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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Ben Asher

1 Kings 17:6 an Orthographic Issue

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Posted (edited)

Posted on August 5th, 2016 on my Ad fontes blog


It would seem that most (if not all) translators follow the ‘Ktiv Menuqad’ of the ‘Masoretic’ text when attempting to render 1 kings 17:6 into English. In doing so translators have either knowingly or unwittingly accepted the Masoretes’ interpretation of scripture. The text that lay before the Masoretes was probably the ambiguous והערבים . Without, the Neqqudot the word could be read either as ‘ravens’ or ‘Arabs’ depending on its literary context or on the interpreter’s decision. However, the Masoretes who added the Neqqudot had to decide whether to point the word with the ‘patach’ vowel under the letter ‘Ayin’ or a ‘Holam’ above the letter ‘Ayin’. A simple change of even a single vowel point can sometimes radically alter the meaning of a word in classical Hebrew and that actually is the only difference between the reading ‘ravens’ or ‘Arabs’.


Examine the image below carefully. The vowel points are in red to make it easier to spot the difference between these two readings/vocalizations/interpretations:

What’s your opinion or take on the above?






(a) What’s your opinion or take on the above?  

(b) In the overall context of the narrative how do you think the word under consideration should be rendered and why?

Edited by Ben Asher

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