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Old 02-05-2009, 09:31 PM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 462
Default Doug Kutilek - an observation of some merit

Hi Folks,

In looking at the quotes above, Doug Kutilek makes an observation of some merit, one that deserves careful consideration. He says that to:

sunder apart the synonymously parallel clauses of verse 7a, applying the “you will keep them” to the words and “you will preserve him” to the believer, shows a lack of understanding of the basic feature of Hebrew poetry -- parallelism of thought. Hebrew poetic structure demands that both clauses “you will keep them” and “you will preserve him” be applied to the same object.

Well, "demands" is a very strong word in poetry and grammar, one which some may find objectionable. However in English as well we can see the basic point, you don't even have to have an MHP (Masters in Hebraic Poetry). Any split interpretation has to jump over real difficulties. It simply does not make much sense, it is not very comfortable, to have the two phrases applying to differing objects.

(Sidenote: Doug Kutilek morphs "poor and needy" to "believer" as a political tool. To speak too truthfully about the Psalm does not suit his purposes.)

Now .. looking at the verses in the simple and clear read.

Psalm 12:6-7
The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth,
purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Yet, let us reason together .. doesn't this cut in two directions ?
Anyone can see that Psalm 12:7a has a very natural sense as "words".

And there is less of a grammar objection (the plural agrees, thus only the relatively minor gender discordence, easily understood by the 'priority of the masculine', with the similar verse example in Psalm 119 involving the words of God) the word flow is far more direct to "keep them" than to the "preserve him" clause (proximity PLUS sentence flow -- something that Thomas Strouse possibly could emphasize, proximity is only one of 4 complimentary aspects -- proximity, sentence flow, consistency, context). And the manuscript evidence more certain. And the second pronoun is subordinate, the first primary.

Remember that Rashi applied this first clause to preserving Torah, not people, a point that Kutilek craftily hid.

Thus by the reasoning of Doug Kutilek, the split commentators, like Rashi, when they start with "words" in Psalm 12:7a, should really be consistent and strongly lean to "words" in Psalm 12:7b !

This is a sound point from Doug Kutilek, even if he did not realize he was making it. Split interpretations (12:7a words, 12:7b people) should tend strongly to be "words" interpretations, barring (non-existent) compelling reasons to resist this, or to make the second, auxiliary pronoun primary. In fact there is a compelling contextual reason to be added to making the full interpretation "words" from considering the "split" position -- the "for ever" clause in 12:7b (the one hid by NETBible) applies very beautifully to words (remember 1 Peter and many other verses) and very awkwardly, if at all, to the poor and needy.

1 Peter 1:23-25
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass
The word of the Lord endureth for ever

So Doug Kutilek has, after you unravel his own deceit (or slipperiness if you want to use the more cordial and forgiving word) on Rashi and think about his sensible (while slightly overstated) assertion above, given us strong support for the full "preservation of the words of God" interpretation.

Thanks, Doug.

However, wait. There is also another little issue of the Doug Kutilek competence and integrity and fairness and objectivity in research and writing, coming forth in this very section we are studying. Has it been picked up by any of our readers ? Granted, you may have to track down his little paper to see the problem. And remember, from the last post, keep the dunce-caps ready.

(Pause )

Steven Avery

Last edited by Steven Avery; 02-05-2009 at 09:58 PM.

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