public domain novice Hebrew reader?

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sophronios budiman
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:24 pm

public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby sophronios budiman » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:51 am

I want to know if there is a biblical Hebrew reader for beginner or those who just finished his basics introductory grammar? and I prefer a classic or public domain that is free (and also the one that consist of made up sentences of stories that mimic the narratives of OT)
I found it quite easily in other classical languages but It seems hard for me find it on Hebrew, or do I just miss something?
Sophronios Budiman

Mark Lightman
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby Mark Lightman » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:57 pm

I would also be interested in something along these lines. I think I am in a similar situation to you. Having more or less mastered Ancient Greek, I am now focusing on my Hebrew, probably now moving from a beginner to an intermediate learner. For Greek, I was a huge fan of what they call comprehensible input, which largely involves texts "made up" for pedagogical purposes. There is a bias against this among many people learning Greek (less so, I think for Latin) but if you look for it, it is out there. When I first starting learning Greek, these type of resources either did not exist or were hard to find. Now there is tons of this stuff for Greek, and I am convinced that for some learners at least, it is tremendously helpful, although again to many purists only "real Greek" (or Hebrew or Latin) should be read.

I may be wrong, but I think this bias also exists among (most) Biblical Hebrew learners. But I'm sure stuff is out there, and there are other ways to find (more) comprehensible input. A key resource for me are the various Hebrew versions of the New Testament, parts of which for you as a beginner I think you would find easier than just about anything in the Hebrew OT. Another is Tanak RAM, the Hebrew of which largely functions as a leveled Hebrew reader easier than the original.

I await the responses of others (and can anticipate the criticisms of my premise, having gone over this ad nauseum on the Greek forums.)
Mark Lightman

kwrandolph
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Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby kwrandolph » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:57 am

sophronios budiman wrote:I want to know if there is a biblical Hebrew reader for beginner or those who just finished his basics introductory grammar? and I prefer a classic or public domain that is free (and also the one that consist of made up sentences of stories that mimic the narratives of OT)


The problem is, whose Hebrew will you use for such a teaching?

Will you use modern Hebrew, with its modern grammar and vocabulary? I’ve even asked Israelis how well they understand Tanakh, and they’ve replied that they find Tanakh difficult to impossible to understand. The reason is that modern Israeli Hebrew has different grammar and many vocabulary have different meanings from Biblical Hebrew. In other words, modern Israeli Hebrew is a related, but different language from Biblical Hebrew.

There’s a guy in Israel who runs a school supposedly teaching Biblical languages. But when I looked at some of his material, he teaches basically modern Hebrew with some archaisms thrown in, and calls it Biblical Hebrew. Could we trust him to make such materials?

Re: translations made of the New Testament into Hebrew—are any of them Biblical Hebrew? If so, I haven’t heard of any. The earliest that I’ve heard of is in medieval Hebrew, which already has the same grammar as modern Israeli Hebrew and much of the same vocabulary, or those translations are in modern Israeli Hebrew.

I just sat down and slogged through Tanakh, in spite of my dyslexia causing me to look up words many times two or three times until I got the correct word. Electronic dictionaries are much easier—even if I misread a word, copying from an electronic version of Tanakh and pasting into the search window of an electronic dictionary doesn’t misread. It’s also much faster than a paper dictionary.

It never occurred to me to use a Biblical Hebrew reader when I was young, and anyways there weren’t any at that time.

Karl W. Randolph.

talmid56
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Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby talmid56 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:44 pm

שלום מרקוס! השלום לך

Glad to see you’re still with us at B-Hebrew, and that you’re still learning Biblical Hebrew!

I’m going to slightly disagree with Karl about the value of Hebrew translations of the New Testament, then address your main question.

There are a number of Hebrew New Testaments available, only two of which I’ve used, so I’ll confine my comments to those. They are Delitzsch and the Bible Society in Israel (BIS) version. Delitzsch was done in the late 19th century, and is, I understand, based primarily on Mishnaic or early Rabbinic Hebrew. (This is the same Delitzsch who co-authored the famed Keil and Delitzsch commentaries on the Old Testament.) He chose this form because it was thought (correctly, as it turns out from more additional, more recent researches) to be close to the vernacular Hebrew of the first century A.D. (Karl doesn’t agree that there was a vernacular Hebrew then, but that’s a separate thread.)

The BSI one first appeared in 1976 and was revised in 1991. I have used both of these for several years now. The BSI one also has a dramatized audio version, available through the Bible.is site and Faith Comes By Hearing site. And while, yes, Biblical Hebrew and Modern are quite different, I agree that there is great value for the student of Biblical Hebrew in reading a Hebrew NT. Despite the differences in the Modern language, there is a key core vocabulary that MH uses that is drawn from the Tanakh. Many of the words are identical in both form and meaning. Not all, but many. Thus, for the most part, I have no trouble reading and comprehending a Hebrew New Testament, whether Delitzsch or the BIS one. This is true of the audio version as well. There is a large overlap with BH vocabulary and morphology. And if there is a rough spot or two, I can always check the Greek.

Now on to your main question. To answer Karl first (briefly), you would format the “made-up” Hebrew based on the Hebrew Old Testament as much as possible. Depending on the topic, or the desired vocabulary, there might be some words unavailable that you would want. There would be several options, then on how to proceed: 1) Decide not to use those words. 2) Use words that are ancient Hebrew, but not in Tanakh, such words from the Apocrypha (e.g., Ben Sira, Tobit, or other apocrypha from Qumran that were found in Hebrew, e.g. the Genesis Apocryphon), or from other Hebrew literature at Qumran such as the Rule of Discipline, etc. I would also put words from Hebrew inscriptions and ostraca here. 3) Use words from Mishnaic Hebrew. 4) Use words from medieval or Renaissance Hebrew. 5) Use words from Modern Hebrew. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with using options 2 to 5, though options 2 and 3 would be my preference. In regard to Modern, I regularly address our household cats in BH with short monologues for practice, and of course I use the modern חטול for “cat”. (The cat neither knows nor cares that חטול is MH. The way I figure it, MH is still Hebrew.) Latinists do this all the time, adapting (and adopting) words from modern languages when they want to speak or write about modern daily life or other topics about personal interests. Many people who enjoy Latin learning are fine with this, and I certainly am.

Sadly, there are no such Hebrew readers currently available with made-up Hebrew for BH students that I know of. I would be happy to be proven wrong. A few years back there was for sale on Amazon a book of fairy tales translated into BH (I forget the author’s name), but it is out of print. (If I run across it, I’ll post about it and maybe we can find some used copies.) Unfortunately, I didn’t order when it was available, so I don’t have it.

There are, however, some readers that are based directly on BH texts: ones on Genesis, Jonah, and Ruth. For Genesis we have Biblical Hebrew Step by Step, Volume 2: Readings from the Book of Genesis by Menahem Mansoor (Third Edition, 1984; I don’t know if there is a later edition.) For Jonah and Ruth there are Charles L. Echols’ guides to the Hebrew text. All three give the Biblical texts along with vocabulary and grammar helps. Mansoor also provides some exercises, including some in compostion/translation. He includes some made-up Hebrew in his Hebrew to English exercises, but it is supposed to be based on the Tanakh. I haven’t used Mansoor’s text yet (I did use his volume 1 as a primer when I first studied Hebrew), so I don’t know how close his made-up Hebrew is to actual BH. You can probably get Mansoor on Amazon or thru another bookstore. Echols’ books are available as PDFs from https://www.academia.edu online (free downloads).

If you like a comic-book type format, there are several options available. Charles Grebe has produced a Jonah comic that apparently includes the entire text. You can listen to it in Hebrew (read slowly) while reading it online at http://www.animatedhebrew.com/jonah/jonah_01.html. For purchase, GlossaHouse has illustrated versions of Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel (online at https://www.glossahouse.com/illustrated-biblical-texts). The Ruth one also an audio/video version. I have used the Animated Hebrew Jonah by Grebe a little and it is well done. For the text you have the option of using either vocalized or unvocalized Hebrew, which is nice. The GlossaHouse ones look promising from the sample pages I saw.

Hope this helps!

Dewayne
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים

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Jason Hare
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Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby Jason Hare » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:19 pm

sophronios budiman wrote:I want to know if there is a biblical Hebrew reader for beginner or those who just finished his basics introductory grammar? and I prefer a classic or public domain that is free (and also the one that consist of made up sentences of stories that mimic the narratives of OT)
I found it quite easily in other classical languages but It seems hard for me find it on Hebrew, or do I just miss something?


Shalom, Sophronios.

Have you looked at any of the Hebrew chrestomothies on Archive.org? Perhaps one of them will meet your needs.

Chrestomathy: "a selection of passages from an author or authors, designed to help in learning a language" [Google]
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

talmid56
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby talmid56 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:22 pm

To follow up on my evaluation of Hebrew New Testaments in the previous post, I should emphasize that I have virtually no knowledge of Modern Hebrew. Just a couple of greetings and the odd word here and there. (I hope to spend more time learning MH soon, as I do with Modern Greek one day.) Despite this, I generally can read Hebrew New Testaments quite easily. This would not be possible, in my view, if there were not considerable overlap with BH vocabulary, grammar, and idiom. Since I do have a good general knowledge of BH and can read most prose texts without using a lexicon, that carries over to my understanding a Hebrew NT. Just my two shekels 8-).

Dewayne

P.S. Mark, I'm sending you a PM about a related item/topic which may interest you.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים

talmid56
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby talmid56 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:02 pm

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the tip and the link about the Chrestomathies. I downloaded two just now, and look forward to test driving them.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים

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Jason Hare
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Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
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Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:48 am

Mark Lightman wrote:Having more or less mastered Ancient Greek, I am now focusing on my Hebrew, probably now moving from a beginner to an intermediate learner.

Hi, Mark.

Just wanted to throw out a howdy and say that I'm very happy to see you moving into Hebrew. Best of luck with your studies. Let me know if you want someone to converse with. I know you love to incorporate conversation into your studies. I use a modern accent (Israeli).

Regards,
Jason
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

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Jason Hare
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:07 am
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
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Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:49 am

talmid56 wrote:Hi Jason,

Thanks for the tip and the link about the Chrestomathies. I downloaded two just now, and look forward to test driving them.

Excellent. I think chrestomathies are a tool that we could use more of today. I haven't searched for such things in Greek, but I bet they made them back in the day.

Happy hunting!
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

talmid56
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: public domain novice Hebrew reader?

Postby talmid56 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:58 am

And Mark, if you'd like to practice with BH in PMs or emails, I would be happy to help. Others are better at it than me, but I enjoy the practice. Interactive typing chat with Google Hangouts is also an option. I do that in Koine Greek with a fellow B-Greeker about once a month, and it's fun. He's better at it than I am, but I enjoy it. We understand each other and it's a good learning option. Jason and I have exchanged a few BH emails in the past and I learned a lot from that.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים


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