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I like translating the Hebrew of the Bible, and I think it can be done accurately and honestly, better than extant translations, so long as you ignore the theologically minded people completely. They generally are not honest enough, you can't trust anything they say.


Oct
6
comment Does Moses Speak Broken Hebrew?
I suspected that this was giving a feeling for what an Egyptian accent or Coptic speaking "Hebrew as a second language" people sounded like. I just wanted to confirm with others who read Hebrew that it's not in my imagination.
Oct
4
comment Does Moses Speak Broken Hebrew?
Hebrew was a written language in an older alphabet before the 2nd century or whenever the aramaic alphabet was standardized. The ancient writing system is well known in the field. You are assuming that Moses wrote it, which is absurd. The text was written around 6-10th century BC, perhaps likeliest in the time of Ezra, in the pre-Aramaic Hebrew alphabet. The speech of Moses is still strangely rendered, and sounds ungrammatical.
Apr
25
comment Did Noah take two doves, or fourteen?
I read the original language, and there are two different number commands: bring two vs. bring 7/7. The first instruction is not saying "bring them in pairs", it is saying "bring two", and it means what it says. Downvoted, this is making up a strained interpretation to blind yourself to textual boundaries.
Apr
25
comment Did Noah take two doves, or fourteen?
@RaphaelRosch: My answer is correct, Bob Jones is simply ignoring the text, he isn't seeing textual boundaries that are simply obvious. I didn't give myself points, accepting your own answer gives 0 points, I am not interested in points. The textual inconsistencies in the Noah story are real, they are easy to see, and if you claim not to see them, you are simply dishonest. I don't compromise with dishonest folks, sorry.
Aug
5
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
But the Samaritan has El-Shaddai, so it's not something that's introduced, and the Hebrew roots don't allow an interpretation of "Your God" very naturally. But perhaps it was a borrowing in a different language, who knows. "Shaddai" means something like "my breast", or "my teat", in Hebrew, and perhaps has a fertility goddess connotation, but I am not sure, it's too isolated. If only there were more ancient texts... +1 for the sources and interesting thoughts, thank you.
Aug
5
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@hannes: Like your answer, but it's strange ideas. When I said "I found", I just mean I split the text according to the best stylistic similarities, using "Yahweh" vs. "Elohim" as a guide at first, and later, after becoming familiar with the styles, you just know who writes what. The Elohim stuff is very poetic, the Yahweh stuff is very forceful and literal, and fleshy, and I like it better, but the Elohim stuff is probably of equal quality. The P stuff is all the law business at the end of Exodus, a handful of redactions, and nearly all of Leviticus.
Aug
5
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@hannes: I was born in Israel, I read bible in school. I noticed the flat Earth thing back then. I started translating for 2 reasons, I wanted to emulate Christopher Marlowe, who translated Ovid, except Hebrew is the only ancient language I know, and second, I wanted to see if there was grammatical recursion in the ancient text, because Dan Everett showed that ancient languages don't have grammatical recursion, which blew my mind, because I believed the Chomskian hypothesis until 2008. I found the Wikiproject Bible translation, and nobody did any Hebrew. I did Gen,Exo,Lev,Ecc,Lam,Hab,Psa1-60
Aug
2
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@hannes: No I didn't. I came up with the flat-Earth and child-sacrifice notions, but the documentary hypothesis I read about on Wikipedia, while translating. I didn't read details, I split J/E as independently as possible, and got somewhat different answers than the political crap in modern books. I am sure I would have agreed 100% with the original Wellhausen guy (I didn't check). It's just that modern DH people tend to be tone-deaf to style, and think "P" wrote more than what he did. For example, they mistakenly attribute Genesis 1 to P rather than E, which is a laughable mistake stylewise.
Jul
13
comment Why does the Bible say that Abraham sacrificed his “only-begotten son”?
@Jas3.1: Ishmael was born 10 yrs before Isaac.
Apr
23
comment Who was Moses supposed to say sent him, “Ehieh” or “Yahweh”
Except "Ehieh" is not "hayah", so the difference is much bigger than waw to jud.
Apr
3
comment What else can “Fifteen cubits from above” in Gen 7:20 mean?
-1: The original Hebrew had no dots at all, these were added in the Middle ages. The word "Milema'la" is not obscure, and no other construction of this form has any special thing associated with it. The construction is straightforward, and it doesn't seem like a contraction of "min lema'la" which is what is implied by this answer, which doesn't even sound grammatical and certainly doesn't appear anywhere.
Feb
27
comment Does Exodus 22:28 call for child sacrifice?
@warren: it wasn't a misnote--- I meant Reuben. I was thinking of the story of Reuben sleeping with Jacob's concubine, the thing that makes him "unstable as water" and unsuitable for an inheritance. This is over-masculinity. The Judah was a brain-glitch, I know the stories.
Nov
10
comment Who was Moses supposed to say sent him, “Ehieh” or “Yahweh”
Oh, I see! You think the "post-hoc" etymological justification for the name is being done here by the same author! It's the redactor, the person who put the J/E together this way, who is making the post-hoc justification by the juxtaposition, neither J nor E gives an etymology for Yahweh, and the etymology is implicit, not parallel to neither J nor E stuff (although it's in a similar spirit). This answer is incorrect--- the "J part" and the "E part" are in different voices, the seam is obvious and clunky, and this is the first place where they start to agree on the name of God.
Nov
9
comment Who was Moses supposed to say sent him, “Ehieh” or “Yahweh”
I agree, it's like the other stretchy folk-etymologies, but this one is not so ridiculous (neither is noach), because "Yahweh" sort of sounds like a nonexistent conjugation of to be, which mangles the future and past tense. But they don't sound very much alike, you are right. I have already explained the main point, that it is one more place that you can clearly see the JE authorial division in Genesis/Exodus.
Nov
4
comment Did Moses have an Egyptian name?
The active is "Moshet", not "Moshe". The etymology is totally wrong.
Nov
4
comment How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?
The problem with this answer is that it takes a native Hebrew speaker about ten seconds to get used to the "vav ha-hipuch" (which just sounds bombastic and snobby) and the shifted meaning of "liglosh" (which is manifestly obvious--- it clearly means spreading out, not skiing). The analogy to Shakespeare's English is perfect, one does not make mistakes more than a handful of times (which are easy to fix, since there is plenty of commentary), and it is ridiculous to insinuate otherwise. All Israelis are forced to read the Bible in school at least, and there is no chance of major confusion.
Nov
3
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@FrankLuke: I do not cite authority to support positions, I also don't read books (other than original sources), so my knowledge is all self-derived. This means I make an occasional mistake, but not very often, and much less than the phony-baloney so-called experts. Sorry to not be able to oblige.
Oct
26
comment Does Exodus 22:28 call for child sacrifice?
Conflict of interest disclosure: I am firstborn.
Oct
26
comment Why is a singular verb used to describe both Moses and Aaron?
I added the Hebrew text to your examples, to make the answer self-contained, I hope this is ok.
Oct
26
comment Why is a singular verb used to describe both Moses and Aaron?
@MonicaCellio: No, it's much less different, it's about as similar as Shakespeare's English (Early modern English) is to modern English. Aramaic is about as different from modern Hebrew as Old English is from English. The Hebrew language essentially was close to frozen at the Biblical form for thousands of years, since it was only used in worship and religious texts. This question gives one of the genuine difference between them.