Category Archives: Hebrew Language

Hebrew: the EASY language?

Just posted this today at the HBU School of Christian Thought blog. Reblogging for those who don’t catch the SCT site regularly.

School of Christian Thought

Hebrew

One of our MA in Biblical Languages students did an undergrad degree in French at the University of Oklahoma.  While on a brief visit to his old alma mater recently, he snapped this picture of one of the bulletin boards in the language department. Especially intriguing is the green flyer. So . . . Hebrew is a fun, EASY language! Who knew?

Of course, my students who are in the middle of learning first-year Hebrew don’t think it’s easy (although I have heard from a number of them that they do think it’s fun).  How easy is Hebrew compared to, say, Greek? Hebrew is simpler than Greek in a number of ways, and often simpler is easier. So here are a few tidbits for the interested reader. In my Koine Greek class, we learn 24 forms of the definite article (the). In Hebrew, we learn one basic form…

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Summer Biblical Hebrew and Greek at Southwestern Seminary in Houston

ANNOUNCEMENT:  I’m teaching Turbo Hebrew and Turbo Greek at Southwestern Seminary-Houston starting Monday, May 13 (Hebrew starts May 13; Greek May 14).  We will cover a full year of Biblical Hebrew or Biblical Greek in 10 wks.  The Hebrew course meets Mondays/Thursdays from 8am to noon each time; the Greek course meets Tuesdays/Fridays from 8am to noon. In order for the course to make we need enough people committed by the end of the day tomorrow–Tuesday, May 7.  Please email me (psmarshall AT gmail DOT com) if you need details and I’ll get you set up.

Also, you could contact the following about enrolling ASAP:

Hudson Hanks (hhanks@swbts.edu)
Director of Business & Student Services
713.634.0011 ext. 222

Please spread the word if you know anyone who is interested!

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Hebrew & Greek Humor for the Holidays

One of our MABL (Master of Arts in Biblical Languages) students is showing a set of skills I had heretofore not seen in full blossom–he’s very nearly a stand-up comedian! Today he passed along some language jokes that would make any elementary Greek and Hebrew professor very proud, and thankfully, he has permitted me to post them here. Enjoy! And if you don’t smile, then please take it as definitive proof that you *need* to come study Greek and Hebrew here at HBU!  Merry Christmas!

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(1) Q: What kind of poker do Hebrew cowboys play?

A: Texas Cholem.

(2) Q: Where did extremely sick adjective go?

A: The adjectival intensive care unit.  (He himself went, by the way.)

(3) Q: What Hebrew vowel is so rare it only occurs in texts once every 75 years?

A: Halley’s Qamets.

(4) Q: What kind of airplane do Greek pronouns fly in?

A: The Pronominal Concorde, of course.

(5) Q: Which Hebrew vowel has also starred in several extremely violent action movies?

A: Steven Segol.

(6) Q: What’s the best app for studying Greek grammar?

A: Angry Verbs.

(7) Q: Why do so many young Hebrew farmers move to the city after their first crop?

A: How can you keep them on the farm once they’ve seen פְּרִי?

(8) Q: How do you know you’ve been studying Greek too hard?

A: At Christmas you see “‘Tis the season” and start trying to parse the “τις”.

(9) Q: How are many aspiring comedy careers like tsere, qamets, and chireq?

A: They’re not historically long.

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Filed under Greek Language, Hebrew Language, humor

Invitation to Hebrew Lecture by Josh Westbury at HBU

This is an invitation to those in the Houston area who love Biblical Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible:  On Friday, Sept 21, at 11am at Houston Baptist University, Dr. Marshall will have as a guest lecturer in the Hebrew Reading course Josh Westbury, Hebrew Language Specialist from Logos Bible Software.  He will be talking about some of the discourse features of Biblical Hebrew from Genesis 37 and 39, as well as giving us a peek at the new Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible database and how it can is useful for just this sort of analysis of the text.

If you are a former HBU language student, or a present/former student of Biblical Hebrew from any school or church/synagogue, we would love for you to come and hear what Josh and HBU is up to. (By the way, Josh is a graduate of HBU, and one of his majors was biblical languages!).  Here’s the stuff you need to know:

Who? Josh Westbury (see bio below, which is from the Logos Bible Software website)

Where? Atwood 2 building, in room 215, on the campus of Houston Baptist University

When? Friday, Sept 21, 2012, at 11am (class runs from 11:00-11:50am)

Why? Because we love Biblical Hebrew, we love linguistics, and we love talking about both of them together!  Oh, and we love you, too, which is why you’re invited to come. Please let me know if you are coming (and you’re not one of my Hebrew students)–you can just reply to the post here if you’d like.

