[Split] Composition > Textual Religion

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Jonathan Beck
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[Split] Composition > Textual Religion

Post by Jonathan Beck »

kwrandolph wrote:Jason: my translation was almost identical to yours, except I don’t bother with the vowel points.
This is all well and good, but I think this is also where the disconnect lies between the two of you.

I haven't met you yet - and I'm enjoying the idea of getting to know you better. But from what I have pieced together, you received a bit of formal training in Hebrew, then took off on your own, and read it so much that you prefer to do it without vowel points. This is great!

But this is also why you're missing some grammar features. The grammar is in the vowel points. This is why there are some native Israel speakers who read the unpointed text (our present company excluded, of course) who can read it, but can't tell "why" it is the way it is. When you dispense wit the nikud, you remove any constraints placed on the text. Which is neat, but at the same time, dangerous, when it comes to biblical interpretation.

Hebrew grammar is "in" the vowel points.
kwrandolph
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Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by kwrandolph »

Jonathan Beck wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:Jason: my translation was almost identical to yours, except I don’t bother with the vowel points.
This is all well and good, but I think this is also where the disconnect lies between the two of you.

But this is also why you're missing some grammar features. The grammar is in the vowel points.… When you dispense wit the nikud, you remove any constraints placed on the text. Which is neat, but at the same time, dangerous, when it comes to biblical interpretation.

Hebrew grammar is "in" the vowel points.
I was taught from a professor who used the Weingreen textbook in class. It was only after reading Tanakh about five times through that I came to the conclusion that the grammar taught in Weingreen’s book is wrong. Wrong for Tanakh. And the vowel points are indicators of that wrong grammar.

There are constraints placed on the text, constraints placed by context and syntax.
Jason Hare wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:Both of us recognized the story from Genesis, and so started our translations with וירא, whereas the way Weingreen wrote the sentence, it should have started with ראה.
I recommend anything written by John Cook on the narrative features of Hebrew verbs. There's no reason to slavishly translate the וַ◌ּ element in וַיַּרְא as "and he saw." It is there because that is how Hebrew expresses the narrative past, not because the conjunction actually means "and." So, I think anyone who is at the level of translating English into Hebrew should see that narrative is carried along with vav-consecutives, even from the beginning of the string. :)
There is a poster who used to be active in this forum, Dr. Furuli, whose PhD dissertation is an analysis of Hebrew verbal conjugations in which he demonstrated that the Hebrew verbal conjugations don’t code for tense. So while the overwhelming majority of Yiqtol conjugations preceded with a waws are found in narrative sections where the context indicates that they refer to past events, enough of them are found referring to present events and even future events to make the form not to be a sign of narrative past. An example is Proverbs 31:10–31, which has a mixture of Qatals, Yiqtols even Yiqtols preceded with waws, all referring to present continuous action.

The Yiqtol preceded with a waw is there in narrative texts to carry the narrative along. But the form is not an indicator of past tense.

I was told that my understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar is very similar to that of the late Dr. Diethelm Michael of Uni Mainz. But I came to my understanding independently of ever hearing of him, and I have yet to read anything by him.

Karl W. Randolph.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by Jason Hare »

kwrandolph wrote:There is a poster who used to be active in this forum, Dr. Furuli, whose PhD dissertation is an analysis of Hebrew verbal conjugations in which he demonstrated that the Hebrew verbal conjugations don’t code for tense.
Yes, I remember having an interaction with him a couple of years ago on here in which I was shocked that he didn't understand how the word סביב is used in Hebrew. He also wrote a book on the Tetragrammaton (which I have in my personal library) that supports the claim that the Name should be read as Yəhōvâ. What I've read of Furuli's thinking hasn't been good. He may be great in Akkadian (I have no way to judge that), but his command of Hebrew leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest merit of his dissertation was that it called up issues that needed to be addressed. John Cook (PhD) has more than dealt with all of those issues, and his conclusions are much more solid than what Furuli put forth.
Jason Hare
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Jason Hare
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Re: Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by Jason Hare »

kwrandolph wrote:I was taught from a professor who used the Weingreen textbook in class.
That seems to have avoided the question, though. Did you ever finish Weingreen? Did you understand the material? Or, did you just reject it as "medieval" or something like that right from the beginning?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
kwrandolph
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Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by kwrandolph »

Jason Hare wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:I was taught from a professor who used the Weingreen textbook in class.
That seems to have avoided the question, though. Did you ever finish Weingreen?
Yes.
Jason Hare wrote:Did you understand the material?
Yes. But don’t ask me to describe it now, as I haven’t looked at it in a long time and have forgotten much of it.
Jason Hare wrote:Or, did you just reject it as "medieval" or something like that right from the beginning?
No.

My rejection of Weingreen was gradual, and took several years. My identifying Weingreen as teaching medieval Hebrew and not Biblical Hebrew came many years after that.

