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Olddad
Sep 28th 2008, 12:57 PM
This is a small point, which has absolutely no doctrinal significance whatsoever.

The New Jerusalem Bible says that Moses drowned Pharaoh's army in the Sea of Reeds (Exodus 15:4). The New American Standard Bible admits that this is the literal translation in a footnote to this verse.

If that is the case, isn't it about time Bible translations tossed out the traditional wording about the Red Sea and actually translated what is in the Hebrew?

Bethany67
Sep 28th 2008, 12:59 PM
What does the Hebrew say?

Olddad
Sep 28th 2008, 01:09 PM
Hi. I can't read Hebrew, so I have to go by what the translations say. However, when the New Jerusalem Bible and the Jewish translation says it's the Sea of Reeds, and the New American Standard Bible says that's the literal translation, I reckon it's got to be the Sea of Reeds

Bethany67
Sep 28th 2008, 01:49 PM
Well, my understanding is that it was the KJV who introduced 'Red Sea' because it translated the Greek Septuagint ἐρυθρά θάλασσα (red sea), which in turn translated the Hebrew 'yam suph.' Sea of Reeds is probably a more accurate translation, according to my limited understanding of Hebrew.

However there's another angle to consider. In the Baal myth, Yam was an Ugaritic (Syrian city sending tribute to Egypt) deity of saltwater primordial chaos. It wouldn't surprise me if, in the control/parting of the waters, the passage is speaking of the superiority of Yahweh over the Near Eastern deities as His people moved out of Egypt towards Canaan. There's a school of thought which interprets the 10 plagues themselves as a judgement on the Egyptian gods:

Nile turned to blood = judgement on Hapi (god of the Nile)
Frogs which decayed and stank = Heket (fertility/water/renewal)
Lice from dust = Geb (earth)
Flies = Khephri (fly-headed, rebirth, creation)
Cattle & livestock = Hathor (cow-headed, love, protection)
Boils & sores = Isis (medicine, peace)
Hail = Nut (sky)
Locusts = Seth (storms, disorder)
Darkness = Ra (sun)
Death of the firstborn = judgement on Pharaoh as son of Ra and 'father' of his people

Richard H
Sep 28th 2008, 04:40 PM
Hi Olddad, :)
Many people (including Bible scholars) are quick to “explain away” the Red Sea crossing.
They never try to explain the multiple times the Jordan River was parted the same way.

Using Scripture to trace out the route taken by the Israelites, researchers have determined this:

In fleeing Egypt, God led the people to a plain on the Golf of Aqaba called a “wadee”. It is a huge beach able to contain over a million people.
The road to the wadee is through a canyon, but once on the beach the people were trapped. This body of water is a mile deep.

Amazingly, there exists an underwater land bridge spanning the depth of the water right at that spot.
During dive explorations, the researchers found a large number of chariot wheels with axles, human remains, and the remains of horses.

They even found the gilding from a four-spoked wheel.
Only the pharaoh himself would have used a chariot with such a wheel.

MODERATOR:
This is a link describing the research and inscriptions found.
It also shows photos of an encrusted chariot axle and the gold wheel.
http://bibleprobe.com/exodus.htm (http://bibleprobe.com/exodus.htm)

This is a link to videos of the dive showing chariot axles and wheels.
http://www.anchorstone.com/content/view/315/53/ (http://www.anchorstone.com/content/view/315/53/)
[NOTE about onscreen players: turn volume up for each video]

I believe the crossing because it’s in the Bible.
I’ve found Scripture - YHWH Himself - and His Son, Jesus to be trustworthy.

Still, this find is fascinating.

Olddad, believing in the “Red Sea crossing” is not so important.
What IS important is that you have your name written in the Book of Life.

Richard

Tanya~
Sep 28th 2008, 09:29 PM
Olddad, what is the significance or what are the implications to you if it is the "sea of reeds?"

Olddad
Sep 28th 2008, 10:00 PM
Hi Olddad, :)
Many people (including Bible scholars) are quick to “explain away” the Red Sea crossing.

