[b-hebrew] Ex 6:6 hiphil imperative 'bring' (K Randolph)

Jerry Shepherd jshepherd53 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 14 18:35:06 EDT 2013

Hi Karl,

Okay, now I can go back and provide responses to your responses to my
numbers (1) to (4).

(1) You asked, "How much editorial activity? What evidence do you have that
the MT consonantal text, apart from relatively few copyist errors, doesn’t
represent an older text form?"

Actually, I have you to thank for giving me the answer to this question.  In
your reply to Ruth you referenced an article on the SBL Forum site  by
William Griffin about your preference for an unpointed text.  Notice this

"'Biblical Hebrew' is the name applied to the language(s) contained in a
collection of texts that were written over a period of about a thousand
years, spanning the second and first millennia B.C.E., by people in diverse
regions and settings. Originally, it was written in what is called
'Paleohebrew,' a script much different from current Hebrew texts.[2] Dots
were employed as word separators, and there were no distinctions between
medial and final forms. The language was written without vowels. From about
the sixth century B.C.E. on, many consonants were added to represent vowels
(*aleph, he, vav*, and *yodh*), known as *matres lectionis*, 'mothers of
the reading.'"

Griffin, by the way, references one of the important works for this whole
discussion, Cross and Freedman's *Early Hebrew Orthography*.  Now, you may
not agree with him; but Griffin here argues that the use *matres
lectiones*did not come into play until the sixth century BCE.
Therefore, any texts of biblical books that existed before then must have
been subjected to a wholesale editing process to account that addes
these *matres
lectiones*.  So, when reading, for example, the text of Exodus, if one
believes that this text was written by Moses or someone at or close to that
same time period, every time one comes across a heh, waw, or yod used as a
vowel letter, one is actually reading a text that was updated to include
these vowel letters many centuries later.  That constitutes a substantial
revision of the consonantal text.

(2) You stated, "Even if the Masoretic points are 99% accurate, that
averages out to one mistake every three to four verses. Often that 1% error
can make a significant change in meaning. For me, unless I have verified
the points in a verse, I don’t trust them. And I recommend to everyone else
that he verify the points before he counts them as accurate."

Again, I think the MT is far more accurate than 99%, and it does not come
out to one mistake every three to four verses.  And I trust the Masoretic
vocalization far more that I do your verification process.  There have been
a number of times over the years where I have questioned a Masorectic
vocalization, but there are standard text-critical methodologies to be
employed when that happens.

(3) You asked, "Well then, what do you call that corruption?"

I can't answer this because the form of the question begs the question.  I
can't call "that corruption" anything, because it is not a corruption.

(4) Let's drop this one.  I'm having a hard time understanding a strong
statement distrust in a vocalization systsem that you concede might be 99%
accurate.  But such lack of nuancing leaves you open for characterizations
that can only be called "straw man" characterizations by a wild stretch.



Jerry Shepherd
Taylor Seminary
Edmonton, Alberta
jshepherd53 at gmail.com
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