Learning a Dead Language?

This semester at college as part of my Bachelor of Ministry and Theology I have been learning how to speak hebrew. Now yes Hebrew is still spoken today it is yet a relatively dead language that is not of much use to a person other than being a cool party trick. However there is a use for knowing and understanding hebrew and to the normal person it may be a little left field.

My Hebrew Bible being read alongside the actual bible.
My Hebrew Bible being read alongside the actual bible.

So my bachelor of ministry and theology will result in me being a fully qualified Seventh-day Adventist Pastor (minister of religion) and as such I will be expected to have an understanding of how to appropriately interpret the bible. Now the old testament was written in hebrew and as such in order for a fully informed interpretation of the bible to be made it is essential to understand what it means in its original language. Therefore by learning hebrew I have gained a valuable skill necessary for the job that I will hopefully have in the future.

the old testament was written in hebrew and as such in order for a fully informed interpretation of the bible to be made it is essential to understand what it means in its original language.

Hebrew is interesting as in order to understand hebrew you need to understand english language conventions while also having the unique and uncanny ability to do away with the logic behind the english language. Hebrew is weird to an english speaking person in that the subject and verb can appear anywhere in the sentence and in any order. This creates confusion when transliterating the sentence.

So is hebrew a dead language? Hebrew is a language that is still used throughout Israel and in fact arabic and hebrew both come from the same root language of aramaic and as such hebrew is perhaps not as dead as it may seem. Throughout many languages in the world we can see a hebrew influence particularly in english with many of our words origination from hebrew and the guttural sound of German is thought to have been influenced by the sound of the hebrew language.

Perhaps I am not learning a dead language and rather language whose influence on the world is still emanating throughout the world today. No matter the result it is important to note that no language or tradition is truly dead unless its influence on the world can no longer be seen.

Published by Andrew Pratt

I am a second year intern Pastor. Constantly learning more about where I fit in this world and just doing life with my amazing wife Michaela as best I can. Join me on this journey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: