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Strouse Introduction Although some may surmise that the defense for the inspiration of the Hebrew vowel points is a recent novelty, both Scripture and history argue in favor of their ab origine status.
Scriptural arguments will be forthcoming whereas historical arguments will proceed immediately. Peter Whitfield,pp. This is one of several volumes that show the trend in the post-Reformation era to defend the inspiration of the Hebrew vowel points against the 16th century speculation of the likes of Elias Levita and Jacque Cappel Capellus.
Others in this trend defending the divinely-given vowel points were Johann Buxtorf and John Owen 17th centuryJohn Gill as well as Whitfield 18th centuryand John Moncrieff 19th century. A Review of Whitfield's Dissertation Whitfield's lengthy volume of pages includes an introduction, ten arguments and a conclusion.
Throughout he dialogues with the positions of Levita and Observations in dissertation, giving many biblical examples to refute their notion of the novelty of vowel points. In Whitfield's introduction he stresses how the Roman Catholic Church favors Levita's position because it allows the priests to have the final say in interpretation.
The lack of authoritative vowel points in the Hebrew Old Testament OT leaves the meaning of many words to the interpreter. Observations in dissertation following sections in Whitfield's volume are his arguments for the divine origin of the Hebrew vowel points of the OT.
The necessity of vowel-points in reading the Hebrew language pp. Whitfield argues for the obvious necessity of vowels in teaching the Hebrew language. Without vowels simple pronunciations so necessary in learning a language are impossible.
The author gives several biblical examples proving this necessity.
The necessity for forming different Hebrew conjugations, moods, tenses, as well as dual and plural rendings on nouns pp.
That both Hebrew verbs, including the seven conjugations, the moods and tenses, and the Hebrew nouns, with singular, dual and plural endings, are based on vowel diagnostic indicators is without controversy.
The tremendous complexity of the Hebrew language without vowels argues against any oral tradition preservation inscripturated through the recent invention of vowels.
Whitfield poignantly argues "whoever will consider a great many instances of these differences, as they occur, will own, he must have been a person of very great sagacity, who could ever have observed them without the points" p.
The necessity of vowel-points in distinguishing a great number of words with different significations which without vowel-points are the same Whitfield gives many examples of the same consonants with different points constituting different words.
He argues that if he gave all the examples, Whitfield would need "to transcribe a good part of the Bible or lexicon" p. The inconsistency of the lateness of vowel-points in light of the Jew's zeal for their language since the Babylonian captivity The Jews were zealous for their language, Whitfield observes, and they would not have been careless to let the inscripturated vocalization disappear through careless or indifferent oral tradition from the time of the captivity onward.
He cites several ancient authorities describing the Jews' fanaticism about protecting the minuteness of their Scripture. The various and inconsistent opinions of the advocates for the novelty of vowel-points concerning the authors, time, place, and circumstances of their institution Whitfield argues that the advocates for the recent vowel system have a wide variety of suggestions.
Concerning the authors, some maintain that the inventor[s] were the Tiberian Jews while others suggest that it was Rabbi Judah Hakkadosh cf. Some say the points were invented after the Talmud c.
ADby the Masoretes ADor in the 10th century or the 11th century. For the place some have posited Tiberias whereas others have suggested the "lesser Asia.
The total silence of the ancient writers, Jew and Christian, about their recent origin Whitfield cites both early rabbins and Jerome as neglecting to refer to the late post-Mosaic origin of vowel-points.
The absolute necessity to ascertain Divine authority of the Scripture of the OT The author Whitfield affirms that Scripture is based on words and words are based on consonants and vowels.
Whitfield then gives a vast listing of passages that change meaning when points are lost, and thereby undermining divine authority. The many anomalies or irregularities of punctuation in the Hebrew grammar The kind of person i want to be essay football essay papers restaurant descriptive essay cultural identity and diaspora essay writer thirteen reasons why theme essay hook romeo and juliet critical essay introduction general observations about advertising essay forrest gump soundtrack song names in essays cover page for essay creator ways to.
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