[b-hebrew] Wasn't Codex L. pointed according to a preserved Jewish Oral Tradition?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 12:00:36 EST 2010


On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 5:30 AM, David P Donnelly <davedonnelly1 at juno.com>wrote:

> The title of this topic is:
> Wasn't Codex L. pointed according to a preserved Jewish Oral Tradition?

There was no single Jewish Oral Tradition, rather pronunciations differed
according to place and time. This can be seen in the different
transliterations of Hebrew into other languages.

> I thought this subject was discussed a while back on B-hebrew,
> and that it was sort of decided that when the first Masoretic texts were
> created,
> that clearly indicated how every single word of THE "UNPOINTED HEBREW
> TEXT"  was pronounced,
> and that the Masoretes used that PRESERVED JEWISH ORAL TRADITION
> to point the various Masoretic Texts that now exist.

In the years I have been on this list, there has been no such discussion nor
conclusion that I can recall.

> Am I correct in this belief?

This is a common belief, but as far as I know, the evidence contradicts it.

One of the major contradictions to that belief is that the points are wrong
many times as far as meaning is concerned. Many difficult to read verses are
difficult to read because of the wrong points, and when the points are
corrected, then the verses make good sense.

> Dave Donnelly
> P.S. It was also my understanding, that  the PRESERVED JEWISH ORAL
> was most definitely used to determine how the Jewish reader was to read
> the six variants of YHWH
> that occur in Codex L.
> It is my opinion all the Jewish reader has to do to know how to render
> YHWH in Codex L.,  is to observe the vowel point under the "Waw". If the
> "Waw" in YHWH has a qamets under it, just render that variant of YHWH as
> "Adonai" and if the "Waw" in YHWH has a hireq under it, just render that
> variant of  YHWH as "Elohim". This method seems to work 100% of the time.
> Please correct me if I am wrong.
> This tradition of replacing יהוה with אדני or אלהים or other substitution
was a practice that predates the Masoretes, and one that followed certain
rules, a tradition also adopted by the Masoretes. But I never paid attention
to those rules.

Karl W. Randolph.

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