Modern Hebrew sine qua non?

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Thu Nov 11 18:13:48 EST 1999

Dear Randall,

In the light of Jonathan's reply, please can you explain your "sine 
qua non" point. Are you indeed talking about modern Hebrew, or simply 
tautologously (in part) about biblical Hebrew? Why is modern Hebrew 
essential, if it is? Because of linguistic similarities with biblical? 
So that one can read books in modern Hebrew about biblical and 
converse with Israeli scholars? Or simply because it is easier to 
learn a living language and then transfer into a similar dead one? I 
guess you think all three of these are good reasons, and I would agree 
that all can be helpful, but I don't see any of them as essential. Any 
more comments?

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re:Akkadian Grammars,+heb
Author:  <ButhFam at> at Internet
Date:    09/11/1999 06:30

>if I really
>fall in love with the language and/or find the time to really learn it 

i noticed you mentioned ... "[akkadian] fluently" ... and also "modern 
hebrew" in your list.

i hope that means that you are already fluent in hebrew.
that is a sine qua non if you are serious about doing your best in biblical 

what levels are necessary?
i would say about 5000 vocabulary level for BH, 6000-10000 for modern.
if you're not there, then by all means plan a visit over here. i'll be glad 
to help out where i can.

on inscriptions that you've mentioned interest in, you may want

asuppat ketovot `ivriyyot
by shmuel aHitov
jerusalem: mosad bialik, 1992
ISBN 965-342-602-8
eng tit: handbook of ancient hebrew inscriptions

it's nice to work on these things within the language, as it were.

randall buth
rothberg, hebrew u.
jerusalem univ. coll.

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