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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.


Apr
11
comment Did women contribute to the temple in exodus 35:22?
No kidding. What's the relevance? The vulva covers and nose-rings do not belong to a mixed gender collection. I feel only 90% confident in saying this is interpolation, so I would appreciate honest reading.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@FrankLuke: No he doesn't! He says "I am that I am", then he says "My name is Yahweh". There is no familiarity.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
This begins with the most ridiculous of all possible answers. The words "lo noda'ti la-hem" cannot be a question, and this text is obviously all (high quality) prose.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@FrankLuke: The "obviously wrong" is not for Jews, Christians, Muslims, but for people who know how to read Hebrew and to think for themselves. I would trust a Buddhists or Hindu fluent in Hebrew reading this over a religious Jew (or Christian). The religious folks misread this stuff all the time.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
If anything, I am way underestimating the precision of textual analysis. You don't have an appreciation for the exponential explosion of language--- the sheer number of possible texts--- any text at all is an insane amount of information, and there is much more information in the word-choice and grammar than in the meaning as extracted in the highest level. This allows author identification, and redaction identification, which is all I am doing.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@JackDouglas: Sorry, you're right--- I don't have complete academic consensus--- I didn't poll people. I assumed that there is, because the evidence is so overwhelmingly certain--- there is more evidence for DH than for the top-quark. But I forget the power of the ignorant superstitions to blot out the light of truth.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@JackDouglas: It can't. This is how you do science, you make an assumption, and if 10 independent things with 10% chance each fit, then you've acquired 99.9999% certainty. You need to make sure they are truly independent, and that you aren't fooling yourself regarding the agreement, and you have to make the assumption ahead of time, and include your tolerance of error. But in this way, you can acquire certainty very quickly in science, so long as you understand certainty in the statistical sense. This is statistically certain, this is why you have complete academic consensus on DH.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@FrankLuke: No--- on El-Shaddai--- but even if it is there it doesn't change the interpretation. But it does change the translation, you are right. I should change the translation again. I don't know why you bring this up so much--- the reading you give is still obviously wrong.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
@JonEricson: I'm rounding down to four significant figures, and to this accuracy, this value is correct. It is for all intents and purposes certain.
Apr
11
comment Is the author of Ecclesiastes referring to Archimedes?
I thought the latest dates are the only plausible ones, and then Archimedes refers to current events. Funny enough, everybody remembers the poor man today, nobody remembers the king.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
@MonicaCellio: I don't understand--- what's the relevance? J doesn't make grammar errors normally, her grammar is usually perfect, and if it were in there in the original, it would be preserved in Samaritan and LXX. There is no chance, when Samaritan and LXX both independently have agreeing grammatical text and Masoretic doesn't, that it is both LXX and Samaritan that are corrupted. It just is statistically impossible.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
@JonEricson: The ending of Mark might be a non-trivial problem, but this isn't.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
It's ungrammatical, not dramatic. MT has it right (this was also my first choice, preserve the grammar error in English, before seeing LXX and then Samaritan). This is J writing, J doesn't make grammar errors. There is 0% chance that Masoretic is right here.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
When the omitted text makes the rest ungrammatical, you can tell. Also when you have several indepedent texts agreeing (inasmuch as they can), with one ungrammatical dissenter, you can tell. I asked this question because it took me a long time to find this out when doing translation of Gen 4--- I couldn't understand how people got the translations they got, until I found LXX. It bugged me for a long time, I had this ungrammatical sentence right at the start of J.
Apr
11
comment What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?
It's not speculation, because it exists in the LXX and in Samaritan, and the sentence is ungrammatical without this--- this means the original had the text, and LXX agrees with samaritan. In history and literature, this is called "certainty" (it's better than 5 sigma evidence).
Apr
11
comment Was Moses the probable author of Genesis?
@BruceAlderman: I agree you need someone to tell you, and then you notice, but once you notice, if you reject it, this is is a lie to yourself and to others. I read Gen/Exo, and the E,J doublets, along with the textual divisions, are absolutely manifest to the eyes. I can't condone people who read this text and don't say so. It's like half is in caps and the other half small.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@J.C.Salomon: Whether it's "with" or "in" (I used "by"), the best reading by far is that the Patriarchs were not given the name. This is E narrative, it is consistent with E narrative in other ways. It is a little more plausible using "with my YHVH-ness", but the word used is "with my YHWH name" (I would use "in my guise of YHWH" as the closest corresponding ambiguous English construction to your intended interpretation). Even this way, it sounds most naturally like "I did not reveal my name". Your interpretation is the same as the upvoted answer--- I don't think it is supported by the text.
Apr
11
comment Why does Moses grill leavened bread on Yahweh's altar?
+1: Thanks much! This completely answers the question.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@J.C.Salomon: You are right. I chose a new wording. Sorry. I make mistakes like that every once in a while. Thanks for catching it.
Apr
11
comment Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?
@J.C.Salomon: I see now--- because the Hebrew is "in my name Yahweh, I did not make myself known", I translated equivalently to "my name Yahweh, I did not make known", because I thought the "in" business was too idiomatic Hebrew. I changed the phrasing to the easier English--- because the "in my guise of Yahweh, I did not make myself known" is much too cumbersome in my opinion for the simple Hebrew sentiment. I am asking about the Hebrew, not the English, which is just a gloss. If you think it's really wrong, I can fix it, but I think it's ok, in terms of matching with equal formality.