I believe the thing to explain is how the Sea of Reeds in Hebrew became the Red Sea in most English translations. One other poster attributed this to the Septuagint, the ancient translation of the Old Testament into Greek. I think that this explains how it happened. However, does the Septuagint have sufficient authority to override the Hebrew at this point?

I cannot answeR that question. However, I would make these points:

Ordinarily, a translation of the Old Testament should be a translation of the Hebrew and not of another translation.
One has a right to question a translation that is at variance with the Hebrew.
The burden of proof lies with those who change or those who defend changing the text in translation. In other words, it is their job to "explain away" and not the reverse.
If there is a question about "Red Sea" this should be footnoted in the translations, as has been done in the NASB and the NRSV. This is the minimum to expect.

Olddad
Sep 28th 2008, 10:05 PM
Olddad, what is the significance or what are the implications to you if it is the "sea of reeds?"
It's a question of scholarship. One expects a translation to be reliable. If translations are affected by religious or cultural factors then this calls into question the reliability of the translations. "Red Sea" is traditional; "Sea of Reeds" appears to be more accurate.

markinro
Sep 28th 2008, 10:49 PM
It's a question of scholarship. One expects a translation to be reliable. If translations are affected by religious or cultural factors then this calls into question the reliability of the translations. "Red Sea" is traditional; "Sea of Reeds" appears to be more accurate.

If you are going to insist on this interpretation - that Moses led Israel out of Egypy crossing a marsh I have questions.

1. How did Pharoah's army drown in a marsh ?
2. There are numerous occurences of the hebrew word YAM - each time a reference to a body of water - no mention of reeds or a marsh.
3. God divided a marsh ?

Tanya~
Sep 28th 2008, 11:30 PM
It's a question of scholarship. One expects a translation to be reliable. If translations are affected by religious or cultural factors then this calls into question the reliability of the translations. "Red Sea" is traditional; "Sea of Reeds" appears to be more accurate.

Okay but why is this a problem? If another name for the Red sea is Sea of Reeds, what difference does that make? The Sea of Galilee is also called the sea of Tiberias, the Lake of Gennesaret and the sea of Chinnereth. They are 4 different names for the same body of water.

For more discussion on this question, see http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/red-sea-or-reed-sea/

Olddad
Sep 29th 2008, 01:02 AM
If you are going to insist on this interpretation - that Moses led Israel out of Egypy crossing a marsh I have questions.

1. How did Pharoah's army drown in a marsh ?
2. There are numerous occurences of the hebrew word YAM - each time a reference to a body of water - no mention of reeds or a marsh.
3. God divided a marsh ?


I referred to the Sea of Reeds, not a marsh. Interpreting that phrase as referring to a marsh is your doing, not mine.
A sea is a body of water. Your point?
You have set up your own interpretation and then demolished it. I didn't say "marsh", you did. Blaming me for saying something that you said is neither logical nor polite.

Olddad
Sep 29th 2008, 01:09 AM
Okay but why is this a problem? If another name for the Red sea is Sea of Reeds, what difference does that make? The Sea of Galilee is also called the sea of Tiberias, the Lake of Gennesaret and the sea of Chinnereth. They are 4 different names for the same body of water.

For more discussion on this question, see http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/red-sea-or-reed-sea/

I chased up your references and found them interesting. Thanks.

If "Sea of Reeds" refers to the Red Sea, then there is no problem in using either name. However, if there is some doubt, then it is better to follow the Hebrew text. I would suggest that there is some doubt because translations have differed on this matter.

Remember that this is not a question of what the Bible says but how the translators translate.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 29th 2008, 01:10 AM
It's kind of irrelevant in a way. The Sea of Reeds is an alternate reading. At worst it was just a lake that led into the Red Sea, so calling it the "Red Sea" is still just as accurate as the Red Sea is the larger [connecting] body of water.

