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Biblical Hebrew
March 5, 2024

Biblical Hebrew for Beginners: A Guide

According to Babbel, 8.3 million Israelis and 1 million people outside Israel speak Hebrew. Although Hebrew was considered a dead language by the third century CE, developing a greater understanding of the Bible has become a primary reason for people to study Biblical Hebrew.

Many people may be surprised that the Bible was not revealed to us in English. One must understand Biblical Hebrew to absorb the richness of the Bible and take one step closer to God.

Here is all a beginner must know about Biblical Hebrew.

History of Biblical Hebrew

Hebrew is the only surviving Canaanite language belonging to the Afroasiatic family. The earliest known example of Hebrew writing is from about 3,000 years ago. It was the official language from the 10th century BCE to the 1st century CE, but it was considered dead. Aramaic was introduced.

Medieval Hebrew lived on for several centuries as a literary and religious language. In the 19th century, a movement led the charge to modernize the Hebrew language. Since then, Hebrew has continued to grow and evolve into the language spoken in Israel and other parts of the world today. 

Why Study Biblical Hebrew?

Before starting a discussion about how to learn Biblical Hebrew, most people’s fundamental question is why they should spend time, energy, and resources to learn a language. The answer is simple. Learning Biblical Hebrew is vital to studying and fully understanding the Old Testament.

This process can be very demanding, and you will need the utmost dedication to get through it. However, it can be a very rewarding goal to accomplish. It is your opportunity to get closer to God through His written word.

How to Study Biblical Hebrew?

If you are considering studying Biblical Hebrew, here are some essential tips to help you along your journey.

Find a Study Partner

Learning a new language can be nothing less than a challenge. Studies suggest that learning languages with an accountability partner is always better. They can encourage you to stay on track. In addition, sharing learning material and having healthy discussions can expedite the process.

Study in Small Bits

Instead of sitting at the study table for hours and repeatedly losing focus, learning a language by dividing it into tiny bits throughout the day is better. Take frequent breaks between your study sessions to let your brain relax.

Make Time Every Day

Whether you study Biblical Hebrew for one hour every day or dedicate most of your time to it, the key is not how much you achieve every day but how consistently you do it. No matter what happens, make sure to attend every day of learning.

Sleep Well

Your brain needs rest to memorize and understand the language. Getting enough sleep while studying Hebrew is important as it can lead to better learning and faster application of your skills.

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