> Hi GramPong
> Not sure where you're coming from, or what's
> excited you of late, but I would say, Take a very
> deep breath when it comes to anything to do with
> It has been established that Sitchin could not
> actually read the texts that he claims to have
No it has not. This says nothing about how well he could read them mind you, but all that has been "established" is that his translations, obviously, do not jibe with traditional interpretations of which Sitchin makes it abundantly clear are his alone. In the process, Sitchin has purportedly made several errors or taken undue poetic license with his translations in support of his overall claims. This may well be true, but keep in mind your parroted comments are derived almost exclusively from one Michael S Heiser who:
Mike has an active ministry to people whose worldview is molded by occult, paranormal, and esoteric beliefs. He observed that many who have adopted “alternative” worldviews were formerly traditional theists and Christians who left the faith when their questions on difficult passages and topics went unanswered, or when spiritual leaders failed to address experiences they had had. Mike seeks to fill these gaps as a Christian scholar and has become well known in these circles through writing, speaking, and numerous radio appearances.
Can't imagine any bias there.
Interestingly, I have yet to find anywhere in Heiser's "debunking" of Sitchin's translations that he himself can read cuneiform, but rather relies on translations from the likes of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary and ESL among others. For example, his treatment of seal VA243; he does not translate what it says himself, but rather relies on other sources to tell him what it says:
The seal is transliterated (the Sumero-Akkadian signs in English letters) and translated in the
principal publication of the Berlin Vorderasiatische Museum’s publication of its seal collection,
Vorderasiatische Rollsiegel (“West Asian Cylinder Seals”; 1940) by Mesopotamian scholar Anton
Moortgat on page 101. This book is in German, so I offer the German and an English translation:
Line 1 = dub-si-ga “Dubsiga” [a personal name of an apparently powerful personc]
Line 2 = ili-il-la-at “Ili-illat” [another personal name, this time of the seal’s owner]
Line 3 = ir3-su “dein Knecht” [German for “your servant”d]
So Sitchin is "wrong" because of translations made by one Anton Moortgat in 1940?
In which he had to follow up further still with someone else: "In an email correspondence with Dr. Rudi Mayr, whose dissertation was on cylinder seals, Dr. Mayr commented on the inscriptions and the seal...".
All Heiser has done is research known translations, which he even tells you himself anyone can do, to tell you Sitchin is wrong which was kind of the point of Sitchin retranslating them in that he thought scholars got it wrong in the first place.
Heiser says: "I get asked all the time, “How do you know Sitchin is wrong about aliens in Sumerian tablets?". Which he answers:"Short answer: Because I get my information from the actual ancient scribes. Here's one example among many that could be offered.".
So by "actual ancient scribes" what he really means is other scholars who have translated it for him.
Regardless of the validity of Sitchin's translations or his ideas, I am amazed at how gullible some are to gobble up whatever Heiser says as gospel without ever getting to know who he really is beyond his credentials, what he is actually saying, and where he gets his information from. I suppose it doesn't matter as long as he is saying from a position of "authority" what some desperately want to hear.
Yes, many Sumerian-Akkadian lexical texts and word lists have been found, spanning more than 3,000yrs, but you do understand, I presume, these all had to be translated by modern scholars in the first place in which many words have been found to have several meanings of which not all scholars agree. These "dictionaries" you are referring to is what has been compiled by modern scholars of these translations, spanning this 3,000yr period, into a searchable form. This is not to defend Sitchin, which I am kind of sick of having to say, but the whole point of his "retranslating", right or wrong, is that he did not agree with some of these translations.
It is hardly the case to think uncovering the true meanings of these ancient words is just as simple as "looking it up in the dictionary". If one looks at even an English dictionary from the 1800's there are many words that have meaning today that it did not then and vise versa. Regarding one of the more contentious translations of Sitchin's, the word "Nephilim", if we want to know what it means then all we need to do is look it up in a dictionary right? It tells us it means:"Nephilim: "giants," name of two peoples, one before the flood and one after the flood".
According to Sitchin, however:
“What then does the term Nefilim mean? Stemming from the Semitic root NFL (“to be cast down”), it means exactly what it says. It means those who were cast down upon the earth.”
And here is Heiser to tell you why Sitchin is wrong and that it can only mean "giants".
Well, I guess that's it then. Heiser and the dictionary agree.
But wait, here is Ronald S Hendel, Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Dept. of Near Eastern Studies, explaining why Heiser is wrong: Michael Heiser's (Mis)interpretation of "Nephilim" as "Giants" not "fallen Ones".
But how can this be if all one needs to do is "look it up in the dictionary"?
And if you actually read it, Hendel notes that Victor P. Hamilton, Professor of Old Testament and Theology at Asbury University from 1971 until 2007, translates Nephilim as...wait for it...:"‘those who were made to fall; those who were cast down’".
Some quotes from Hendel regarding Heiser's translations:
What you have written here and in your post helps me understand how you have come to your conclusion, which I continue to consider is unsound.
So your reliance on the Aramaic “meaning” of Nephilin faces what I consider is an insurmountable problem, and I hope I have made this problem clearer to you. [Lol]
If you wish to continue to make an argument that the Aramaic meaning of the term “Nephilin” is “giants” and that this meaning influenced the Hebrew, the onus is on you to provide the evidence. But there is no evidence – is there?
Of course I hope none who read this are stupid enough to suggest I am implying either Hendel or Hamilton endorse Sitchin's ancient astronaut hypothesis, but I note this to illustrate the simple point these matters are not as simple as some would have others believe.