[b-hebrew] Gen 2.18

A Becker ABecker at nerdshack.com
Mon Oct 29 20:33:45 EDT 2007

K Randolph:


> Do you have an agenda that you are trying to prove? If so, count me out.


Well, if you call giving the reasons for rendering WYCR as "then...formed"
after being it was labeled a "mistranslation" that "adds to the text" an
agenda, then I guess so.


> Don't you see, the very sources that you quote have weasel words

> ("most", "mostly") leaving holes big enough to drive a Mac Truck

> through. These weasel words are legitimate and I agree that they

> properly belong, but you are not taking them into account. I have no

> problem with these quotes, just of your misuse of them.


      I see the words. To me, their import is this: In most instances the
wayyiqtol expresses temporal or logical succession. That is not to say there
are other uses of the wayyiqtol. I said as much in my last post when I said
"I know the wayyitol does have other uses, but the majority of use for the
wayyiqotl is for temporal or logical succession. For me, the burden of proof
is on those who argue that some other relationship for the wayyiqtol is
intended here." For example, B. M. Rocine recommended C. John Collins'
article "The Wayyiqtol As 'Pluperfect': When And Why" which says WYCR here
should be understood as a pluperfect, as the ESV and NIV do. But as Waltke
and O'Connor's "An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax" says "The use of
wayyqtl to represent pluperfect situations...has been controversial."
Further, Randall Buth's "Methodological collision between source criticism
and discourse analysis" says that Genesis 2:19 does not meet the criteria
for temporal overlay. How then does my preference for a temporal or logical
use of the wayyiqtol in Genesis 2:19 and reference to this use from Waltke
and O'Connor constitute "misuse"? Did I ever say that Waltke and O'Connor
show that the wayyiqtol has only one use?


> The problem with your translation is that it locks one into one and

> one only understanding, a restriction not found in the text itself. In

> this regard, you are adding to the text. I now see that that is no

> misunderstanding on your part, but it is deliberate.


      Perhaps you have not heard that all translation is interpretation. And
if I have found that the temporal or logical succession explanations are the
most straight forward ways for understanding the wayyiqtol here, would I not
convey that understanding in my translation? Perhaps you would translate it
as "And/So/Then The LORD/Yahweh/YHWH/Jehovah/HaShem Elohim/God/G-D [had/was]
form[ed/ing]" so as to make it as non-committal as possible. I, on the other
hand, seeing temporal (or logical succession) here in the wayyiqtol, which
Waltke and O'Connor show is a real possibility, and knowing that "then" is
used to denote that the action of the following verb are subsequent to that
which precedes render "then...formed" (or "so...formed"). This can in no way
be a "mistranslation" which "adds to the text" because I have not made up a
meaning for the wayyiqtol that wayyiqtols do not have. Would you argue that
Genesis 4:1 has been "added to" or "mistranslated" if it were rendered "Now
Adam knew Eve his wife, then she conceived" simply because the act of
conceiving is explicitly made to follow upon Adam's "knowing"? At the most
my translation restricts the interpretation of the text, as you said. But
since EVERY translation is an interpretation at some level, then this does
not really constitute a an argument. The ESV/NIV's "Now...had formed" and
the NWT's "Now...was forming" ALSO restrict the interpretation, as does a
simple "and..formed." My translation is "deliberate" in its support of the
temporal understanding because I see that the pluperfect understanding is


> The very sources you quote (Driver, Waltke and O'Connor) leave the

> door open for an understanding other than what you insist on. Just

> because a form usually, even the vast majority of times, stands for a

> certain understanding does not mean that it always has that

> understanding. The burden of proof is on you as to why this is not one

> of the exceptions allowed by the sources that you quote.


Your right that Driver and Waltke and O'Connor show other usages for the
wayyiqtol. I never said they didn't. But your wrong to say the burden of
proof is on me. If the normal usage of wayyiqtols is to express temporal or
logical succession, then the burden of proof is on those who would argue for
a usage that is NOT NORMAL. The exception to a rule is one that carries the
burden to show, not the rule itself.


> For me, the number one rule is to follow the context. The context

> argues that your translation "then..." is a mistranslation of the

> passage.


I agree context is important and you have made statements that show how you
view the context:


"In this case, the context of chapter one indicates that the forming of the
animals occurred prior to the creation of mankind, but in chapter two their
forming was not mentioned until where their existence became important to
the story line." (10/29/2007)


But you said early on:


"Of course there were two different creation accounts; the first ended in
Genesis 2:5 [sic, 2:4], the other spread over Genesis 2:6?5:2." (10/28/2007)


If Genesis 1:1-2:4 forms a conclusive whole and Genesis 2:5 on forms its own
unit, then why should I look to Genesis 1 at all for context on 2:19? I
would submit that one's theology impels one to consider 2:19 with an eye on
Genesis 1. This is specifically why I said to Edward early on "this will go
down the road to the 'Does Genesis really contain two creation accounts?'
debate. Those who believe in the unity of Genesis 1 and 2 take the wayyiqtol
here in a different sense." Notice that if I had an "agenda," as you impute
to me, then I would have pushed it then. As it was, I suggested that Edward
"review those arguments to see which one makes the most sense" to him. I,
personally, did not and do not want to go down that road because it is
outside the limits of this list. It was you, however, that said " The
question is, did they contradict? Or did they just deal with different
aspects of creation?" At any rate, while we both appreciate context, your
context is larger than mine and it is completely understandable considering
your worldview.


> Unless you have something significantly new to add to the discussion,

> this is the last I plan to respond to you.


Well, I didn't add anything new. Sorry.


A Becker

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