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Biblical Hebrew

The Old Testament (the real thing   —   the untranslated Bible) is written in Hebrew (except for Daniel 2:4b-7:28, which is in Aramaic. The Aramaic begins right there in Daniel 2:4, where it says, "Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic ...").   And all of the names in your English Bible are Anglicized versions of the actual names.   This means that there's nobody in the Bible named "Moses" or "Isaiah."

When you start learning Hebrew, the most unsettling thing about it is that it reads from right to left (just like Arabic and Farsi).   And a Hebrew book ... the "back" is the "front."

A friend once asked me, "So ... Hebrew is written backward?"

"No," I said.   "English is backward."

The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters.   They're all consonants.

But about 1,000 years ago, little dots and such, placed above and below the text, were inserted by the Masoretes so that the pronunciation would be clearer.   Take a look HERE.

Interestingly enough, the earliest manuscripts we have for the Old Testament are from a Greek translation called the Septuagint, a word derived from the Latin word for "70."   It is sometimes referred to as "LXX."

The [Greek] Septuagint differs from the Hebrew Old Testament in thousands of places.   If you carefully compare the places where the NT quotes the OT, it appears (in most places) that the NT writers/speakers were quoting from the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew OT.

In other words (don't shoot me for saying this), it appears that the NT guys were reading their OT ... in Greek, not Hebrew.

It has been posited that overall, the agreement "in sense" between the New Testament quotations of the OT and the Septuagint is 93%; the rate of agreement between the New Testament quotations of the OT and the Hebrew Old Testament is only 68%.



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