[b-hebrew] OT: a link about Modern Hebrew

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Jun 7 09:30:03 EDT 2004

On 06/06/2004 02:38, VC wrote:

>Since the difference between the ancient and modern Hebrew is relatively
>minor, and could be covered in a month or so, which is not a major term for
>people devoting their life time to Hebrew studies, may I suggest that this
>negligence to the modern Hebrew has doctrinal roots?

I would suggest that the roots of this are historical rather than 
doctrinal. Traditional western study of biblical Hebrew developed in the 
early 19th century and has remained extremely conservative since then. 
Note for example that what are still considered the standard grammars, 
dictionaries etc are 19th century works, in some cases with revisions 
into the early 20th century. So the traditions of biblical Hebrew 
scholarship date back to a period when modern Hebrew was at most a 
twinkle in Eliezer ben Yehuda's eye. The thinking is still that if 
Gesenius ignored modern Hebrew (as he had to: he died before ben Yehuda 
was born!), then that is what good scholars should do.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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