[b-hebrew] And Samuel turned back after Saul: the meaning of 1 Samuel 15:31
J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Tue Jul 28 14:40:00 EDT 2009
You yourself provided his agenda when you opened this thread. Alter
evidently has a problem with Samuel being with Saul at the moment in
question. There are many inadequacies of the NWT but one thing I like
about it is its literalness which helps those who don't know Hebrew
see at a glance what the original Hebrew says literally:
So Samuel returned behind Saul, and Saul proceeded to prostrate
himself to Jehovah.
Quite literally Samuel returned behind/after Saul. Alter's reasons for
his translation are quite clearly not linguistically based. They are
I don't know if you read Greek but here it is in the Greek translation:
??? ????????? ??????? ????? ?????
opiso is quite literally behind. The Greek translations of old are in
agreement with the Hebrew.
For completeness here is the Vulgate translation:
reversus ergo Samuhel secutus est Saulem
The Latin has secutus (sense of following).
So, you see, there is a very long and ancient tradition of this
understanding. It is not something which merely appeared in English
renditions. Karl has already explained why the Hebrew commands such a
translation. Alter, whoever he is, has not provided any other
linguistic argument other than the use of his reputation (which I know
All in all, the linguistic evidence is strongly stacked against
Alter's commentary and his comments have all the signs of a
theologically based objection which introduces bias to his translation.
Beware of idolatry. It is possible to idolise men as well as statues.
Quoting Jay Frank <jif95 at mac.com>:
> You write: "Karl has given you the linguistic arguments."
> Yes, and I am grateful.
> Having written regarding Professor Alter: "I have to admit I don't
> know who he is either." you then write: "I strongly suspect that
> Alter has theological reasons for his interpretation."
> I strongly suspect that you have qualitatively insufficient warrant
> to make such a claim, nor do I see what possible theological
> reason(s) might serve as an agenda underling his translation.
> With regards,
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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