that it is wrong for such a

>  > The reasons that I and many others claim that (LMH means "virgin" are
> > both linguistic and ideological:
> The reason for reading "young woman" is simply linguistic and does
> not exclude your ideology. That's why the reading "young woman" is
> nonpartisan.

It is partisan. First because it is too inclusive, Young women who are
virgins are only a subset of young women. not all of them. Secondly,
because it is too inclusive, it can then be used for understandings
that were not intended by the author, understandings that historically
have been driven by ideological considerations.

>  > The claim that Mariam the mother of Jesus was a virgin at the time she
> > got pregnant and gave birth.
> I am not disputing this claim.
> > By prior agreement, we are enjoined from pushing the ideologic reasons
> > (the only reason I mention them above is to admit that they exist and
> > that they are not linguistic), but we can mention the linguistic
> > reasons which, contrary to your claims, is not "pushing our ideology".
> If you translate almah as "virgin" in Isa. vii 14 you leave no room
> for much else.

But isn't that what the author intended? If so, then to water down his
meaning to something, well, meaningless, is not only inaccurate, but
to insist on an inaccurate translation is partisan.

>   That is why it is a partisan translation. The "young
> woman" is not because physical virginity is not ruled out.

Here you are wrong. See above.

>  > For you to deny that the linguistic reasons exist can only be
> > understood as pushing your ideology,
> I don't think this part of your argument can be taken seriously. I
> have not denied that you have linguistic reasons for your reading.
> However, your reading, which you yourself admit is part ideology,
> denies me mine. I stand by my claim that "young woman" cannot be
> construed as an ideological reading.

This paragraph doesn't make sense.

>  Tory Thorpe

In closing, you jumped into this discussion claiming, "Cow dung. There
is simply no basis for the "generally should connote a virgin" in your
first sentence apart from a particular theology. The commentary does
not take Eigenbegrifflichkeit into account at all, else the
commentators would not have said "but not married" as if almah cannot
be used to describe a married woman, which is totally false." This
statement is not only false, as it denies that there are linguistic
reasons that some of us recognize for the reading of "virgin" for
(LMH, a claim that you are backtracking on now that I show linguistic
reasons for such a rendition, but it leaves no room for a reading of
"virgin" as the correct emphasis of the prophecy by Isaiah. The only
reasons I can see for your statement is partisanship and proselytism.

The question before this group is, what was the message that Isaiah
intended to impart, and what linguistic clues are there to recognize
that message? Subsets of that question are what the meanings of the
words used in it?

Karl W. Randolph.

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