Olddad
Sep 29th 2008, 01:23 AM
It's kind of irrelevant in a way. The Sea of Reeds is an alternate reading. At worst it was just a lake that led into the Red Sea, so calling it the "Red Sea" is still just as accurate as the Red Sea is the larger [connecting] body of water.


"Sea of Reeds" is what the Hebrew said. Red Sea is the alternate reading and not the other way round.
If the Sea of Reeds was a lake that led into the Red Sea then it is not as accurate to refer to it as the Red Sea. It's about as accurate as saying that the Mediterranean Sea is the same as the Atlantic Ocean.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 29th 2008, 01:53 AM
I'm sorry, I guess my Hebrew and understanding of how Biblical scholarship works is rusty. Let's look at it:


"Sea of Reeds" is what the Hebrew said. Red Sea is the alternate reading and not the other way round.The reason it is not called the "Red Sea" in Hebrew is because it most likely wasn't called the "Red Sea" at the time. In fact, the Egyptians called it the "Sea of Weeds" (as the Hebrew word can also refer to weeds), this was due - most likely - to high amounts of seaweed.

It was changed into the "Red Sea" via the Greeks naming it as such. In other words, it's merely two different cultures (Semitic and Hellenistic) naming the same object two different things. It's like modern day Iran - ask any Iranian where they live and they'll say "Persia." Two different names, but both in reference to the same place.

In other words, you're making a mistake in assuming that by calling it "Sea of Reeds" it's actually referring to a different place than "Red Sea." Due to our reliance upon Greek and Latin, we simply called it the "Red Sea" after those two languages, rather than what the natives called it.


If the Sea of Reeds was a lake that led into the Red Sea then it is not as accurate to refer to it as the Red Sea. It's about as accurate as saying that the Mediterranean Sea is the same as the Atlantic Ocean.Only Western society is so literal. Say your great-grandfather's name is Bob. Well, under ancient Near Eastern culture you could say you are a son of Bob and it wouldn't be inaccurate. It wouldn't be literal, but under their culture you are merely saying that you can trace your lineage to Bob.

Likewise, under ANE thinking it wouldn't be inaccurate to refer to the Mediterranean as the Atlantic since the Mediterranean has its source from the Atlantic. It was common to refer to the greater object if the small object was contingent upon the greater object.

Thus, as I was saying, in a worst case scenario - if the "Sea of Reeds" (which, the Hebrew is just some 20+ times in the Scriptures, so it's most likely referring to the Red Sea) is referring to something other than the Red Sea - it would still be referring to a lake that had its source from the Red Sea.

The whole point is this - you're assuming too much by saying that "Sea of Reeds" and "Red Sea" can't possibly be two words for the same place. After all, can you come up with a Hebrew phrase that is found in Scripture that refers to the Red Sea and not the Sea of Reeds? Though translating it "Sea of Reeds" is a more literal translation, labeling it "The Red Sea" lets modern readers understand where it is located.

Richard H
Sep 29th 2008, 03:50 AM
I believe the thing to explain is how the Sea of Reeds in Hebrew became the Red Sea in most English translations. One other poster attributed this to the Septuagint, the ancient translation of the Old Testament into Greek. I think that this explains how it happened. However, does the Septuagint have sufficient authority to override the Hebrew at this point?


I cannot answeR that question. However, I would make these points:

Ordinarily, a translation of the Old Testament should be a translation of the Hebrew and not of another translation.
One has a right to question a translation that is at variance with the Hebrew.
The burden of proof lies with those who change or those who defend changing the text in translation. In other words, it is their job to "explain away" and not the reverse.
If there is a question about "Red Sea" this should be footnoted in the translations, as has been done in the NASB and the NRSV. This is the minimum to expect.


Hi Olddad,
I make no claim to defend the “Sea of Reeds theory. I think it is not the only interpretation and I think it is incorrect. I just see so many shows on the Discovery Channel trying to explain God's miracles as simply a natural occurance.

Below is Strong’s information: it could also be the sea of weeds – as in sea weed.

