[b-hebrew] primitivization of language english

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Wed Dec 22 12:19:55 EST 2010


Hello Bryant:

Thanks for your instructive comments.

My response follows.

Don't most church/synagogue services include:

a. a reading of the text; and

b. an explanation of the text, at & to the level of language ability of the
audience;

with both "a" and "b" performed by an expert in the text?

And so Nehemiah testifies that the priests:

a. read the text; and

b. then brought down the text to the level of language understanding by the
people? nehemiah 8:8?

regards,

fred burlingame

On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 10:21 AM, Bryant J. Williams III <
bjwvmw at com-pair.net> wrote:

> 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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