• Re: "Alma"=Virgin?

    From fhopper1572@gmail.com@1:396/4 to All on Fri May 29 04:16:13 2020
    From: fhopper1572@gmail.com

    On Tuesday, December 17, 1996 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-8, David Coomler wrote:
    On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Dennis Alexander wrote:

    This connotation is equally true in Hebrew, as is evident when you examine the use of the word "alma" throughout the OT. Apart from Isaiah 7:14, the word is used in only six other passages:

    1) Genesis 24:43 -- Rebekah, who previously in the chapter (v.16) is described as "very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her," is in v.43 called a "maiden" ("alma").

    Stop and think about it; if in verse sixteen she is called a "virgin" (betulah) and in 43 she is called a young woman, then obviously the term
    used to indicate a virgin is betulah and not 'almah. To make it simple
    for you, it is like saying "That girl ('almah) is a virgin (bethulah). If this is kept in mind, all becomes clear.

    And, interestingly, in the Greek translation used by by the first
    Christians, the same one that translates almah in Isaiah 7:14 as
    "parthenos," you will find that the same "all purpose" word is used to translate "virgin" in verse 16; in other words, the Septuagint is not a
    very accurate translation. It uses the same term to translate both 'almah and betulah here. And that is not all. In another verse you quote,
    Exodus 2:8, which speaks of the sister of Moses, in Hebrew she is called
    and 'almah; but the Septuagint translates this term, the same used in
    Isaiah 7:14, as "neanis," which means simply a girl or young woman. From this you can see that the Septuagint not only translates two different
    terms as parthenos, but it also gives the same term translated as
    parthenos in one place as neanis in another. In the Song of Songs example you gave (1:3), the hebrew plural of 'alma is translated not by Greek parthenoi, but by "neanides." So you can see the Septuagint, the Greek version Matthew and the early church used, is really quite inconsistent,
    and Trypho the Jew (whether a literary character or not) was right to
    argue that the Christians mistranslated "young woman" as "virgin."

    This all gets a little complex for those who may not know Greek or Hebrew, but the short version of the matter is that the Greek translation was not very precise or accurate in some instances, which takes us back to where
    we started. The term 'almah, in Isaiah 7:14, is not the term used when
    one wants to specify that someone is a virgin. That is demonstrated by
    the Genesis 24:16 example you gave, in which the term betulah is used to
    show that Rebekah was a virgin, and added to that is the emphatic "no man
    had known her."

    And, as I have already pointed out, this is actually a secondary issue
    that just confirms the primary matter. Many girls are virgins before they conceive. They are not so after. It happens every day. And in Hebrew,
    it does not specify that the event is to be future. In Jewish
    translations into English it is given the present tense. So even if one
    does mistranslate 'almah as virgin instead of girl or young woman, Isaiah 7:14 still says nothing about a virgin birth.

    David

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