Anyway, have you looked at the links I posted? The actual evidence seems to point to the Golf of Aqaba.

Richard


Exo 15:4 Pharaoh'sH6547 chariotsH4818 and his hostH2428 hath he castH3384 into the sea:H3220 his chosenH4005 captainsH7991 also are drownedH2883 in the RedH5488 sea.H3220

Strong’s Concordance
H5488
סוּף
sûph
soof
Probably of Egyptian origin; a reed, especially the papyrus: - flag. Red [sea], weed. Compare H5489.

Saved7
Sep 29th 2008, 03:56 AM
Remember that this is not a question of what the Bible says but how the translators translate.


There is a handy tool called a concordance...that's where you can see the original (as close to it anyway) language and in what way it could be used.
Red Sea for example...

Red
סוף
süf
cuwph
masculine noun
probably of Egyptian origin

1) reed, rush, water plant
a) rushes
b) sea of rushes
1) of Red Sea
2) of arms of Red Sea
3) of Gulf of Suez
4) of sea from straits to Gulf of Akaba


Sea

ים
yam

yäm

masculine noun

from an unused root meaning to roar

1) sea
a) Mediterranean Sea
b) Red Sea
c) Dead Sea
d) Sea of Galilee
e) sea (general)
f) mighty river (Nile)
g) the sea (the great basin in the temple court)
h) seaward, west, westward

Just looking at the meaning of the second word in the phrase Red SEA, it's kind of hard to get the word "marsh" out of that. :saint:

And I would have to agree with A Kernos, we are quite literal in our culture. I mean take a look at the west Indies...I bet the natives of those Islands didn't call it the West Indies at that time. We named it that. ;)

Literalist-Luke
Sep 29th 2008, 04:20 AM
Some people attempt to claim that the "parting" of the Red Sea was a simple matter of the Hebrews walking across the relatively shallow "Reed Sea". (I'm not accusing olddad of attempting this line of reasoning. And neither am I suggesting that the "Reed Sea" is shallow. I'm only mentioning the argument that is sometimes presented.)

My quick answer to people who attempt to make that argument is something like "Wow, in that case, what a miracle that the entire Egyptian army drowned in such shallow water!"

Olddad
Sep 29th 2008, 12:46 PM
Hi Richard,

You said: "The actual evidence seems to point to the Golf of Aqaba."

Now this is the one thing it cannot be. If you look at a map you will see that the Red Sea splits into two branches. The Gulf of Suez is to the west of Sinai and the Gulf of Aqaba is to the east so it is quite out of the way.

You said: "I make no claim to defend the “Sea of Reeds theory." But it's not a theory, it's a literal translation of the Hebrew. Therefore this leaves you with three possibilities.


The name is equivalent to the Red Sea.
It is the name of a different body of water. (There is more than one between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea.)
It could be either of the above. We are not completely sure.

If it is 1, then calling it the Sea of Reeds is simply restoring an ancient usage. If it is 2 or 3, we need to refer to it as the Sea of Reeds because this is what the Hebrew says and it might not be the same as the Red Sea.

You said, "I just see so many shows on the Discovery Channel trying to explain God's miracles as simply a natural occurance."
My response: This old man is not Discovery Channel!

Finally, I have no opinion about your seaweed hypothesis.

Richard H
Sep 29th 2008, 02:07 PM
Hi Richard,

You said: "The actual evidence seems to point to the Golf of Aqaba."

Now this is the one thing it cannot be. If you look at a map you will see that the Red Sea splits into two branches. The Gulf of Suez is to the west of Sinai and the Gulf of Aqaba is to the east so it is quite out of the way.

You said: "I make no claim to defend the “Sea of Reeds theory." But it's not a theory, it's a literal translation of the Hebrew. Therefore this leaves you with three possibilities.


