Teaching in Biblical Hebrew

Randall Buth ButhFam at compuserve.com
Sat May 18 19:58:08 EDT 2002

shalom Christian,

>Now, if the Chair had said that you should teach it in *biblical Hebrew*
>analogy might have had weight... When was the last time has anyone taught
>Hebrew Bible class in *biblical Hebrew*?

Now you're talking. 

We speak Biblical Hebrew in our summer ulpan here.


for a description and some student testimonies.

So who is hired as a teacher? someone who can fluently direct people 
around a room and outside like a BH circus director. 
Now its a curious thing that the only people that have qualified are all 
fluent in modern Hebrew. Hmmm. Does that say anything?

By the way, the above is not all that easy to do. Imagine trying to teach
Shakespearean English "in the language". We keep an Even-Shoshan in 
the back of the class for teacher reference during breaks. Doing the 
above doesn't mean that mistakes arn't made. Sometimes a modernism
will slip in without thinking and the teacher will slap himself  on the 
mouth. Students enjoy that. A relaxed atmoshpere helps everyone 
learn. Especially common slip-ups are `axshav for `atta "now" and 
ken as "yes" instead of echoing the salient word. ("Are you happy with
that?" Ans: "Happy" [not 'yes'].) But students are certainly learning 
more than if the time was all spent in English.


Randall Buth

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