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Filed under Friends, Hebrew Language, Linguistics

Summer Biblical Hebrew at Southwestern Seminary in Houston

ANNOUNCEMENT:  I’m teaching Turbo Hebrew at Southwestern Seminary-Houston starting Monday, May 8 9.  We will cover a full year of Biblical Hebrew in 10 wks, and the course meets Mondays/Thursdays from 8am to noon each time. In order for the course to make we need enough people committed by the end of the day tomorrow–Tuesday, May 3.  Please email me (psmarshall AT gmail DOT com) if you need details and I’ll get you set up.

Also, you could contact the following about enrolling:

Hudson Hanks (hhanks@swbts.edu)
Director of Business & Student Services
713.634.0011 ext. 222

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Filed under Hebrew Language

Dr. Robert Holmstedt on Writing Book Reviews

Robert Holmstedt of the University of Toronto recently posted a piece over at Ancient Hebrew Grammar on the function of book reviews, in light of a few negative reviews of his book Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text.  He makes some great comments on what a review should aim for, especially how reviews ought to assess the success of any work based on the author’s purpose (and the series’ purpose, if it is a volume in a series).  I recommend that all my students take a look at what Holmstedt has to say on this.

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Filed under Biblical Scholars, Book Reviews, Hebrew Language, Linguistics

Proper Nouns in Judges 5:19-27

One of the great difficulties in reading the Hebrew Bible, especially for beginners, is knowing when the unfamiliar word you’re seeing is a place-name/personal name or a common noun. The beginnings and endings of proper nouns can look like grammatical affixes (morphemes), and if you analyze them as such, they can lead you on a wild goose chase. For ex., in v. 23 if you don’t realize that מֵר֗וֹז is the name of a city (Meroz), you could mistakenly assume that מֵר֗וֹז is an adverbial prepositional phrase: the preposition מִן (with nun assimilated, and compensatory lengthening due to not being able to place dagesh forte in word-initial resh) affixed to some Hebrew noun רוֹז that you can’t find in your lexicon! In order to help you, my beloved Hebrew reading class, avoid this unfortunate problem (I’d much prefer to see you reading Hebrew, rather than chasing geese!), I’ve provided you with a list of the proper names in your next reading assignment: Judges 5:19-27.

v. 19 כְנַ֔עַן = Canaan;

בְּתַעְנַ֖ךְ = Taanach;

מְגִדּ֑וֹ = Megiddo

v. 20 סִיסְרָֽא = Sisera

v. 21 קִישׁוֹן֙ = Kishon (river)

v. 22 none

v. 23 מֵר֗וֹז = Meroz

v. 24 יָעֵ֕ל = Jael;

חֶ֣בֶר הַקֵּינִ֑י = Heber the Kenite

v. 25 none

v. 26 סִֽיסְרָא֙ = Sisera

v. 27 none

[Note:  This material can be accessed as a handout/document here.  RE: Hebrew font size, if you want to see this bigger and better, increase the viewing size of your browser window by keeping the CONTROL key pressed and clicking on the “+” key until the size is appropriate. To decrease the size, keep the CONTROL key pressed and click on the “-”.]

Proper Nouns in Judges 5:19-27

 

One of the great difficulties in reading the Hebrew Bible, especially for beginners, is knowing when the unfamiliar word you’re seeing is a place-name/personal name or a common noun.  The beginnings and endings of proper nouns can look like grammatical affixes (morphemes), and if you analyze them as such, they can lead you on a wild goose chase.  For ex., in v. 23 if you don’t realize that מֵר֗וֹז is the name of a city (Meroz), you could mistakenly assume that מֵר֗וֹז is an adverbial prepositional phrase: the preposition מִן (with nun assimilated, and compensatory lengthening due to not being able to place dagesh forte in word-initial resh) affixed to some Hebrew noun רוֹז that you can’t find in your lexicon!  In order to help you, my beloved Hebrew reading class, avoid this unfortunate problem (I’d much prefer to see you reading Hebrew, rather than chasing geese!), I’ve provided you with a list of the proper names in your next reading assignment: Judges 5:19-27.

 

v. 19    כְנַ֔עַן = Canaan;

בְּתַעְנַ֖ךְ = Taanach;

מְגִדּ֑וֹ = Megiddo

 

v. 20    סִיסְרָֽא = Sisera

 

v. 21    קִישׁוֹן֙ = Kishon (river)

 

v. 22    none

 

v. 23    מֵר֗וֹז = Meroz

 

v. 24    יָעֵ֕ל = Jael;

חֶ֣בֶר הַקֵּינִ֑י = Heber the Kenite

 

v. 25    none

 

v. 26    סִֽיסְרָא֙ = Sisera

 

v. 27    none

 

 

 

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