Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Discussion must focus on the Hebrew text (including text criticism) and its ancient translations, not on archaeology, modern language translations, or theological controversies.
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
Kenneth Greifer
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:05 pm

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:46 am

Jason Hare wrote:
R.J. Furuli wrote:My translation differs from all other translations of these verses.


If this happens often, there might be a problem. Generally speaking, the range of translations available in English, taken in tandem, surely indicate the meaning of the text. Not saying that any translation is perfect, but if my personal translation is novel and stands opposed to all other translations, I am probably mistaken in my understanding of the text and should look at it again.


Jason,

I don't think it sounds like Rolf is translating quotes very differently. He is just translating the verbs slightly differently. The quotes are basically the same.

I think a lot of Hebrew Bible quotes have been misunderstood because there is no punctuation, only one or two letters that are sometimes used as vowels, verbs that drop and add letters so much that you can barely tell what verb is being used, and lots of witty and poetic sayings. I know people usually just say that difficult quotes are ellipses, but I don't think that is always true. It just lets you ignore the problem by guessing what was not said. You can take any Hebrew Bible quote and read it several ways, and if you divide the Hebrew letters differently, you can read it many ways.

Just because a lot of experts translate Hebrew Bible quotes the same way does not mean they are right. They are all agreeing because they don't know what else the quotes could say. I think most people don't like new ideas. They want to keep things the way they are, and they often look up to some great experts who they can't imagine could be wrong.

Kenneth Greifer

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:02 am

Dear Jason,

If this happens often, there might be a problem. Generally speaking, the range of translations available in English, taken in tandem, surely indicate the meaning of the text. Not saying that any translation is perfect, but if my personal translation is novel and stands opposed to all other translations, I am probably mistaken in my understanding of the text and should look at it again.


Your point is logical, if one person stands against all others, this person is probably wrong—but not always—just think of Galileo Galilei.

In the first part of the 19th century, the view among scholars was that Hebrew perfect represented past tense or completed action. As the study of the Hebrew text progressed, more and more perfects with future reference were discovered. To save the theory, it was postulated that, yes, the prophets used past tense (Hebrew perfect) because they were certain that their prophecies would be fulfilled. In other words, the prophecies were fulfilled in the minds of the prophets. All Bible translations that I am aware of use the theory of prophetic perfect. If this theory is wrong, it is the one who does not use it who is correct, and all others are wrong.

One area of the Hebrew language that is neglected by most grammars is word order and rare word combinations as a tools for emphasis and stress and other nuacnes. The grammars teach that if a infinitive construct of the same root of the verb stands before the verb, this signals emphasis. Also, when an imperfect is sentence initial without prefixed waw, it probably has a jussive force. But other strange constructions are almost never treated in the grammars.
(see Shimasaki, K. Focus Structure in Biblical Hebrew: A Study of Word Order and Information Structure with Special Reference to Deuteronomy. Ph.D. dissertation, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, 1999.— http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/3323/1/284755_Redacted.pdf)

For example: The verb in most cases stand before the subject. But when the reverse is the case, the subject is stressed. Think of the functions of theme (topic) and rheme (focus) in discourse analysis. When perfects are sentence initial, they usually have a prefixed waw. When the waw is lacking, there is emphasis.

The conjugations represent another example. There are clear semantic differences between imperfect and perfect. But these differences are rarely marked in modern translations—perfects and imperfects are translated similarly. My book has a translation of Psalm 68, where I compare NIV and NRSV with my own translation. I found that the two translations did not mark 39 nuances in the text—no difference between the conjugations, 19 times; no marking of emphasis, 16 times; and treating hifil wrongly, 4 times. These are many deviations in 31 verses.

The only translation that mark the nuances and subtleties in the Hebrew text of which I am aware, is the NWT1984. But this translation, like all others, uses the principle of prophetic perfect.

In my translation, I have exercised the utmost care to render the nuances of the Hebrew text, including stress and emphasis (I have not looked at the NWT84, but I have made my own translations.

If it is correct that word order and rare constructions in Hebrew signals emphasis and stress and other nuances, I am correct when I mark these, and all the other translations that do not mark them are wrong.

You will se examples in my translations from Nahum that I sent to the list.



Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
Stavern
Norway

User avatar
Jason Hare
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:07 am
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Contact:

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Jason Hare » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:29 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:You will se examples in my translations from Nahum that I sent to the list.


I do look forward to perusing it. Admittedly, I don't understand the difference you are trying to draw between translating perfects as futures and the concept of the prophetic perfect (which would understand a perfect as future in time). I don't see the distinction.

Thanks.

Jason
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby R.J. Furuli » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:41 am

Jason Hare wrote:

I do look forward to perusing it. Admittedly, I don't understand the difference you are trying to draw between translating perfects as futures and the concept of the prophetic perfect (which would understand a perfect as future in time). I don't see the distinction.


Dear Jason,

Your lack of understanding is natural because Prophetic perfect is a strange creature, In reality, it is a psychological, or rahter a parapsychological creature, because it requires that we can read the minds of the prophets of old.

To understand the nature of Prophetic perfect we need to understand the difference between the two concepts "future reference" and "future tense." When I say that a verb has "future reference", I say the writer speaks about something that has not yet happened. But I do not tell whether the future reference is caused by the context (for example by a Hebrew nominal clause) or by the verb form. The conecept "tense" is defined as "a grammaticalization of location in time." This means that the tense is an intrinsic part of the verb form, and this tense cannot be cancelled. For example, the words "went" and "bought" are past tenses, but "going" and "buying," also when they are used with future reference, are not tenses.

In the early 19th century, scholars believed that Hebrew perfect had an intrinsic past tense, or a few believed that perfect signalled completed actions. In other words, they believed that perfect was a tense—the future/completed one. When more and more perfects with future reference were discovered, the scholars had two options, ether to abandon the tense view of perfect, or to use a psychological/parapsychological explanation in order to save the theory of perfect being past tense.

They chose the last option and said: Yes, perfect is a past tense, and when it is used with future reference it is still a past tense. But the prophet is so certain that his prophecy will be fulfilled that he uses past tense for his future reference. In other words, the prophecy is fulfilled in the mind of the prophet. Because of this theory, all Bible translations, as far as I know, translate many perfects in the books of the propehts with English simple past or perfect. The same is done in other languages. I show in my book that this is wrong; it confuses the readers.

The book also shows why perfects are used with future reference. The reason is that Hebrew perfect and imperfect are aspects and not tenses. Both aspects can be used with past, present, and future reference. The book also shows in detail what aspects are and how they differ from tenses.


Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

Kenneth Greifer
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:05 pm

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am

Rolf,
If you wanted to explain to people who don't understand linguistics and high level grammar, couldn't you just say that verbs that look like the past tense can be past tense or present tense, verbs that look like the present tense can be present or future tense, and that verbs that look like the future tense can be future or jussive (?) or whatever the grammatical term is? Or am I completely wrong because I don't know linguistics? I am not claiming to be right. I am just wondering.

I guess you are saying they can all be seen as past, present, or future tense. Could you show me one quote where the verb clearly looks like the past tense, but really has a future meaning and a verb that looks like the future tense, but has a past tense meaning? It is hard to look through your examples because you didn't put the Hebrew next to the verbs.

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby R.J. Furuli » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:49 am

Kennet Greifer wrote:


Rolf,
If you wanted to explain to people who don't understand linguistics and high level grammar, couldn't you just say that verbs that look like the past tense can be past tense or present tense, verbs that look like the present tense can be present or future tense, and that verbs that look like the future tense can be future or jussive (?) or whatever the grammatical term is? Or am I completely wrong because I don't know linguistics? I am not claiming to be right. I am just wondering.

I guess you are saying they can all be seen as past, present, or future tense. Could you show me one quote where the verb clearly looks like the past tense, but really has a future meaning and a verb that looks like the future tense, but has a past tense meaning? It is hard to look through your examples because you didn't put the Hebrew next to the verbs.


Dear Kenneth,

When a child learns his mother tongue, he or she uses the language in a correct way without knowing a single grammatical term. When the child learns a new language, he or she needs to learn some grammatical terms.

A main point in my book is that tense does not exist in Classical Hebrew. This means that any verb form can refer to the past, present and future. In order to find the correct time reference of a verb we need to look at the context.

This was a simple explanation, and to understand it you need not know any grammar.



Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway.


Return to “Hebrew Bible”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests