[b-hebrew] Psalm 22 answering quotes

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 12:42:48 EDT 2011

Pere and Kenneth:

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 8:02 PM, Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Kenneth,
> it would be wonderful to clearly show that a given word in the Bible has
> been misunderstood for centuries.
> But I'm afraid this is not an easy task!
> Same thing for our friend Karl Randolph: proving that the pointing of a
> given word is wrong is not an easy task either.

LOL! So true.

People learn things in first year Hebrew class, and just don’t want to let
go. For example, I was taught in first year Hebrew that the qatal and yiqtol
encoded for aspect with the waw whachumacallit causing variations, and it
took me at least three times reading through Tanakh before inconsistencies
finally caught my attention, and even then it took a few more times reading
through Tanakh before I finally rejected what I had been taught in first
year Hebrew. I finally proposed a tentative explanation for the qatal and
yiqtol, only to be told that it is similar to an understanding originally
proposed by the late Dr. Diethelm Michel, but of which I knew nothing.

People are also taught to look up to great scholars and tradition, and not
to question them. The Masoretes are a prime example of great scholars. As in
the example above, it took me several times reading Tanakh through cover to
cover before I started questioning their points, that is in spite of the
fact that one of the pillars of Reformation theology is to question
authority. Even now, I consider over 99% of them are correct as far as
encoding for meaning. Only recently, since joining this group, did I come to
the conclusion that those points encode a pronunciation tradition for the
Masoretic time and place, but that Biblical Hebrew pronunciation was much
different, and like the other conclusions I have drawn, they are based on
reading Tanakh through cover to cover, time and time again with this time a
little help from ancient transliterations from Hebrew.

I now question if anyone can be an expert in Biblical Hebrew, who has not
read Tanakh through cover to cover at least ten times, preferably twenty.

The first place I started questioning authority was in lexicography, and
even there I was slow and cautious. My dictionary started as notes in the
margins of other dictionaries I bought; part of that was caused by the fact
that different dictionaries differed in their meanings, and part of that was
because sometimes the definitions violated rules I had learned and practiced
for learning vocabularies of modern languages (why should Biblical Hebrew be
different from any other language?).

With this as an introduction to my answer to Kenneth, I agree with Pere that
he has misunderstood verse 25. ענות is not an infinitive verb, rather it is
a noun, and “affliction”, well, it’s an OK translation. It also fits the

> Hearty,
> Pere Porta
> (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)
> Karl W. Randolph.

Ps: if one wants to see a strong reaction to changing points, look in the
b-hebrew archives for when I proposed that Isaiah 30:14 refers to an
abandoned blacksmith’s smithy. I still stick to my guns on this one, because
I have held a red hot piece of steel in one hand using tongs, while shaping
it using other tools in the other hand, and the scene fits. Linguistically,
it does not fit the tradition going back to the LXX.

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