[b-hebrew] Re. More on verbs

James Spinti jspinti at eisenbrauns.com
Wed Dec 12 13:16:20 EST 2012

Again this is from John Cook...
James Spinti
E-mail marketing, Book Sales Division
Eisenbrauns, Good books for more than 35 years
Specializing in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies
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Begin forwarded message:
>> From: John Cook <jacookvwbus at yahoo.com>
>> Date: December 12, 2012, 12:18:39 PM EST
>> To: "b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Subject: Re. More on verbs
>> Karl:
>> I'm not entirely sure your reference is to me and my blog post when you write about how "he" reads the Hebrew text. Really now, isn't surmising my motives the sort of ad hominem approach that Rolf has claimed does not take place here? In any case, isn't it a false distinction to make between solving the philological puzzle (i.e., interpreting the text) and applying it? How do I know how to apply any linguistic message if I don't first interpret it?? As you state, you wanted to know how to apply the biblical text better so you read it (i.e., you interpreted it!). My overriding interest in interpreting the text is because all too often those religious users of the text (Jewish and Christian) seem to skip that step and apply whatever meaning (ostensibly a meaning from the text) to their lives. We can all agree that the Bible has been misinterpreted often enough to make us wary of either abandoning interpretation or pretending we are not doing it anyway.
>> John
>> _______________________________
>> John A. Cook
>> Associate Professor Old Testament
>> Asbury Theological Seminary
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 07:02:57 -0800
>> From: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] More on verbs
>> To: James Spinti <jspinti at eisenbrauns.com>
>> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Message-ID:
>>    <CAAEjU0vJzMcV_68AWcvFenuJg40hCObV8t5-GVppBWn_kndyug at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>> James:
>> I agree that in discussion the first step is not to use non-standard
>> definitions of terms that have already been defined. It?s better to use a
>> neologism than to repurpose a term already in use. Repurposing terms often
>> causes even negative emotional responses as people realize that clear
>> communication is not achieved.
>> Another response: it appears that when he reads the Hebrew text, that he
>> does so as a philological puzzle to be solved, not as a message to be
>> applied to his life. Or in other words, his study is heavy on theory but
>> light on application. This shows some of my personal bias: I started
>> reading in Hebrew because I was having trouble understanding the only
>> translation we had in the house, in archaic English (KJV) and all I wanted
>> to do was more accurately to understand what God has to say to the world.
>> Learning the Hebrew language was merely the means to the goal, not the goal
>> itself. As a result, my studies have been light on theory, emphasizing
>> instead application.
>> George: is part of the problem of understanding Biblical Hebrew the very
>> effort to try to make it fit our models? For example, is there really a
>> polarity in the use of Qatal-Yiqtol differentiation, or is this a case as
>> in other languages that don?t have a separate form for each usage, that
>> forms can be reused for more than one purpose? While the
>> perfective-imperfective polarity is clearly wrong, are there not times that
>> the Qatal is used for indefinite actions, and many times that Yiqtol used
>> for definite actions?
>> I hope you have a good vacation.
>> Karl W. Randolph.

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