The name is equivalent to the Red Sea.
It is the name of a different body of water. (There is more than one between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea.)
It could be either of the above. We are not completely sure.
If it is 1, then calling it the Sea of Reeds is simply restoring an ancient usage. If it is 2 or 3, we need to refer to it as the Sea of Reeds because this is what the Hebrew says and it might not be the same as the Red Sea.

You said, "I just see so many shows on the Discovery Channel trying to explain God's miracles as simply a natural occurance."
My response: This old man is not Discovery Channel!

Finally, I have no opinion about your seaweed hypothesis.

OK, Olddad. It's your call.

I just think it's odd that Pharoah's army seems to be underwater on a submerged land-bridge, and that the spot was commemorated with two pillars (one on each side) dating to Solomon.

But then again, you did not watch the video of the dive.

Richard

seekhisface
Sep 29th 2008, 06:36 PM
This is a small point, which has absolutely no doctrinal significance whatsoever.

The New Jerusalem Bible says that Moses drowned Pharaoh's army in the Sea of Reeds (Exodus 15:4). The New American Standard Bible admits that this is the literal translation in a footnote to this verse.

If that is the case, isn't it about time Bible translations tossed out the traditional wording about the Red Sea and actually translated what is in the Hebrew?

Just so that your aware, the Masoretic text has been passed along for thousands of years. The lxx and the Masoretic text are not identical in its words used, but when it comes to Moses and Egypt and the RED SEA, there isn't much left to the imagination. Well, that is till you get a bunch of people together that don't believe in anything at all except for what they can see and touch, kinda like a cheeseburger.

I guess everybody is just gonna have to trash all those old bibles because they all got it wrong till this latest of ??? Not really sure how many translations there are out there now. I do know that you can publish a bible that reflects your theological point of view. Folks do that already you know.

Since you mentioned Reed, that word will be later used again to describe the place where King Solomon developed the Hebrew Navy and they were taught to sail. lol try to figure that one out.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 29th 2008, 07:37 PM
You said: "I make no claim to defend the “Sea of Reeds theory." But it's not a theory, it's a literal translation of the Hebrew. Therefore this leaves you with three possibilities.
The name is equivalent to the Red Sea.
It is the name of a different body of water. (There is more than one between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea.)
It could be either of the above. We are not completely sure.
If it is 1, then calling it the Sea of Reeds is simply restoring an ancient usage. If it is 2 or 3, we need to refer to it as the Sea of Reeds because this is what the Hebrew says and it might not be the same as the Red Sea.

(1) is the most logical choice. As I explained, the Bible only refers to the "Red Sea" and never differentiates between the "Reed Sea" and the "Red Sea." This would indicate that the term, though different from the Hellenistic/Latin word, is still referring to the Red Sea.

So it really becomes a non-issue, unless one wants to take a hyper-literalist view on interpretation (which isn't always good, mainly due to idiomatic inconsistencies).

Olddad
Sep 30th 2008, 02:07 AM
(1) is the most logical choice. As I explained, the Bible only refers to the "Red Sea" and never differentiates between the "Reed Sea" and the "Red Sea." This would indicate that the term, though different from the Hellenistic/Latin word, is still referring to the Red Sea.
You may be right in saying that the Reed Sea and the Red Sea are alternative names for the same body of water. What is your evidence for this statement?

apothanein kerdos
Sep 30th 2008, 02:13 AM
You may be right in saying that the Reed Sea and the Red Sea are alternative names for the same body of water. What is your evidence for this statement?

I gave it to you. The Greeks are the ones who switched the name to the Red Sea. Prior to that the Egyptians referred to it as "The Sea of Seaweed" or "The Sea of Reeds." Ancient Semitic languages all confirm this. Calling it the "Red Sea" is the Hellenization of the sea.

Secondly, I don't really need "hard" evidence (though I do have evidence) due to the fact that it is mostly logical and plausible. Not everything that is true is based upon evidence. But that's for another discussion.

markinro
Sep 30th 2008, 02:42 AM
I referred to the Sea of Reeds, not a marsh. Interpreting that phrase as referring to a marsh is your doing, not mine.
A sea is a body of water. Your point?
You have set up your own interpretation and then demolished it. I didn't say "marsh", you did. Blaming me for saying something that you said is neither logical nor polite.


