Question: Off topic? Why study

Randall Buth ButhFam at
Thu Mar 14 13:32:12 EST 2002


Ian Goldsmith katav:

>Whilst I enjoy studying Hebrew very
>much indeed, I find it difficult to give a reason,
>when asked, why anyone else should learn Hebrew.
>I would very much appreciate your encouraging views.

Lot's of answers for lots of audiences. 

I saw that Liz mentioned 'wordplays'. 
Yes, plus 1/3 of the Hebrew Bible is poetry, and as everyone 
knows, poetry is not just content, it is content plus form. 

Ian mentioned "Hebrew", which opens up more:
Qumran texts,
Rabbinic texts.

Fully sifting through a text can only be done in the original. 

If people have done that in any language, it's hard to understand 
why they wouldn't understand.
if people have never done that in any language it would be hard 
to explain "why" in Hebrew. It's called 'close reading' in literary 
circles, and you just can't do that in translation.


Randall Buth

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list