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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 03:47:26 EDT 2009


On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 9:43 PM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello Karl,
> 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.

Yes it is. Accepting it from an outside source does not make it stop being
your belief.

>  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.

Yes there is. For one, this is the bandwagon logical fallacy. Secondly,
factuality is not decided by majority vote. Thirdly, there are scholars who
disagree with this belief.

> 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.
> You are right that this is an opinion. But it is not the only one.

> > 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).

Again you need to learn English better, you are misunderstanding simple
English. I don’t have time now to go into the explanation of what you have

>  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.

This is nonsense English. Take it from a native speaker, this is nonsense.

>  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.
> http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/consensus
> Yitzhak Sapir

The dictionary meaning you referenced does not bring out one important
aspect of “consensus”, is that all members of whatever group agree to be
represented by a certain statement, teaching, pronouncement, etc. The moment
one member of that group objects, he has broken that consensus. There never
was a consensus among scholars that there were native speakers of Hebrew
into the second century AD. There is just a majority, possibly only among a
certain subset of which you are a member.

Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list