[b-hebrew] virginity

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Jul 17 07:15:19 EDT 2007


Dave,

A great deal was said about the (LMAH being a virgin, and now we are  
heatedly debating virginity, but none of the disputants ever made  
clear to the rest of us what he means by virgin or virginity. A  
virgin may mean:
1. A woman with an originally intact hymen.
2. A woman [of ripe age?] who never had sex [what this means needs  
also close scrutiny] with a man.
Of corse, an intact hymen does not mean the woman is innocent, and a  
broken hymen does not mean the woman is guilty of any wrong doing.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 16, 2007, at 7:19 PM, dwashbur at nyx.net wrote:

> You are arbitrarily redefining "virginity" to mean "intact hymen"  
> whereas in the biblical text it
> clearly means "not having had intercourse."  I have yet to see  
> anything anywhere in the
> textual or linguistic context that makes this redefinition valid.
>
> On 16 Jul 2007 at 15:19, Isaac Fried wrote:
>
>> Tory,
>>
>> There is no, and there can not be, any reference in the Hebrew bible
>> to physical virginity as it MEANS NOTHING. We know, and the ancient
>> Hebrews certainly knew as well, that a girl may inadvertently lose
>> her virginity for no fault of her own. Some girls are born non
>> virgins, some girls need a certain medical intervention to facilitate
>> their blood flow during menstruation which may lead to virginity
>> loss, and a good number of girls loose their virginity by some common
>> non sexual activities. Lack of physical virginity is surely no
>> admissible evidence against any woman. You can rest assured that the
>> ancient Hebrews never stoned a woman to death for sheer lack of
>> virginity.
>>
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>>
>> On Jul 16, 2007, at 2:10 PM, Tory Thorpe 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. This reading allows for physical
>>> virginity.
>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>
>>>> 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. That is why it is a partisan translation. The "young
>>> woman" is not because physical virginity is not ruled out.
>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>
>>> Tory Thorpe
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> b-hebrew mailing list
>>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> b-hebrew mailing list
>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>
>
>
> Dave Washburn
> But I can't say Sylvester, George!
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list