Obviously, you need a concordance and if you have one - you have chosen to ignore dozens of biblical scholars.

Olddad
Sep 30th 2008, 06:44 AM
I gave it to you. TMhe Greeks are the ones who switched the name to the Red Sea. Prior to that the Egyptians referred to it as "The Sea of Seaweed" or "The Sea of Reeds." Ancient Semitic languages all confirm this. Calling it the "Red Sea" is the Hellenization of the sea.
It would appear from the article in Wikipedia that modern Jewish scholarship prefers the translation Sea of Reeds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_Suph. Another article from a Christian source also presents evidence that the Sea of Reeds was not the Red Sea http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/redsea.htm. Yet another site points to the controversy over the evidence. http://www.genesisfiles.com/SeaLevel.htm

I have presented evidence to back up my assertion that the Reed Sea and the Red Sea may not be the same body of water. Even if this view is not held by every scholar I have given evidence that a significant number of both Christian and Jewish scholars believe that the term may refer to a different body of water than the one we know as the Red Sea.

You have made assertions, and I find them of interest. However, these are assertions. You have not given evidence to show that your view is correct. I repeat my request to you to show me the evidence for your belief that the Red Sea and the Sea of Reeds must be and can only be the same body of water.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 30th 2008, 02:53 PM
It would appear from the article in Wikipedia that modern Jewish scholarship prefers the translation Sea of Reeds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_Suph. Another article from a Christian source also presents evidence that the Sea of Reeds was not the Red Sea http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/redsea.htm. Yet another site points to the controversy over the evidence. http://www.genesisfiles.com/SeaLevel.htm

I have presented evidence to back up my assertion that the Reed Sea and the Red Sea may not be the same body of water. Even if this view is not held by every scholar I have given evidence that a significant number of both Christian and Jewish scholars believe that the term may refer to a different body of water than the one we know as the Red Sea.

You have made assertions, and I find them of interest. However, these are assertions. You have not given evidence to show that your view is correct. I repeat my request to you to show me the evidence for your belief that the Red Sea and the Sea of Reeds must be and can only be the same body of water.

I know both Greek and Hebrew (though my Hebrew is incomplete). I know the history behind both. That is my evidence - I don't spend my life reading Wikipedia or combing over internet articles. I read these things out of book and for myself.

As I was pointing out, the logic of the situation is quite simple. For one, most of these 'scholars' operate under a critical view of Biblical history. There can't be miracles under their view because it's non-naturalistic. Proof of their shoddy scholarship is found in the fact that the term is found beyond the Exodus story. Are we to believe that Solomon built a navy on the shore of an Egyptian marsh (1 Kings 9:26)? Am I to believe that during the Exodus they [the Exiles] somehow founds their way back within striking distance of Egypt (Numbers 33:10)?

This is what I mean by shoddy scholarship - they're ignoring other instances in Scripture.

Secondly, the "archeologist" must also be a joke (I'm assuming so). This is primarily due to the fact that his arguments hinge upon his main on, "Well, there aren't reeds there now, so the Reed Sea can't be the Red Sea." Really? That's the extent of his analysis? He's saying that because something now - 4,000 years after the fact - doesn't exist, it never existed? As I pointed out, it can be called the "Sea of Weeds" or the "Sea of Reeds." The term itself is quite ambiguous. The fact that there are not reeds now does not mean there never were. That's a horrible argument on his part.

As I stated, at worse it's merely referring to a lake that drained into or had its source from the Red Sea. Logically, however, it is referring to the Red Sea, only under a different (more Semitic) name.

Olddad
Sep 30th 2008, 09:12 PM
Are we to believe that Solomon built a navy on the shore of an Egyptian marsh (1 Kings 9:26)? Am I to believe that during the Exodus they [the Exiles] somehow founds their way back within striking distance of Egypt (Numbers 33:10)?

