[b-hebrew] Opinions on J. Wash Watts "A Survey of Syntax in the Hebrew Old Testament"

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 11:21:47 EST 2011


It’s been a long time since I last looked at his work. I was taught in
class that the Qatal refers to past, the Yiqtal to future, and participle
to present. In Biblical Hebrew, that is clearly wrong. Is this what you

Because the above is clearly wrong, J. Wash Watts proposed that the Qatal
codes for perfective aspect, Yiqtol for imperfective aspect. In my early
years of reading Tanakh I also read that book through a couple of times
trying to understand aspect and how it applies to Biblical Hebrew. For me,
that theory died a slow death of a million tiny cuts, because as I read
through Tanakh over and over again, time and time again I read examples
that did not fit the theory. After about three or four times reading Tanakh
through I started ignoring it because it didn’t fit.

The problem is not his definition for aspect, his definition is consistent
with what I learned from other sources, but that the Biblical Hebrew verbal
system does not code for aspect.

>From my experience, that book is inaccurate and a dead end. I don’t
recommend it.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 4:07 AM, Kevin Buchs <kevin.buchs at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am curious as to the general consensus among the professionals regarding
> this 1964 (my edition) work published by Eerdmans. I recently picked up a
> re-print and have started to look at it. The treatment of verbs seems very
> different to what I have learned.
> - Kevin Buchs

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