Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

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Homeskillet
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Homeskillet » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:43 am

Kenneth Greifer wrote:Roger,
I looked at your blog, and I realize that you are very interested in monotheism and the Bible, so instead of looking at my ideas for Isaiah 9:5-6, maybe you could look at volume 1, chapters 2-5 and 9. I discuss a lot of things about monotheism that you might find a interesting for your debates.
Kenneth Greifer


Thank you Kenneth—but my debating days are likely behind me now. I am now focused on writing and pastoring, as well as continuing education in original languages. But I will certainly look at your suggested chapters. Much appreciated!

I must say that, so far, this forum has been a refreshing change from the many other forums I have engaged in throughout the years. I appreciate the congenial “demeanor” (as much a can be discerned via internet that is) of this forum. I am sincerely here as a student trying to wrap my head around Hebrew. So far, Greek was easier for me to grasp (though it certainly was not “easy”—think 3-3 neuter declensions :oops:!).

God bless.

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Jason Hare
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Jason Hare » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:29 am

Homeskillet wrote:I am sincerely here as a student trying to wrap my head around Hebrew. So far, Greek was easier for me to grasp (though it certainly was not “easy”—think 3-3 neuter declensions :oops:!).


Greek easier than Hebrew?! Blasphemy!!

Seriously, though, once you get further in Hebrew, I think that you'll find the body of Hebrew literature MUCH more intelligible than the Greek texts, whether of the NT or from another source. I have been able to read the prose of the Hebrew Bible for a very long time, and after studying Greek for twenty years, I still struggle when reading the Septuagint (though I read it enough to feel comfortable in prose). Hebrew, once you're finished with basic grammar and have gotten some text under your belt, is definitely easier (and better) than Greek! If you need any help or encouragement in learning, or if you want a reading partner!, don't hesitate. I sometimes read entire books with people over Skype — read through Jonah with a student over four weeks (one chapter per week) two months ago.

Oh, and I'm starting a new online course using Learning Biblical Hebrew: Reading for Comprehension (grammar and workbook) by Kutz and Josberger starting in January. You're welcome to take a look and join in, if you like. Here's a link: https://thehebrewcafe.moodlecloud.com.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

Homeskillet
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Homeskillet » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:09 am

Jason Hare wrote:
Homeskillet wrote:I am sincerely here as a student trying to wrap my head around Hebrew. So far, Greek was easier for me to grasp (though it certainly was not “easy”—think 3-3 neuter declensions :oops:!).


Greek easier than Hebrew?! Blasphemy!!

Seriously, though, once you get further in Hebrew, I think that you'll find the body of Hebrew literature MUCH more intelligible than the Greek texts, whether of the NT or from another source. I have been able to read the prose of the Hebrew Bible for a very long time, and after studying Greek for twenty years, I still struggle when reading the Septuagint (though I read it enough to feel comfortable in prose). Hebrew, once you're finished with basic grammar and have gotten some text under your belt, is definitely easier (and better) than Greek! If you need any help or encouragement in learning, or if you want a reading partner!, don't hesitate. I sometimes read entire books with people over Skype — read through Jonah with a student over four weeks (one chapter per week) two months ago.

Oh, and I'm starting a new online course using Learning Biblical Hebrew: Reading for Comprehension (grammar and workbook) by Kutz and Josberger starting in January. You're welcome to take a look and join in, if you like. Here's a link: https://thehebrewcafe.moodlecloud.com.


Got it! Thank you Jason. I am John Doe over on the other forum—which you have probably already figured out :oops:. I am trying to wrap a few projects up and then I intend to hurl myself headlong into Hebrew again, while also slowly taking Greek 2. In particular, as already stated, I reallyyyy struggled w. the vowel patterns and seemingly innumerable exceptions (similar to Greek in that vein), and also those pesky pronominal suffixes :evil: ! Man, I must have taken that pronominal suffix class every night for 2 weeks (no joke)...and still struggled w. it.