Thank you for supplying this evidence, as requested.

You may be interested to note that the Jewish Translation and the New Jerusalem Bible use "Sea of Reeds" in Numbers 33:10, and while the Jewish Bible also uses this term in 1 Kings 9:26, the NJB uses "Red Sea" in 1 Kings 9:26 without a note to say that the Hebrew said Sea of Reeds.

Logic, of course, would demand that the translators used one term consistently. However, if the term "Red Sea" is chosen, a note to point out the literal translation would be appropriate.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 30th 2008, 10:07 PM
Thank you for supplying this evidence, as requested.

You may be interested to note that the Jewish Translation and the New Jerusalem Bible use "Sea of Reeds" in Numbers 33:10, and while the Jewish Bible also uses this term in 1 Kings 9:26, the NJB uses "Red Sea" in 1 Kings 9:26 without a note to say that the Hebrew said Sea of Reeds.

Logic, of course, would demand that the translators used one term consistently. However, if the term "Red Sea" is chosen, a note to point out the literal translation would be appropriate.

Now I agree that if they use "Sea of Reeds" in one point, they need to use it in all other points.

What I was arguing, however, is that it doesn't seem reasonable to say that the "Red Sea" and "Sea of Reeds" are two different things. I'm arguing the same thing - after all, how does one build an entire navy to sail across a marsh? Likewise, how does one do this when one doesn't have sovereignty over Egyptian soil (where the Sea of Reeds would have been located were it separate from the Red sea)?

1 Kings only makes sense if we are discussing the Red Sea (but the Hebrew term used in 1 Kings is the same one that is used in Exodus).

This simply lends more credit to the hypothesis that the "Reed Sea" is the Semitic name for the Hellenistic name: The Red Sea.

Olddad
Oct 2nd 2008, 01:41 AM
Now I agree that if they use "Sea of Reeds" in one point, they need to use it in all other points.

Agreed. This is definitely a defect in the New Jerusalem Bible.

I would also agree that the hypothesis that the "Reed Sea" is simply an ancient name for "The Red Sea" has some merit. Also, as you and others have pointed out, using the name "Reed Sea" makes the miracle of crossing the sea sound less impressive, and I can well understand that this makes "Red Sea" very attractive for believers, especially as it is backed up by a tradition that dates back to the Septuagint.


This simply lends more credit to the hypothesis that the "Reed Sea" is the Semitic name for the Hellenistic name: The Red Sea.

I agree that "Reed Sea" = "Red Sea" is a hypothesis. Nevertheless, "Reed Sea" still has the merit of being a direct translation of the Hebrew rather than an interpretation, no matter how meritorious it might be. I therefore feel that if a translation prefers "Red Sea", "Reed Sea" should be put in the margin.

apothanein kerdos
Oct 2nd 2008, 01:54 AM
Agreed. This is definitely a defect in the New Jerusalem Bible.

I would also agree that the hypothesis that the "Reed Sea" is simply an ancient name for "The Red Sea" has some merit. Also, as you and others have pointed out, using the name "Reed Sea" makes the miracle of crossing the sea sound less impressive, and I can well understand that this makes "Red Sea" very attractive for believers, especially as it is backed up by a tradition that dates back to the Septuagint.



I agree that "Reed Sea" = "Red Sea" is a hypothesis. Nevertheless, "Reed Sea" still has the merit of being a direct translation of the Hebrew rather than an interpretation, no matter how meritorious it might be. I therefore feel that if a translation prefers "Red Sea", "Reed Sea" should be put in the margin.


The biggest point I think you're ignoring is this: Solomon is said to have built a navy on the banks of the Reed Sea. Now, if this isn't in reference to the Red Sea than this means he built a navy on the banks of a marsh (so much for being wise).

