[b-hebrew] the Jim vs Karl debate

David Kolinsky yishalom at sbcglobal.net
Thu Dec 11 15:12:03 EST 2008

I wonder if we could get some additional opinions on this debate.  
I agree with Karl that Jim's postings are annoyingly pedantic and that if he has a comprehensive thesis on Hebrew etymology and how it applies to the patriarchal narrative then he should seriously consider writing a book or starting a web site.
However, I think Karl is behaving as much as a bully as Jim is being pedantic.  Furthermore, it is not only in the context of Jim's rantings that he has done so.  Rather, he seems to consistently do so when anyone presents and/or disagrees with him regarding Hebrew Etymology.  There is no doubt that there is no consensus on the relationship between Hebrew verbal roots and other words with seemingly similar "root" letters.  This holds true as well when it comes to making the same comparisons between semitic languages (cognates).  But the fact that there is no consensus does not mean that people who profess these ideas are idiots (as Karl seems to regularly suggest).  Nor does it make it a subject not worth exploring.  Those of us who have our theories of Hebrew etymolgy could create another B-Hebrew list, but that would deprive us of the opinions of people who disagree with us (Karl's included).  My complaint is that Karl seems much less
 interested in scholarly debate and exploration and much more interested in shutting the rest of us down.  Which, by the way, he seems to have done rather successfully.  
Is that the intent of this list?
david kolinsky

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