Three quick questions

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at
Sun Aug 5 16:30:39 EDT 2001

on 8/5/01 11:19 AM, Dave Washburn wrote:

> Basic Hebrew syntax can easily be
> mastered in 2 years, similar to Greek.

Hi Dave,

Simply a quibble about terminology. I learned the basic Hebrew syntax in a
lot less than two years., more like six months. But when I talk about
mastering the language that is of course not what I am talking about.

The scenario invovles someone who has attained an entirely superficial grasp
of one language, say Hellenistic Greek, then sets out to attain an entirely
superficial grasp of a second language, Hebrew or whatever. This procedure
can be multiplied by as many languages as you like.

I was sweating bullets this morning over a few lines of Electra (Sophocles)
when this question was posted. Having personally tried to study both
languages at the same time I though that calling Hebrew easy was ridiculous.
It is possible to study both languages. It is desirable to study both
languages. It is not easy.

It is like the guy who wants to climb Mt. Rainier and thinks it is easy
since he has recently hiked into a low land lake. Sure the process is the
same. You just put one foot in front of the other. However, a one day trip
on Rainier is a NET 2 million foot pounds of work just to get up. Then you
have to get down. Every year my friend Mike Banner takes a summit trip (37
years so far) and every year he gets asked by some one who has done some
hiking if they can come along. You try to explain to these people what 26
hours of strait climbing is and they just don't get it.

Learning the rudiments of anything is easy. But learning the rudiments isn't
much of an accomplishment is it? Doesn't get you anywhere. If Hebrew were
such a snap then why do we have OT and NT scholars? Why don't these folks
just become experts in both languages?


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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