"Non-Academic" Original Languages?

Peter Kirk Peter_R_Kirk at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 18 19:34:47 EST 2002

While the principle of learning modern Hebrew first sounds good, I do
see a serious danger. Those who come to biblical Hebrew from modern
Hebrew have a strong tendency, which we have seen expressed on this
list, to assume that BH verb forms have the same tense and aspect
meanings as those already internalised for modern Hebrew. They do not
e.g. YIQTOL is future in MH but not in BH. BH YIQTOL can sometimes be
understood and translated as a future, but this is by no means always
its sense.

For this reason I like better Randall Buth's approach, from what I have
heard about it.

Peter Kirk
peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Trevor Peterson [mailto:06PETERSON at cua.edu]
> Sent: 19 December 2002 04:25
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: [b-hebrew] RE: "Non-Academic" Original Languages?
> Personally, I'm inclined to think that the best way for Hebrew study
> progress would be for students to learn Modern spoken Hebrew first,
> from
> a standpoint of relative fluency, to learn Biblical Hebrew in a
> treatment of the differences between the two. By doing that, BH could
> introduced without much difficulty in unpointed texts and masoretic
> systems
> added later on. There would also be less need for hand-holding in the
> teaching
> of the ancient form, and textual issues could be stressed
appropriately. I
> happen to think that Randall Buth is onto something with his attempt
> doing
> basically the same thing by teaching BH as a spoken language, but
> we're
> back into the problem of trying to teach as a spoken language that
> is
> not and of the fabrications that inevitably result. I'm just sharing
> feelings, of course. I have nothing to back them up, since I haven't
> learned
> any form of spoken Hebrew as yet, let alone tried to teach according
> this
> method.
> Trevor Peterson
> CUA/Semitics

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