Dr. Josef Ben Levi on language and epistemology

Yesterday during the ASCAC Midwest Region Medew Netcher class, Dr. Josef Ben Levi offered an interesting discussion of this statement Dr nbw, which can be transliterated as “Dr nbw” or written phonetically as “Djer nebew”. Dr is a complex term which refers limits as well as to the expansive bounds of the universe–quite simply, the all. nbw is a plural of the word nb, which the Egyptologists typically translate as “lord”. This begs the question of whether such an idea is indigenous to ancient Kemet, and whether such an idea is resonate with the use of nb in the written texts. Baba Bonotchi Montgomery, in his insightful book “All the Transformations of Ra” refers to nb as “possessor”.

In his class yesterday, Dr. Ben Levi stated that this term (Dr nbw) could be translated as “‘lord’ of all”, but more accurately it refers to “The force that conveys everything seen and unseen in the universe and beyond”. Again a very interesting idea that is quite resonate with Baba Bonotchi’s points from his talk “There are no gods in Kemet”, in addition to Prof. Rkhty Amen’s discourse on the nature of netcher (nTr). What I most appreciated about this, though little time was spent on it, is that it seeks to push us beyond the false notion of equivalency when dealing with cultural notions, and the need to deal with language as a medium for understanding them.

2 Comments

  1. bonotchi

    To translate Dr. Nbw as the Lord of All is to translate nbw as a noun and adjective. Dr or Djer is translated as the word limit therefor “every limit,” is perhaps a better translation. Because, nbw is either the noun “lords” or the adjective “all” Otherwise I agree. Also,conceptually both translations expressed similar ideas.

    • Dr. Josef Ben Levi

      DuA my Brother Bonatchi. We are really striving to knock the Eurocentrism out of Kemetic conceptuality. That fat that we are like minded, along with Dr. Rhkty Amen speaks volumes.

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