I was also introduced to J. Wash Watts and his theory that the grammar was based on aspect (perfective, imperfective) instead of tense (perfect, future). It took me a shorter time to reject that.

So there I was, recognizing that the conjugations coded for neither tense nor aspect, not even a combination of the two. So I concentrated on building up vocabulary, doing tens of thousands of word studies with the help of a concordance, later a combination of concordance and computer searches. What is frustrating is to think that I understand a word, only later to realize that I had to revise its gloss after new word studies. But that was to support my main goal, namely reading for understanding.

Karl W. Randolph.
kwrandolph
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Re: Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by kwrandolph »

Jonathan Beck wrote:
I was taught from a professor who used the Weingreen textbook in class. It was only after reading Tanakh about five times through that I came to the conclusion that the grammar taught in Weingreen’s book is wrong. Wrong for Tanakh. And the vowel points are indicators of that wrong grammar.
Of course. Almost every grammar contains things in it that are wrong, or at least, arguable. Weingreen was written in 1956. Since then, we've made discoveries about the language and have learned more, for instance, the word יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה being derived from חוה instead of originally-believed שׁחה. As the understanding of the language changes, grammars (i.e., Weingreen and Guisenius) become dated. But that doesn't mean they should be ignored or dismissed as useless. Though they are old, both of these books are especially good grammars. Guisenius is still used today in intermedate and advanced Hebrew courses at the graduate level.
I’m not talking about just dated. I’m talking about out and out wrong. That they started from the wrong understanding and went wrong from there.
Jonathan Beck wrote:
The Yiqtol preceded with a waw is there in narrative texts to carry the narrative along. But the form is not an indicator of past tense.
Speaking of discoveries: Yes, this was true in Hebrew grammar for hundreds of years. But what grammarians have found recently is that the wayyiqtol form did NOT evolve from the yaqtul form as originally thought. By analogy to Akkadian, there was an original "yaqtulu" form, existing distinctive from the "yaqtul" (imperfective) form. So, yes, Hebrew does in fact have a past tense. I would recommend the following article by John Cook:https://ancienthebrewgrammar.files.word ... avcons.pdf. He was my Hebrew professor and has his PhD in Hebrew Linguistics. In my estimation, all biases fully displayed, he's one of the rockstars in the field today. :)
This theory is pure speculation, with no evidence to back it up.

If we take Tanakh at face value, the old way of understanding it, that it is accurate history, then the oldest parts of Genesis long predate anything we have from Akkadian. Then the etymological theory that Dr. Cook proposes is not worth the paper it’s written on.

I happen to accept the proposition that Tanakh is accurate history, that it was written when and by whom are its claimed authors. If what I accept is correct, then Dr. Cook’s theories not only are speculation, but are historically impossible.

Oh, you might say, You start from philosophical presuppositions. Equally so does Dr. Cook start with philosophical presuppositions. They happen to be some with which I disagree.
Jonathan Beck wrote:
I was told that my understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar is very similar to that of the late Dr. Diethelm Michael of Uni Mainz. But I came to my understanding independently of ever hearing of him, and I have yet to read anything by him.
I haven't heard of him, but now you have me curious. I wanna see if I can find his stuff.
Sorry, I misspelled his last name. It is Dr. Diethelm Michel.
Jonathan Beck wrote:Thanks for responding!

Jonathan
Karl W. Randolph.
Jonathan Beck
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Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by Jonathan Beck »

If we take Tanakh at face value, the old way of understanding it, that it is accurate history, then the oldest parts of Genesis long predate anything we have from Akkadian. Then the etymological theory that Dr. Cook proposes is not worth the paper it’s written on.
Sorry, Karl. But this is absolutely, unquestionably, objectively false. To say that Biblical Hebrew is older than Babylonian cuneiform is ridiculous. When you say that my professor, who has spent the last 30 years studying the Hebrew verbal system, has no evidence to back up his claims, here, the burden is on you to demonstrate that Hebrew is older than Akkadian. Do you have evidence?

If you going to question the facts that I've stated, with which the whole of Biblical scholarship agrees, then you need to at least provide credible sources that speak to the contrary. I'd love to see if you have found anything of repute. :)

Jonathan
kwrandolph
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[Split Thread] From: Composition

Post by kwrandolph »

Jonathan Beck wrote:Sorry, Karl. But this is absolutely, unquestionably, objectively false. To say that Biblical Hebrew is older than Babylonian cuneiform is ridiculous. When you say that my professor, who has spent the last 30 years studying the Hebrew verbal system, has no evidence to back up his claims, here, the burden is on you to demonstrate that Hebrew is older than Akkadian. Do you have evidence?
Does Dr. Cook have any evidence, I mean, real, solid evidence that we can take to the bank? I have seen none.