Will tag back in soon. Shalom.

Schubert
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Schubert » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:14 pm

Jason Hare wrote:...
Oh, and I'm starting a new online course using Learning Biblical Hebrew: Reading for Comprehension (grammar and workbook) by Kutz and Josberger starting in January. You're welcome to take a look and join in, if you like. Here's a link: https://thehebrewcafe.moodlecloud.com.


Jason, I've visited your website but can't find how to register; all I can find is the login button for those who already have a password, etc.

My hope is that the course will encourage me to read Hebrew on a regular basis, something I don't do. I'm one of those who are much more comfortable with Greek (and Latin) than Biblical Hebrew but that's simply the result of hard work when I was considerably younger.
John McKinnon

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Jason Hare
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Jason Hare » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:51 am

Schubert wrote:
Jason Hare wrote:...
Oh, and I'm starting a new online course using Learning Biblical Hebrew: Reading for Comprehension (grammar and workbook) by Kutz and Josberger starting in January. You're welcome to take a look and join in, if you like. Here's a link: https://thehebrewcafe.moodlecloud.com.


Jason, I've visited your website but can't find how to register; all I can find is the login button for those who already have a password, etc.

My hope is that the course will encourage me to read Hebrew on a regular basis, something I don't do. I'm one of those who are much more comfortable with Greek (and Latin) than Biblical Hebrew but that's simply the result of hard work when I was considerably younger.


Hi, John.

I've got to register people manually. To do so, I need an email address, a username and what time zone you're in (the software seriously asks this – though maybe I should put everyone in the same time zone as myself!). I can have up to 50 students enrolled with the free version of the software. Right now, I'm sitting at four for the course to start in January. You'd make five.

The only requirement is ownership of the two textbooks (and access to a Hebrew Bible, of course). It's very reading-heavy course, and I'll set a weekly time when I'll be available at several times during the evening/night for weekly "encounters" (lessons in reading comprehension and progressive feedback).

You can contact me at jason@thehebrewcafe.com with your information if you're interested in signing up.

בִּבְרָכָה!‏
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

kwrandolph
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby kwrandolph » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:28 am

Jason Hare wrote:Greek easier than Hebrew?! Blasphemy!!


If you limit yourself to the New Testament, that’s true.

• The New Testament is a much shorter document with a much smaller vocabulary to learn, therefore easier.
• Koiné Greek is much better known than Biblical Hebrew, therefore no surprises
* With the exception of three books (Luke, Acts, Hebrews) the New Testament was written in simplified versions of koiné Greek.

Jason Hare wrote:Oh, and I'm starting a new online course using Learning Biblical Hebrew: Reading for Comprehension (grammar and workbook) by Kutz and Josberger starting in January. You're welcome to take a look and join in, if you like. Here's a link: https://thehebrewcafe.moodlecloud.com.


Previously you mentioned that you find modern, Israeli Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew to be quite similar. At the time you made that claim, I wondered how you could make it. But when I looked at your course syllabus, I recognized a couple of names.

• J. Weingreen—that was the text that was used by my professor when I studied Hebrew in class. That’s also an example of what is jokingly called “first year lies” as I had to unlearn much of what I was taught in order to understand Tanakh. What he taught was medieval Hebrew, not Biblical Hebrew.

• Gesenius—though my main knowledge of him is his dictionary—when comparing his glosses with a concordance, I often found his glosses didn’t make sense—he also did his research and writing at a time when it was considered that medieval Hebrew = Biblical Hebrew. Again, “first year lies”.

Though to be fair, it wasn’t until after reading Tanakh through cover to cover five to six times that I came to the conclusion that much of what I had been taught was “first year lies”. It took another 15 times before I was ready to try to express the patterns I see in Biblical Hebrew grammar. During that time I just read Tanakh and let the language sort of flow over me. I’m still learning.

Karl W. Randolph.

