[b-hebrew] Biblical Hebrew orthographical practices in light ofepigraphy

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Tue Jun 1 10:23:43 EDT 2010

Dear Yitzhak,

When a case appears before the U.S. Supreme Court both sides of the argument are
critically questioned by the nine justices. There is no position indicated by
the justices. In fact, it appears that the justices will take the "Devil
Advocate's" position in questioning the plaintiff and the defense. This is done
to thoroughly understand the arguments as presented in the court briefs and the
oral arguments. All data/evidence is presented, again, regardless of the amount
of data/evidence already presented in the briefs unless stated by the justices
NOT to do so.

Therefore, when a person questions your theory/position regarding the statements
you made, and your responses to them, it is to thoroughly understand your
position so as to provides data/evidence in support or against your

So, please state as succinctly as possible your theory/position regarding the
orthographic evidence regarding the late date of Ruth.

I thank you.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Christian" <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>
To: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
Cc: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:25 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Biblical Hebrew orthographical practices in light

> Hi Yitzhak,
> you raise several issues. Firstly, you claim this discussion to be an
> extension of the discussion about the Samaritan Pentateuch. As far as I
> recall we got here in response to you claiming a late date of Ruth based on
> orthographic evidence.
> Secondly, you claim I have a position. The comments I made about having a
> position were quite clearly and contextually in relation to the
> interpretation of the epigraphic corpora. My position is that there is not
> enough data to construct a reliable model of orthography from various
> periods.
> Then you start to split hairs over whether you are doing a PhD or not. I
> think to most list members with an ounce of common sense that the general
> point you seem to have missed is that when people in general question your
> interpretation (the interpretation you support) this is not necessarily
> indicative of their being opponents of your position.
> Then you go on to split hairs about my use of colloquial English where I say
> things like 'your position' or 'your theory' with the easily deducible sense
> of 'the position you support' and 'the theory you support'. This is
> perfectly acceptable English. The corpus of colloquial English provides
> massive empirical evidence that native English speakers (non-academic ones
> at least) have no problem correctly interpreting these phrases in context.
> As you still seem to not be able to grasp these nuances of the English
> language I have repeatedly asked to translate these phrases appropriately to
> help you understand. As you seem to still not understand the sense of them
> after repeated pleas I can only conclude that you are splitting hairs for
> the sake of splitting hairs and in the name of consuming bandwidth. Please
> stop doing this. It's not doing you or your theory (the theory you support)
> any favours.
> Finally, you get round to saying something worth commenting on. You mention
> that it is not gentilics that are shortened but other plurals. Thanks for
> this. I'll make a note of it. In any case, it really doesn't seem to provide
> any evidence which would change my position that there is not enough data to
> know either way. Until you accept this I really don't see this discussion
> going anywhere useful.
> One final additional note. You observe the testimony of the spelling of the
> Samaritan Pentateuch. As you correctly note if the spelling of the
> Pentateuch is ancient and also that of the Judean Torah then this may be
> indicative that your interpretation of the data is incorrect. Internal
> references to copying of the law also seem to contradict your
> interpretation. And so in conclusion there is clearly not enough data to be
> decisive either way but the evidence seems to be mounting that your position
> (the one you support) is misguided.
> P.S. Please stop writing that all scholars agree with you. It's not doing
> you any favours. Nobody cares.
> James Christian
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3:19 PM

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