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My ds, 15, has decided that Hebrew and Greek(emphasis on New Testament) would be his foreign languages for high school. He has aspirations of becoming a chaplin in the military at some point. I figure at the very least the language choices would be a benefit to his personal Bible study. I would welcome any ideas/resources for studying Hebrew this year.
My husband is attending Liberty University online right now thanks to the US Army. Chaplaincy may be in our future. I think I remember him saying neither Latin, Greek or Hebrew are requirements…but he does use Rosetta Stone Hebrew at Army.edu (but you have to already be in the Army to use that). Maybe just purchasing RS Hebrew for now would be a good choice. I have no clue on the Greek though.
I’ll talk to my husband, and see what he says.
I know nothing of Greek, but an ad for this resource came in the mail the other day – it says “elementary greek” but maybe a good intro? http://www.opentexture.com/products/greek
First of all, you’ve got to be careful when choosing a Greek course as many popular ones lean heavily towards classical Greek (useless to NT studies, but great for Homeric studies) rather than Koine Greek. “Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar” by Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt, and “Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar” by William Mounce are foundational, bible college level biblical language resources (but a studious, self-disciplined teen could definitely utilize them). Both have textbooks (I believe they come with CD-rom nowdays), workbooks, vocabulary cards and such. My husband and I were biblical language students in college and these are simply the best resources available for serious study. My husband is currently serving in the US Army and was considering chaplaincy a couple years ago but decided not to pursue that particular MOS. Even though biblical languages are not a requirement for chaplaincy they can be a very, very enriching area of study (but I’ll be honest, it is an extremely difficult discipline!). I recommend getting interlinear Hebrew-English and Greek-English bibles also, the natural stepping stone when learning biblical languages before moving onto a basic Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament. Is he already familiar with the basic concepts of textual criticism and biblical manuscripts? That will be very helpful as many Hebrew and Greek resources refer to the scribal discrepancies between different texts. That being said, all the available resources may be helpful for him to “get his feet wet” and gain a basic understanding of the languages, but it is really best to be in a bible college setting if he wishes to get a really solid grasp on further biblical language studies.
Best wishes, let us know if you have any further questions and we’ll be happy to share ideas with you!
P.S. You’re probably already aware of this, but I ought to mention that if your ds learns modern, spoken Hebrew for his foreign language (through Rosetta Stone, for example) keep in mind that biblical/classical Hebrew is an archaic form with different grammar, vocabulary and letter sound organization. Just wanted to mention that in case you were thinking they are one and the same which is a common misconception.
I’m a BIG proponent of learning biblical Hebrew and biblical Greek, there are many mistranslations in our bibles (gasp!), and if we are called to know that we know what the Word says, learning Hebrew and Greek will absolutely help in that. And besides knowing the Word, its a lot of fun.
Right now my family is focusing on Hebrew, its the foundation of the bible, and I like starting at the beginning. There are wonderful children’s programs out there, but for your DS, you can go either way. For an adult program, I’d recommend what my DH and I are using, The First Hebrew Primer: The Adult Beginner’s Path to Biblical Hebrew.
The book is $35 but I routinely see it under $20 on Amazon, and the cd’s are like $40 (have not checked their typical discounted rate). My DH and I had to repeat the first 2 chapters because they cover ALL the consonants and most of the vowels in that short space, and that’s a lot packed into 2 chapters when you are considering its a whole new alphabet.
what many, many adults do when learning biblical Hebrew, is buy children’s workbooks. Behrman House has some great ones. http://behrman.powerwebbook.com/catalog.cfm?CatPos=354 You could even call Behrman House and ask for a program recommendation for you (you probably don’t want the prayers in Hebrew, you want the aleph bet, grammer, etc, so they can direct you for a program for your needs).
HTH! My family is really enjoying learning biblical Hebrew! There is so much richness that is just overlooked (or mistranslated out of our English, and we miss the heart of God as He’s revealing Himself to us ). It has blessed my family immensely. Once we get biblical Hebrew mastered, we will be learning biblical Greek. Again, I expect to be richly blessed.
HTH! If not, ask away.
Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and suggestions. I am checking into all of them now and I am inspired to perhaps learn some Hebrew along with him.
BTW, I have seen some websites that offer online resources like pronunciation and such, have any of you tried these? Are they helpful ?
Thanks again, I knew I could count on all the wonderful people on this forum to have some great information.
Just so I’m not misrepresenting myself, I wish to add that even though the discipline of studying biblical Hebrew and Greek is very enriching, we can trust the modern translations
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