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Jason Hare
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Jason Hare » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:55 am

Re: “first-year lies”

It is necessary to start somewhere. Every first-year grammar oversimplifies and calls things that are not as though they were (καλεῖ τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα). It’s the nature of the beast. He who learns German certainly has to unlearn many general rules that he learns in the first year of study. This isn’t a problem particular to Hebrew grammars. We must use the tools we have to get students with no Hebrew into the text. I hope that by using Kutz and Josberger’s Learning Biblical Hebrew, I can get them into real Bible text quickly enough that it will smooth over blunders that otherwise would dominate the thinking of first-year students. Who knows? From your perspective, I probably hold to many of these mistakes though I’ve been reading Hebrew for twenty years now, spend plenty of time in the biblical corpus, and speak modern Hebrew fluently. I guess it would depend on which specific things you call mistakes. (People can hold different opinions without being necessarily in the wrong.)
Jason Hare
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Homeskillet
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby Homeskillet » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:05 am

This is a very good thread. Question: kwrandolph mentioned reading through TaNaKh many times prior to really acquiring a good feel for the language patterns, styles, etc. I have the BHS parsed and I am wondering after reading these posts if it would help me to just begin reading the Hebrew Bible even if I don’t understand the vocabulary words—or should I just take Hebrew 1 again before frustrating myself even more (I’ve already taken a year of Hebrew)?

My Dr. is from Jerusalem and is fluent in Hebrew. He told me that there really are not many vocabulary words for Hebrew and that I should begin by just learning the vocabulary prior to attempting to grasp morphology, rules, etc.

Incidentally, toward the end of the BHS course (Van Pelt) I picked up this grammar (https://www.logos.com/product/40462/heb ... prehension) and really like it. It’s VERY straightforward and, like myself, laments the usage of tons of vowel rules that really just complicate things unnecessarily. I found this to be true—and very overwhelming.

Your thoughts?

kwrandolph
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby kwrandolph » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:57 am

Jason Hare wrote:Re: “first-year lies”

It is necessary to start somewhere. Every first-year grammar oversimplifies and calls things that are not as though they were (καλεῖ τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα). It’s the nature of the beast.


Yes, it’s necessary to start somewhere. But when I talk about “first year lies” in Biblical Hebrew teaching, I don’t mean just oversimplification, rather teaching that is out and out false.

Jason Hare wrote:He who learns German certainly has to unlearn many general rules that he learns in the first year of study.


Actually, for me, there was very little I had to unlearn in German from my first year learning. But then I had a slightly different experience in learning—my father had brought the whole family to Germany and I had to learn NOW. It was not a total immersion for we still spoke English at home, immersion came later,

The same thing with koiné Greek—there was almost nothing I had to unlearn when getting deeper into the language.

(One note about German: when we lived in Germany, we lived in a farming village, not the city. As a result, I had to learn not only high German, but also local dialect. That area was close to where Rashi lived and worked. Later, when I listened to Yiddish, I understood much of Yiddish through the local dialect that I had learned.)

Jason Hare wrote:This isn’t a problem particular to Hebrew grammars.


I think this is a problem that afflicts Hebrew grammars more so than other languages. Biblical Hebrew is not as well known as many other languages, such as modern German and koiné Greek. Then there are claims, even by well-known professors with impeccable résumés, that can be disproven by quoting Tanakh.

Jason Hare wrote:We must use the tools we have to get students with no Hebrew into the text. I hope that by using Kutz and Josberger’s Learning Biblical Hebrew, I can get them into real Bible text quickly enough that it will smooth over blunders that otherwise would dominate the thinking of first-year students. Who knows?


I don’t know these authors, never heard of them before, nor their text, so I can’t comment on them. But if they teach the same as Weingreen and Gesenius, then what they teach is medieval Hebrew, not Biblical Hebrew.

Jason Hare wrote:From your perspective, I probably hold to many of these mistakes though I’ve been reading Hebrew for twenty years now, spend plenty of time in the biblical corpus, and speak modern Hebrew fluently.


