[b-hebrew] The use of the Yiqtol in Isaiah 1:21

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 00:43:35 EDT 2009

Hello Karl,

You know very well what it means that the language was spoken.  When I say it
continued to be spoken, I mean it continued to be a living language.  When
the poor servant girl asked her friend to get the broom, she would
tell her this in
Hebrew.  Not because they spoke different languages, or that she was schooled
in it, but because this is her native language.

The following:
> The statement I reacted to is the following, “This position seems odd to me.
>  Why do they rule out translations to Greek and Aramaic which were done by
> native speakers of the language, and which provide us first hand knowledge
> of each verb (well, with the exceptions of such textual issues as noted
> previously) and the way the native speakers understood those verbs.” By the
> rules of English usage, this is presenting your beliefs as fact.

Is not a presentation of my beliefs.  It is the consensus that translators of
the Bible into Greek and Aramaic in the late Second Temple period were
either native speakers of Hebrew or had access to native speakers of
Hebrew.  There is no problem presenting the consensus opinion as fact.
This doesn't touch on my independent beliefs -- that Hebrew continued to
be spoken for much later.  Yes, the consensus may be wrong.  You are
perfectly right to think that even if everybody thinks otherwise you have it
right.  However, given the two options, the consensus opinion is the one
that can be legitimately presented as accepted fact.  It's not a fallacy.  It's
a basic honest representation of the current opinion in scholarship.

> Now if you go back and carefully reread my message, I merely said
> there is evidence [...]

If you go back and read my message, you'll see that I said that I think
there is evidence.  See the difference?  Even the question of whether
something counts as evidence and whether it is relevant to the question
at hand is something that has to be presented appropriately.  You can't
say "there is evidence for such and such..." if everybody else disagrees
with your assumptions for discerning the evidence (such as the
textual dating).  You can say "I think there is evidence, but most
scholars disagree with the assumptions by which I discern evidence."
That would be honest.  But to say "there is evidence, but it is not
sufficient to be considered proof" is to present a subjective opinion as
fact.  Even if everybody agrees that what you have is valid evidence,
but most scholars disagree with its relevance, or most scholars have
a ready response that you don't accept, you have to present it
appropriately.  You can say, "There is evidence for such and such.
Most scholars simply respond by saying that X.  I disagree, however."
You may not have researched the question to know how most
scholars respond (simply being on this list and hearing responses
is not research about responses!)  In that case, you probably wouldn't
know if scholars accept your evidence as valid evidence.  You could
say, "I think there is evidence for such and such.  The consensus
opinion is contrary to this evidence so either most scholars don't buy
the basic assumptions by which I discern evidence, or they have a
ready response.  I don't know, because I haven't researched the
question fully."  In any case, your personal subjective divergent
opinion to the consensus has to be presented as such, rather than
the way it reads from your posts before, where it simply reads as fact.
Hey, I could tell you that in Hebrew all consonants represent
interjections.  I could ignore the consensus position and I could
simply present my own divergent opinion as fact.  What would you
say then?  So think about how the consonant-interjection theory
could be validly presented on the list without conveying the impression
that it is accepted fact, and argue your own divergent opinions the
same way.

> No we don’t have a consensus, just a majority opinion

Please look up 'consensus' in the dictionary.

Yitzhak Sapir

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