What I have seen is a theory based on an ancient religious belief that was popularized by German professors starting in the first decade of the 19th century. By 1820 it was being taught throughout Europe. But there was no solid evidence for that theory outside of that religious belief then, and it still has no solid evidence today.

In short, I say that Dr. Cook ended up with GIGO, because he started out with GIGO.

There is evidence that dates given for events recorded outside of the Bible that occurred before 500 BC are very often wrong, often wildly so. But any historian who points that out will be denied a PhD, if he doesn’t already have one, and will be reduced to leading tours for tourists instead of teaching at a university.

When Moses authored Genesis back in the 15th century BC, there’s internal evidence that he took older documents and combined them together to make them one book. The question is, how much editing did he do when combining them into one document? Why did he choose the documents that he used? How many other documents did he neglect to use? Of those documents, two of them are ante-diluvian, two by survivors of the Flood. All of the Akkadian documents are younger than those four documents.
Jonathan Beck wrote:If you going to question the facts that I've stated, with which the whole of Biblical scholarship agrees, then you need to at least provide credible sources that speak to the contrary. I'd love to see if you have found anything of repute. :)

Jonathan
How do you define “anything of repute”? How do you define “credible sources”? Do you define them by the persons, or by the data? If you go by data, then you recognize that “the whole of Biblical scholarship” can be wrong.

Karl W. Randolph.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by Jason Hare »

kwrandolph wrote:Does Dr. Cook have any evidence, I mean, real, solid evidence that we can take to the bank? I have seen none.
What have you read of his published articles?
kwrandolph wrote:But any historian who points that out will be denied a PhD, if he doesn’t already have one, and will be reduced to leading tours for tourists instead of teaching at a university.
:shock:
kwrandolph wrote:When Moses authored Genesis back in the 15th century BC,
:shock:
kwrandolph wrote:there’s internal evidence that he took older documents and combined them together to make them one book.
:shock:

You insinuate that those at the head of the curve with regard to Linguistics as it relates to biblical Hebrew are just shooting in the dark, yet your position is based on just taking the historical positions espoused by religion at face value — such as that Moses wrote the Torah around 1500 years BCE. I find it odd that you reject scholarship as untenable and unsupportable while holding to positions that have been discredited for 200 years already.

It's hard to imagine what might be called evidence and good argument when your position is based on claims like these.
Jason Hare
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www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
kwrandolph
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Re: Weingreen Composition - Chapter 30 and On

Post by kwrandolph »

Jason Hare wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:Does Dr. Cook have any evidence, I mean, real, solid evidence that we can take to the bank? I have seen none.
What have you read of his published articles?
The one to which Jonathan Beck linked in a previous post.
Jason Hare wrote:You insinuate that those at the head of the curve with regard to Linguistics as it relates to biblical Hebrew are just shooting in the dark, yet your position is based on just taking the historical positions espoused by religion at face value — such as that Moses wrote the Torah around 1500 years BCE. I find it odd that you reject scholarship as untenable and unsupportable while holding to positions that have been discredited for 200 years already.
The position to which I hold has been no more discredited than that pigs can fly. It has just been rejected based on alternate religious beliefs. But I find no evidence for those alternate religious beliefs other than a leap of faith.

By the way, you reject scholarship that supports my position. We’re equal on that score.
Jason Hare wrote:It's hard to imagine what might be called evidence and good argument when your position is based on claims like these.
Just hold up a mirror to your beliefs and really examine them to see if they have any validity other than that those are the beliefs you have chosen.

I read up on a history of that teaching in a PhD dissertation by Samuel R. Külling (in German only) and found that it is merely an application of an ancient religious belief, one that goes back to ancient Greece if not earlier, Without that religious belief as a foundation, that theory fails to stand. Even when that theory was more organized in the 1870s, it never jettisoned its reliance on that ancient religious belief. The article I read written by Dr. Cook is still based on that ancient religious belief. So when I reject that ancient religious belief, the foundation of that theory, then the whole edifice built on it crashes down with it.

The modern name of that ancient religious belief—“Darwinian evolution”. Don’t argue that that ancient religious belief is “science”, unless you use a different definition for “science” than what I was taught in science classes at secular universities.

I freely and honestly admit that my beliefs are based on a set of presuppositions that cannot be proven. But I have yet to study a belief system that isn’t based on a set of unprovable presuppositions. One of the presuppositions I hold is that the past is the key to understanding the present. Only one religion that I have studied teaches that presupposition, and that one is the Bible. That’s why accurate historical records are very important to my beliefs. All other religions I’ve studied say that the present is the key to understanding the past.

On this forum, we’re not to push our religions. If you reject my religion, that’s no skin off my teeth, you’re free to do so. But I can also request that you don’t push your religion in this forum, and part of your religion is contained in the article that Dr. Cook authored.

Now let’s get back to discussing Biblical Hebrew language.

Karl W. Randolph.
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