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Always Do the Reading
Great Intro to the Subject
This class was tough.
Everybody takes Greek. Greek resources are everywhere. But there is more sacred literature in Hebrew and Aramaic in Greek, and many minsters, preachers, and even some scholars have a limited knowledge of Hebrew. Take Hebrew! It is interesting (but also challenging), and will provide a useful set of linguistic and cultural tools.
Learning Hebrew gives a deeper insight into the Bible, its history and interpretation, the people behind it, and Judeo-Christian thought in general. Knowing the original language of the Bible and the thought-patterns of its writers adds depth to reading and thus provides a means to sort through some of the odd cultural metaphors and experiences that may not line up with modern, western, Indo-European culture. This depth of knowledge and interpretation applies not only to the Old Testament, but to the New Testament, as well.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Learn the vocabulary as it comes up. This is a language course, so everything is pretty much dependent on the vocabulary. Keep up with it. The other option is regret. Also, learn the verb paradigms quickly. Almost everything complicated about Hebrew grammar is verb-related. Be aware that Hebrew is a very context-reliant language. Unlike Greek, which has a tendency to be very precise and even mathematical, Hebrew is very accepting of ambiguity. As a matter of fact, many points of theology in the OT rest on inherent ambiguities in Hebrew vocabulary and grammar.