Greek/Hebrew question

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by av1611jim, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    Again.....THIS IS NOT KJVO SO PLEASE KEEP ALL SUCH COMMENTS TO YOURSELF.

    The repeated mantra from some fellers on this board got me to thinking. (eek!)

    How similar are modern greek as spoken by people in Greece and modern Hebrew (?) as spoken by people in Isreal to the languages of the Bible?

    The point of my question is this.
    1.If a greek person were to attempt to read the Bible in 'original' greek, would he understand it completely?
    2. If an Israeli were to attempt to read the Bible in 'original' hebrew, would he understand it completely?

    Comments about similarities are all I am looking for guys, please.
     
  2. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    :Snort!: :Snort!: [​IMG]


    Hey!! I'm trying!!

    Ed
     
  3. npetreley

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    Understand it completely? Not likely, but they'd both have distinct advantages over those of us who aren't fluent in these languages. They'd encounter different problems, though. In Hebrew, the problem is that Biblical Hebrew is a lot less precise than modern Hebrew. The Greek had the precision but Biblical Greek is not the same as modern Greek. My dad spoke Greek fluently (I'm half Greek) and he had problems with NT Greek.
     
  4. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    Just because I am KJVo doesn't mean EVERYTHING I wish to talk about IS KJVo.
    Get a grip please.
     
  5. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I have a shirt that says, "It's all Greek to me" in modern Greek. If you think about it a little bit, you can figure out, but it doesn't flow the same at all.
     
  6. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    Like this?? [​IMG]

    I was not referring to you, but the line was funny.

    Ed
     
  7. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    Somebody besides me needs some new material! :laugh: :laugh:

    Ed
     
  8. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I had a roommate from Greece when I was in college and he tried to read a Greek Bible I had. He understood a lot of it, but I got the impression that it was much like us reading old English.
     
  9. greek geek

    greek geek
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    I know both Modern and Biblical Hebrew. I'm not as advanced in Modern as I'd like - but I can get by with it. I don't think a modern Hebrew speaker would have much trouble reading the OT in Biblical Hebrew. There will be a few differences - but for the most part they are a lot alike. Throughout time language changes - it's part of the lifespan of languages, but Hebrew has - because of its history - stayed fairly similar to what we see in Biblical.
    Most of the vocab is the same. Although some biblical words have taken slightly altered meanings that are in the same semantic field. Modern Hebrew verbal system has been simplified from Biblical times - but they do still use the seven verb stems.
    All that to say - Modern Hebrew readers probably won't have much of a problem reading Biblical Hebrew - it won't be as smooth as reading a modern Hebrew version but it's close
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Good posts so far. I'll add my two drachmas.

    First of all, modern Greek has a good deal of the same vocabulary as NT Greek. However, some words have changed quite a bit in meaning. For example, the NT word for "call" is kaleo, but the modern word is lego, which meant "say" in NT Greek. Also, the verb system is simplified, so someone who speaks modern Greek would have a hard time with the NT Greek verb system.

    All in all, it would be hard for a modern Greek speaker to read NT Greek without some study. One who has done so is Spiro Zodhiates, who is a scholar and has written some good stuff.

    Concerning modern Hebrew, it is the only case in history when a modern country revived a dead language. When Zionism was formed, it's leaders began early on to dream of their own nation in ancient Israel. They began to consider what language to speak in their new nation, considering that Jews would be coming from all over the world. At that point Jewish linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda revived the language and began teaching it as a modern language. The rest is history.

    So, yes, a modern Jew can read Biblical Hebrew. The Bible for modern Judaism is the Hebrew Old Testament, after all!

    Oyasumi nasai! ("Good night" in modern Japanese.) :sleeping_2:
     
  11. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    So far the consensus seems to be that :yes, they CAN read it but with some varying degrees of difficulty with certain words. Is that right guys?

    I am no "scholar" in any language so I would really like to know this.
     
  12. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    I can't top this post.:thumbs: Spot on!
     
  13. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Seems more like grammar and words, according to most.
     
  14. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    I am going to remember what you guys have taught me here today. Thanks.
     
  15. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Hi Jim,

    I have always thought this to be an interesting question!

    The short answer(s) is(are) yes and no!

    Biblical Hebrew is a very heterogenous language, with some passage like Psalm 68 reflecting very old poetic language and others like the book of Esther looking more like later Rabbinic Hebrew. Modern Israel Hebrew on one hand represents a deliberate attempt (by Eliezer ben Yehuda and others initially) to resurrect Torah Hebrew. By the same token many of these initial immigrants to Palestine in the late 1800s were native speakers of Germanic and Slavic languages! Even the existent medieval Hebrew by that time had already become heavily influenced by Arabic and Aramaic. So modern Israeli Hebrew, in short, has a lot of divergence from ancient Hebrew.

    An Israeli could certainly read and comprehend a good deal of it - but this also may be due to the fact that many are taught Torah Hebrew as children.

    Greek on the other hand was never so much interrupted as Hebrew, still having a continuum of existent spoken language. The verbal system has been much simplified.

    I have made a point every time I go to a Greek restaurant or even talk to a native Greek speaker to write something in Greek (usually a sentence with imperfect tense or aorist tense) and ask them what it means to them. I do this to see how native Greek speakers, though unfamiliar with formal Greek grammar books, interpret different aspects of the language.

    In general it seems that from biblical time until now societies have changed (gradually) in that the vast majority of people can now read and write. Thus written languages of societies have gone from being "pure literary languages", inaccessible to the "average Joe", and thus dissimilar to the everyday conversational languages we would experience - to something much more homogenous when compared to the spoken language.

    I think modern Greeks and Israelis are able to read and understand the Bible on a basic level - but many idioms and words have changed. I think that to say that they could read and comprehend 100% would be very presumptious since language is an ever-changing thing and since so muvh of what we speak is idiomatic and colloquial.

    My $0.02.
     
  16. franklinmonroe

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    Interesting assumption: that all Greeks speak Greek; and that any and every Israeli speaks Hebrew. Obviously, all Americans DON'T speak English. Well, we deduced what you meant.

    And that is kinda' the point, isn't it? That we often we speak informally and write inexactly, therby making it difficult to extract the precise meaning after the author no longer is present to elaborate upon the meaning behind the statements. This the reason that legal documents are so lengthy, and yet, laws and written instruments like the Constitution of the United States of America are interpreted in various ways.
     
    #16 franklinmonroe, Jul 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007

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