Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Biblical Languages Pt. 2

OK, decided to translate Matthew. I had already done all of Mark, most of Romans, and all of Philippians. So, you know, start at the beginning, right?

So the difference between Hebrew and Greek: it took me about 10 minutes to translate the first verse of Joshua, "After the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, Yahweh began to speak to Joshua son of Nun, minister to Moses, saying,"

Took thirty seconds to translate Matthew 1:1, without cracking open the lexicon: "The book of the generations of Jesus the Messiah, son of David, son of Abraham."

OK, familiar names, easy words. But this is how it is going to be. Hebrew is just different.

But I also forgot that Matthew opens up with a genealogy. No challenge there, but rather tedious. Got through six verses in 10 minutes, from Abraham to David. (Matthew starts his genealogy with Abraham, whereas Luke starts his with Adam, but that's because Matthew's gospel seeks to establish that Jesus is the true king of the Jews, the true messiah--which are two ways of saying the same thing. So he starts with Abraham, the father of the Jews, and goes through David, the father of the true kings of Israel.)

Anyway, my rate will be one Hebrew verse a day, and multiple Greek verses a day, but equal time given to each.


  1. Are you translating blindly? That is, with out looking at published translations as you're going along...

  2. Having published translations in front of you makes it too easy to cheat when things get tough. You learn more by figuring out the word. I do have a Hebrew analytical key if I get jammed up.