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Language difference modern Hebrew

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by GospelExplained.com, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. GospelExplained.com

    GospelExplained.com New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
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    Just wondering if there is a huge diference in OT Hebrew/NT Greek and the modern languages? Are there any reputable online Bible language courses?
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Sep 22, 2005
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    Well, GospelExplainned, I'm sure there are more qualified people to answer this, but none of them are taking pity on you, so I'll give it a whirl. I have studied both languages and am fairly fluent in Biblical Greek, so maybe I'm qualified. :smilewinkgrin:

    First of all, Hebrew was a dead language for hundreds of years. Nobody could speak it but a few Jewish scholars. Then in the late 19th century, Zionists began to plan to have a Jewish homeland once again. For that, they knew they would need a national language, since Jews live all over the world. They resurrected Hebrew, and began to teach it to Jews all over the world in preparation for that homeland, and that is why we have modern Hebrew now!

    As for how it differs from ancient Hebrew, not as much as you might think because of how it was resurrected from ancient Hebrew. The main difference, as I understand it, is that modern Hebrew has had to add many new words for technological terms, etc.

    Greek is a different story. It has been continually in existence for several thousand years, so it has changed quite a bit since the first century. The primary difference is in the verb forms, as I understand it. Modern Greek is less complicated in this area than ancient Greek. However, many of the vocabulary words are very close to that of ancient Greek, so I can read some modern Greek.

    I hope this helps! :wavey:
  3. greek geek

    greek geek New Member

    Jun 12, 2003
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    I've studied both Modern and Biblical Hebrew. It was actually modern Hebrew that I initially fell in love with and made me want to study Biblical Hebrew. If you study Biblical Hebrew and then try to speak Hebrew to a Hebrew speaker - they will tell you to stop and just speak English. (That's happened to someon I know!) (In Israel most every child learns Hebrew, English, and Arabic.)

    There is a lot of overlap in vocabulary of the two. But language develops, so some words in Biblical have different meanings in Modern. And JOJ was right in that they have added a lot of vocabulary when they brought back the language; technical terms but also many other words (like chocolate) had to be 'created'. (That part is really quite interesting because they 'borrowed' words from other languages...so some words sound kinda like the english word, some like the spanish, russian...etc.)

    But really, the main difference that makes a huge difference when switching between Biblical and Modern is the verb conjugation. In Biblical it is complex with seven stems and perfect and imperfect and loads of other complexities. Modern has was simplified their verbage - they have past, present and future.

    Oh, and one main difference, is that people who use Modern Hebrew don't use vowels. That is not something that our seminaries generally teach. So most who know Biblical Hebrew would be at a complete loss if they picked up a modern Hebrew book becuase it would be voweless (unless it's a young child's book - they have vowels).
    #3 greek geek, Aug 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  4. Donbam

    Donbam New Member

    Aug 4, 2006
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    Re: Language Difference

    It depends on which you want to learn, either Biblical Hebrew or Conversational Hebrew.

    If you want to learn Biblical Hebrew, I suggest Biblical Hebrew by Menachem Mansoor. There are two books, and you can learn at your own pace.

    If you want to learn converstaional Hebrew, you can visit
    http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/. You can get an audio course on CD that makes it easy to learn.