[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 96, Issue 14
kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Dec 13 17:16:13 EST 2010
You are focussing on the object, the time span, whereas the ancient Hebrew
writers focussed on the action, as indicated even by their choice of words
to express their ideas. The action here concerns knowing, or more accurately
the lack thereof. The act of not knowing is attached to a young man or woman
who is not yet sexually active (contrast Genesis 4:1) hence elem and almah,
and in time refers to a span of time whose beginning, end or both are
unknown at the time the reference is made, and also refers to the infinite
because our finite minds cannot comprehend the infinite, i.e. eternity. By
focussing on the action rather than the object, there is no dichotomy in
word use in referring to a finite span of time whose end is not yet known,
and eternity which cannot be known.
As for how best to translate the terms, that is translation, not meaning,
and beyond what I care to discuss.
For a further discussion of how the ancient Hebrews thought, look at
Karl W. Randolph.
On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 9:18 AM, fred burlingame <tensorpath at gmail.com>wrote:
> steer away, nir ....
> but expect not the theological hysteria to subside, when the most
> controversial word in all hebrew language arrives on stage for discussion.
> a grand, wide and never bridged, canyon exists between the two consumer
> groups of עולם ; the one advocating finite and and the other advocating
> infinite meanings of that little word.
> fred burlingame
> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 10:50 AM, Nir cohen - Prof. Mat.
> <nir at ccet.ufrn.br>wrote:
> > )AD )OLAM vs )AD )INFINITUM :) :
> > i hope all the participants are following the platonic distinction
> > words and their meaning. many promises contain the clause "forever",
> > whether
> > they are made by ronald reagan ("read my lips"), a young lover, or a
> > biblical
> > prophet. the discussion whether the text means "forever" or not does not
> > imply
> > the validity of the promise. many times, poetic style imposes an
> > which should not even be taken literally. of course, when the giver of
> > promise is god almighty ...
> > ...then we have a religious issue. i would really like to steer the
> > discussion
> > away from this back into fact.
> > nir cohen
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