If I count the class that I took of first year Hebrew, then I’ve been reading Hebrew for 50 years now. Almost all of the Hebrew that I now know, I learned from reading and analyzing Tanakh. I had to unlearn much of what I learned in that first year class, because, as I read Tanakh over and over again, from Genesis to the end of Chronicles, I found that what I learned in class was wrong and not just oversimplifications. What I had to unlearn is much of what is taught in that text by Weingreen.

In spite of how long I’ve been reading Biblical Hebrew and the number of times I’ve read Tanakh through, I’m still learning. And there are things that I still don’t understand. And when I revisit some of the things I thought I had learned, I now have learned things that call those understandings into question, or more.

At one time I wanted to take the PhD track in Biblical Hebrew studies. The PhD track included learning Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, modern Israeli Hebrew, Ugaritic, and possibly another language or two. At the time I thought it was unfortunate that I didn’t have the pennies to take those classes. But now I think it’s a blessing that I don’t know those other languages, other than just enough Aramaic to struggle through the eight chapters in Tanakh written in Aramaic. What I avoid by not knowing those languages is cognate language cross-bleed, where linguistic features of one language cross-bleed into one’s understanding of a close cognate language, even where that cross-bleed leads astray. Hence, your fluent understanding of modern Israeli Hebrew can be, and most likely is, a hindrance in your understanding of Biblical Hebrew.

Jason Hare wrote:I guess it would depend on which specific things you call mistakes. (People can hold different opinions without being necessarily in the wrong.)


Depends.

Karl W. Randolph.

kwrandolph
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Re: Is this analysis of Isaiah 9:6 a legitimate one?

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:51 pm

Homeskillet wrote:This is a very good thread. Question: kwrandolph mentioned reading through TaNaKh many times prior to really acquiring a good feel for the language patterns, styles, etc. I have the BHS parsed and I am wondering after reading these posts if it would help me to just begin reading the Hebrew Bible even if I don’t understand the vocabulary words—or should I just take Hebrew 1 again before frustrating myself even more (I’ve already taken a year of Hebrew)?

Your thoughts?


I took just one year of Hebrew. Even after that class, I decided to read the Bible in English translation. However, the only English translation I had at that time was the KJV. The deeper I tried to read that translation, the more I found I was looking up the passages in Hebrew to decipher old English. My grandfather saw what I was doing, and told me I was reading it backwards—I should be reading it in Hebrew and using the KJV to decipher the Hebrew. Well, he had a point, except I was already having trouble understanding the KJV, so if I was going to struggle understanding the language, might as well be the Hebrew, so be it, and forget the KJV. I ended up reading Tanakh without an interlinear nor a translation by my side.

I have found that the hardest part of learning a foreign language, any foreign language, is acquiring sufficient vocabulary to be fluent in the language. And the only way to acquire the vocabulary is simply to use the language. For Biblical Hebrew, because it’s a language that hasn’t been spoken for over two millennia, the way to “use” the language is simply to read it over and over again. You’ll find yourself looking up a word for the 50th time, frustrated that you had looked it up so many times before, and still had forgotten it. If you’re like me with dyslexia, you’ll look up the wrong words, or words that don’t exist. As long as you recognize which forms are verbs, which are nouns, how adjectives agree with nouns, a few basic rules which you should have picked up in your first year class, you should be able to work out the meaning of a passage. Even so, the first time through you’ll make many mistakes. I did. That’s why I read it a second time, a third time, and so forth.

So many people are looking for shortcuts—“If only I read this grammar” or “if only I study that textbook” but I’m here to throw cold water on that idea. There’s no substitute for reading the text, all of it, from cover to cover, as many times as God gives you opportunity to do so. So sit down, pick up your copy of Tanakh, read בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ and the next verse, and the next verse, until you run out of verses to read, then repeat.

Karl W. Randolph.


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