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Jatelo2

Would you recommend I Study Hebrew and Greek?

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I believed this is the right forum to ask this question. I signed up for French lessons (for fun) about two months ago without much success. Meanwhile, I had been going to some Bible College. The problem (at least according to me) is that the lecturer is always referring to Greek and Hebrew texts and giving meaning that at times I find 'untrue'. When I objected to one definition (not because I know a thing about Hebrew but because the explanation wasn't contextual) he said I should go study Hebrew/Greek.

Should I study Hebrew and Greek for this reason. If yes, what am I up against (just how difficult can learning these languages be?

Your advise is highly appreciated.

Disclaimer: I'm new here so, simply overlook my mistakes :smile:

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Jambo, Jatelo2!  Habari gani, rafiki?

Could you just give me a couple of examples of things that your Bible class lecturer refers to that you believe are untrue? I'm not exactly a Bible expert but I'd like to get a better idea of this to give you some advice if you want me to.

Learning another language is a serious investment in time and effort: if you're doing it as a hobby then fantastic, but if you're doing it with a specific objective like to get a job you have to consider what use it will be for you, and if it's worth the effort.

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I think if you are seriously pursuing Bible studies, learning Hebrew and/or Greek would be very beneficial to you. Some of the best preachers that I have heard incorporate exact translations into their sermons and seem to gain a lot of knowledge from the Bible based on nuances and variances in word meanings based on their knowledge of Hebrew and/or Greek. Even if you don't plan to ever pursue teaching the Bible or becoming a preacher, I think those languages could be interesting to learn if you truly have the desire to do so.

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Without wanting to stir up any religious debate here, wasn't the Bible written principally in Aramaic? So Hebrew and Greek would be translations of the original, and therefore open to mistranslation of the original idea.

One example is the parable of Jesus when he says, "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven". But in Aramaic the word they meant instead of "eye of a needle" was "half open stable door". You know when horses are in their stable, and they have a swing door that can be opened just the top part or the bottom part? Well the Aramaic referred to the bottom part: " a camel entering a stable door just through the bottom part".

And the Bible translators misinterpreted this as "eye of a needle".

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Without wanting to stir up any religious debate here, wasn't the Bible written principally in Aramaic? So Hebrew and Greek would be translations of the original, and therefore open to mistranslation of the original idea.

The Old Testament was written almost entirely in Hebrew, and only a few short passages were in Aramaic. By the first century, few Jews still spoke Hebrew and Greek was the major language of Judea and its surrounds. The New Testament was hence written in a kind of Greek called Koine (the Greek spoken by the common people, and interestingly the Bible is one of few extent texts in Koine Greek). One source for this.

Textual issues with respect to the Aramaic bible would therefore be in the translation to Aramaic from Hebrew or Greek.

OP: It's kind of up to you what you want to do. Mounce's book on the basics of Biblical Greek is highly recommended, and I found it to be quite accessible. Hebrew is a harder language to learn and master due to a complicated grammar, but many people have succeeded before you. If it's worth it to you to know one or both of the Biblical languages, then go for it. I'm surprised your Bible college doesn't have any courses on them.

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Excellent idea, but only if you are in for the long haul. It'll be a while before you are good enough for it to be of much use to you. Start with just one and leave the other till you've got the first well under control. I did both - after my degree in French - Hebrew is delicious

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Mounce's book on the basics of Biblical Greek is highly recommended, and I found it to be quite accessible. 

I've been looking for a soft copy of this book (a free PDF download) without much success. Do you know of any or I'll just have to buy the hardcover copy from Amazon?

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I've been looking for a soft copy of this book (a free PDF download) without much success. Do you know of any or I'll just have to buy the hardcover copy from Amazon?

I have a hardcover copy (on loan; should probably give that back...) so haven't looked for one. The Amazon price is pretty good though (<$30, more like $20 second hand), so I'd just buy it. Otherwise, check your school and local libraries.

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Just as a general rule, I wouldn't learn a language unless I was truly interested in the country, culture and people to want to be able to communicate in that language. For instance I travel a lot to Italy for work and I love the culture and people etc. so learning Italian has been motivating and fun for me.

The question is being able to translate biblical texts, which by the way will require a pretty high proficiency in the language, enough motivation to carry you through those hundreds of hours to get to that level?

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The Amazon price is pretty good though (<$30, more like $20 second hand), so I'd just buy it.

I see it goes hand in hand with another book? Anyway, I'll go for the second hand. I thank you for your invaluable input

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The person I was borrowing from had already used the workbook, so I haven't used it myself.

Looking at the workbook now, if you were planning on translating the Bible, it would be extremely useful. If not, I don't think it would be necessary.

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