Friday, August 3, 2007

Biblical Hebrew

Well, the Biblical Hebrew is coming on quite nicely. Having taken most of the year of to attempt to learn Arabic (with limited success), I decided that Hebrew was probably going to be more immediately beneficial to my future studies (although I will have to look into Aramaic at some point). Plus, having used a number of Hebrew words in my thesis, I was somewhat alarmed to find that the letters were looking less and less familiar every time that I read them. My original textbooks were by Menahem Mansoor and certainly got me off the starting blocks, but on my return to studying the language I purchased 'Learn to Read Biblical Hebrew' by Jeff Benner in conjunction with the Ancient Hebrew Research Center ( It's an excellent book that is taking me right back to basics and teaching me some additional useful stuff along the way. It's a very satisfying feeling when a language becomes more than a collection of foreign-looking signs and words become apparent before you very eyes. It's good to get to grips with ancient texts at an early stage too - it inspires you to continue and become familiar with more and more. I remember the thrill of learning ancient Greek. It reminds me of those 'magic' paint-books you could buy when I was a kid: from a blank page, great wonders are revealed. Coptic is also on the cards.

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