[b-hebrew] XBR vs. XBL: One Key to Understanding the Patriarchal Narratives

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Dec 10 12:41:47 EST 2008


On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 12:00 PM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Karl:
> 1.  You wrote:  "Why do you keep wanting to make connections to a language
> which, by your own claim, did not exist at that time? That's nuts!"
> I do not understand what you are saying here.  Biblical Hebrew is closely
> related to the Semitic languages that preceded it.

There are three things that need to be brought out here:

1) "closely related". How closely related? It is known later that a person
speaking Aramaic could not understand Hebrew and visa versa, unless there
were a translator and/or one or the other learned the other's language. $KX
in Hebrew means "to forget" while in Aramaic it means "to find". Many years
ago I was told (others on this list can correct me if I am wrong) that the
present name Jerusalem, YRW$LM, is a corruption of Urusalem where the Uru-
was a Sumarian word meaning "city": looking at Hebrew roots would give
either YRH to shoot out or RWH to moisten. Similarly, the names you
reference could have quite different meanings than what you expect when
looking at Hebrew roots, because they were different languages.

2) You don't know which language is older. According to the internal dating
of the Bible, the Torah predated the earliest Ugaritic by one to four
centuries, depending on which scholar's dates you accept for Egyptian
history. Is the internal dating of the Bible correct? We have no proof
either way.

3) On this list we have made an agreement to disagree on historical matters
and not to proselyte to one's particular ideology. You repeatedly violate
that agreement. You write long screeds pushing your view as the only correct
one. While I disagree with the Biblical minimalists, I think they have a
more coherent position than you do, therefore I have defended them against
your attacks. But mostly I merely say that your arguments are incoherent,
that the text as written gives a certain picture that you illogically say is
accurate yet inaccurate. I have been careful to try to avoid proselytizing
you to my ideology, as per the agreement above, merely saying that the text,
as written, gives a different picture than the one you are proselytizing
for, and that the archaeological data seems to support the text as written
while not supporting your position.

A few years ago, Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfield y de la Torre was pushing
his ideology on this list, leading to a lot of strong disagreement. Like
you, his arguments were primarily his views of history with the language
only on the periphery. He now has his own site at
http://www.bibleorigins.net/ where he is able to present his views in their
totality, instead of chapter by chapter as he previously did, and you now
do. Why don't you follow in his footsteps, set up your own site where you
can proselyte for your theory all you want and we will be glad to answer any
linguistic question you might have.

> 2.  You wrote:  "While linguistic study is the focus of B-Hebrew, insisting
> that it be tied to a certain interpretation of history is a no-no on this
> list.
>  You are violating the rules you agreed to join this list."
> You are the one who keeps citing references to a supposedly historical
> Sodom
> and Gomorrah on the southeast coast of the Dead Sea, and an historical
> Exodus.
>  I have said virtually nothing about those historical claims of yours,
> because they are not the main subject of the b-hebrew list.  By contrast,
> examining
> whether the language of Biblical Hebrew has a great amount of positive rope
> imagery, and then asking if that may help us pinpoint when Biblical Hebrew
> separated itself off from earlier Semitic languages, is exactly the type of
> issue
> that b-hebrew is designed to address, I would think.
> See above.

The text as written is the focus of this list because that is the only
source we have, besides a few short letters and inscriptions, for Biblical
Hebrew. Whether we agree or not with the text as written is not the main
focus of this list. We can mention in passing our own views, but not push
them as you now do.

Because of the strong ideologic views held by different people on this list
which effect the ways they understand history, the question of  "when
Biblical Hebrew separated itself off from earlier Semitic languages, is
exactly the type of issue that b-hebrew is designed to" … AVOID! You have it

> At this time I don't have time to respond in detail to all your statements
other than to say that I don't see this rope imagery at all.

> 8.  You wrote:  "With this language, you indicate that you are writing a
> book.
> "
> In fact, I am not writing a book.

Your language repeatedly saying "In my next post I will…" and especially " In
fact, we are just getting started on this fascinating journey." is the
language of a pedagogue writing a book, asking us as good students of you to
follow along, not the language of scholarly debate among equals. Hence my
comment. Hence also my repeated questions as to your qualifications which
you steadfastly refuse to answer.

> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois

In closing, I'll be glad to answer Hebrew language questions. But I strongly
urge you to stop burdening us with your historical theories. That is not
what this list is about.

Karl W. Randolph.

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