Jason Hare wrote:
Isaac Fried wrote:This is puzzling to me. How does one read a consonantal Hebrew text without reentering into it the omitted vowels?
Is it the same omitted vowels, or entering different vowels that bring forth the meaning of the consonantal text?
Jason Hare wrote:
He told us in another thread that he doesn't read the words out loud. He doesn't pronounce them. That's what I got from his statement.He says
that "the evidence is that 100% of the time the points don’t reflect Biblical era pronunciations."
Anyone who has worked with immigrant families with American born children knows this pattern—the children, even if they can speak their parents’ language, they speak it with an American accent. That means that they can’t pronounce some of the phones found in their parents’ language, and they mispronounce their parents’ language with phones not found in their parents’ language. In fact, I’ve even heard immigrants who have lived here for a long time start pronouncing their mother tongue with an American accent.
Now we look at Hebrew. The vowel points weren’t invented until over a thousand years after Biblical Hebrew ceased being spoken as a native mother tongue. Those people who spoke it, spoke it as a learned, second language. Their pronunciations were influenced by their native, mother tongues. What is the probability that Biblical Hebrew pronunciations were preserved over 30 generations? How can it be greater than nil? Plus there are scattered evidences of pronunciation changes.
Jason Hare wrote:He, then, rejects the vocalization completely, from start to finish. In the same post, he said: "Most of the time I read the text, I read it silently. With no pronunciation." However, if he does read a word aloud, he says that he doesn't know how it should actually be pronounced, so he uses a modern pronunciation.
I use modern pronunciation to communicate to others. But when reading to myself, often find myself wondering how Biblical era Hebrews pronounced those written sentences.
Jason Hare wrote:How can this actually be anything other than confusion?
Confusion? What confusion? The only confusion I see is when the Masoretic points indicate one meaning, and the written text indicates a different reading. In those cases, I go with the consonantal text.
Jason Hare wrote:I just wish that a rejection of the vocalization didn't have to take such a high part in discussions about the text.
The discussions of the vocalization are discussions on the meanings that the vocalizations bring forth, not the vocalizations per se
. When the consonantal text indicates one meaning, and the vocalization a different meaning, then it’s legitimate to question whether or not the vocalization is correct.
Jason Hare wrote:Emendation is to be welcomed when justified, but rejection for the sake of rejection is not beneficial.
Rejection for the sake of rejection? Who does that? You’re not talking about me.
My rejection of the vocalizations started with the realization that many times the Masoretic vowels indicate one meaning, while the consonantal text indicates a different meaning. When I was young, I was like you, assuming that the Masoretic points were correct, because I was taught that the ancient Hebrews were not careful in their spelling. But the older and more experienced I got, the more I realized I was rejecting the Masoretic “corrections” in favor of the original text. It was a gradual change for me. Rejecting the Masoretic pronunciations is just part of the gradual maturing of my knowledge of Biblical Hebrew. And the reason for my rejection? It’s because of the meanings that the pronunciations impart.
Rejection for rejection’s sake? Hah!
Karl W. Randolph.