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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Jul 15 10:59:30 EDT 2013


On Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM, Jerry Shepherd <jshepherd53 at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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
> paragraph:
> "'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.

Points to consider:

1) in pre-Babylonian Exile writings, were they “materes lectionis” or
full-fledged consonants? In other words, prior to their being counted as
vowels by later readers, were they considered to be consonants by the
original writers?

2) In reading the pre-Babylonian Exile books, “materes lectionis” are found
so seldom as to be either a) sounds added in poetry to make it fit a meter
or b) copyist errors by later copyists or c) originally consonants later
changed to materes lectionis?

> (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.

The text critical tools work with already applied points. My question is,
are those points correct in the first pace, even before we deal with which
of the applied points are correct? I question the accuracy of the tradition
that the points preserve.

> (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.

That’s begging the question. What do you call it when non-native speakers
of a language mispronounce and misuse that learned, second language? When
it is a whole society, so that their misuse changes that learned, second
language to approximate their native tongue, how is that not corruption of
that learned, second language? If not corruption, what do you call it?

> (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.

If you strive for 100% accuracy, even 1% error rate is enough to question
all. That’s not the same as rejecting all, just a recognition that any
point could be wrong in such a way that it changes the meaning of the word,
or even phrase.

How many Qals were pointed as Piels? How many Hophals as Hiphils? Etc.?

> Blessings,
> Jerry
> Jerry Shepherd
> Taylor Seminary
> Edmonton, Alberta
> jshepherd53 at gmail.com
Karl W. Randolph.
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