It's not so much that we don't like it being a marsh because of what it does to the Exodus (all the more impressive that God drowned an entire army in a swamp), but just because it's not logical considering the usage of the word "Reed Sea" elsewhere in Scripture. ;)

Olddad
Oct 2nd 2008, 03:18 AM
The biggest point I think you're ignoring is this: Solomon is said to have built a navy on the banks of the Reed Sea. Now, if this isn't in reference to the Red Sea than this means he built a navy on the banks of a marsh (so much for being wise).

Not at all. The Red Sea by any other name would be as deep. Solomon's boats would still float. The Jewish translation says:

King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth* on the shore of the Sea of Reeds in the land of Edom.
*Elsewhere called Elath.


It's not so much that we don't like it being a marsh because of what it does to the Exodus (all the more impressive that God drowned an entire army in a swamp), but just because it's not logical considering the usage of the word "Reed Sea" elsewhere in Scripture. ;)

I think this is taking the name too literally. The Red Sea doesn't have to be red, nor the Black Sea black nor the Yellow Sea yellow. The Great Australian Bight doesn't have teeth marks and the French don't mistake La Manche for a literal sleeve. "St Martin's in the Fields" is a church in the middle of London. At the end of it, The Reed Sea and the Red Sea are only names. The point is, Reed Sea was used in the Masoretic text and Red Sea was not. Therefore there is no problem in using the term "Reed Sea".

Tanya~
Oct 2nd 2008, 03:20 AM
Hi Olddad,

What conclusions do you draw as a result of this exercise with respect to the Red/Reed Sea?

Olddad
Oct 2nd 2008, 09:54 AM
Dear Tanya,

Thank you for your question.

I have concluded that though there is some merit in the interpretation of "Reed Sea" as "Red Sea", Bible scholars have nothing to fear from a literal translation of this name, provided it is done consistently. As for the controversy over whether the Children of Israel crossed over the actual Red Sea or whether it was another body of water, no-one can ever know for sure. All we know for sure is that the body of water was referred to as the "Reed Sea" and the same name was used in another place to refer to water in the Gulf of Aqaba.

So, though a good case can be made for equating the Sea of Reeds with the Red Sea, the Masoretic text does refer to the Sea of Reeds, and there is no harm in translating this name literally, as long as it is done consistently.

I hope that this answers your question satisfactorily.

Richard H
Oct 2nd 2008, 12:49 PM
Dear Tanya,

Thank you for your question.

I have concluded that though there is some merit in the interpretation of "Reed Sea" as "Red Sea", Bible scholars have nothing to fear from a literal translation of this name, provided it is done consistently. As for the controversy over whether the Children of Israel crossed over the actual Red Sea or whether it was another body of water, no-one can ever know for sure. All we know for sure is that the body of water was referred to as the "Reed Sea" and the same name was used in another place to refer to water in the Gulf of Aqaba.

So, though a good case can be made for equating the Sea of Reeds with the Red Sea, the Masoretic text does refer to the Sea of Reeds, and there is no harm in translating this name literally, as long as it is done consistently.

I hope that this answers your question satisfactorily.
Hi Olddad,
Now that you’ve gotten your question answered or rather come to a conclusion.
(Thanks to Apothanein’s scholarly understanding, I certainly learned a lot.)
If you want to see something interesting, take a look at the video of a dive in the Sea of Aqaba.
Remember to turn up the sound on the actual screen-player; it starts at volume 0.

The link is in post #5 of this thread.
It sort of astounded me.

Richard

Ta-An
Oct 2nd 2008, 01:14 PM
יַם-סוּף
סוּף nm. reed, rush


nm. day; daylight



ים
יַם nm. sea, water, main; big lake


nm. abundance, opulence


nm. west, westward



And maybe the colour of the reeds made the water red??:hmm:

dan
Oct 2nd 2008, 07:38 PM
...A news article about it from 2003, reprinted recently to help sell a book on the subject:

http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=19382

Olddad
Oct 8th 2008, 01:25 AM
Just a quick thank you to all who contributed to this thread. I found the exchange of views enlightening.