[b-hebrew] primitivization of language english

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Dec 22 11:21:00 EST 2010


Dear Fred,

It is evident that the Torah, as read in Nehemiah 8:1-12, was read and
interpreted (made to understand) before the people. So, at this time, the rest
of the Tanakh had not yet been completed (No, I won't go there in this thread
since it involves issues NOT allowed on the guidelines).

Nehemiah 8:13-18 show the Jews putting into practice what was read in the Law of
Moses regarding the Feast of Tabernacles.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "fred burlingame" <tensorpath at gmail.com>
To: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 6:55 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] primitivization of language english


> Hello Yigal:
>
> Thanks for your detailed comments.
>
> My question, first and foremost, was directed to the factual record we have
> today; the leningrad codex. Was that document created for consumption by the
> general population? And since we have a 10th century date for manufacture of
> that document, I suppose my question first and foremost refers to 10th
> century consumers of the document. Could the general population of persons
> who endorsed or followed that document in the 10th century, read it; and
> understand most of it when it was read to them?
>
> My secondary question; assuming a largely similar predecessor document(s)
> existed in 500 b.c.; could the general population of persons who followed
> the document(s) then; understand it, when it was read to them?
>
> I have serious doubt that 50 or more of 100 people, on any given street in
> america today, could understand the book of chronicles read to them in
> modern english language.
> regards,
>
> fred burlingame
> On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 2:42 AM, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > I don't think that it's that simple. Fred's original question, "was the
> > biblical hebrew language, was its masoretic text, created...", is kind of
> > ambiguous (as a lot of things that Fred writes, are). Did he mean the
> > Iron-Age/exilic/post-exilic Hebrew language in which the texts were
> > written,
> > or did he mean the specific Masoretic text with its many "reading aids"?
> > There is a huge difference. Yes, by the time of the Masoretes, the Torah,
> > selected passages from the prophets (the haftarot) and the five scrolls
> > (Lamentations, Esther, Qohelet, Song and Ruth) were read out loud in the
> > synagogue. Many of the Psalms and some other passages were incorporated
> > into
> > the liturgy. As far as the rest, I'm not at all sure that anyone who was
> > not
> > a scholar ever read Proverbs, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Daniel, or even
> > the
> > Prophets straight through.
> >
> > But all this describes the situation in late antiquity and in the Middle
> > Ages - and to a certain extent even today. If the question is about the
> > original composition of the biblical texts way back in the late pre-exilic,
> > exilic and early post-exilic period, when literacy rates were lower and the
> > synagogue service as it later developed did not yet exist, it would
> > probably
> > differ from book to book, from place to place and from period to period.
> > Psalms may have been recited in the Temple. Other sections, especially from
> > the Torah, may have been read at special gatherings (such as mentioned in
> > Ezra and Nehemiah), but my feeling is that for a good part of the early
> > Second Temple period, the texts were actually read mostly by "scholars" (of
> > whom there were different types).
> >
> > However, the biblical Hebrew language was not "created or intended for use"
> > by or for anyone. It was the living, spoken language of the people of Judah
> > (and, with certain dialectical differences, Israel) during the Iron Age and
> > the exilic and post-exilic period. As such it was used by all. Of course,
> > as
> > with any language, there must have been differences between the spoken and
> > the literary forms, but they are still the same language. At what stage it
> > ceased being a living, spoken language is a matter of debate, and has been
> > discussed on this list in the past.
> >
> > Yigal Levin
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> > [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Randall Buth
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 8:04 AM
> > To: Hebrew
> > Subject: [b-hebrew] primitivization of language english
> >
> > > the biblical hebrew language, was its masoretic
> > > text, created or intended for use and/or consumption by the general
> > > population; by other than a relatively few highly trained scribes?
> >
> > this one's easy: the general population.
> > Go listen to a shabbat morning reading where the particular, traditional
> > intonation system is regularly used. listen to any bar-mistvah at that
> > synagogue.
> >
> > --
> > Randall Buth, PhD
> > www.biblicalulpan.org
> > randallbuth at gmail.com
> > Biblical Language Center
> > Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
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