Wednesday, February 04, 2009

About this blog

The writing here is about my learning of Hebrew by translating the psalms. I still am a long way from fluency. I began this process in August 2006. At the time, - following the Hebrews conference at St Andrew's - I had determined to learn the psalms since the psalms are so important in the New Testament - particularly in the book of Hebrews where they provide the text of most of the dialogue between the Father and the Son. By such learning, I hope to improve my hearing of the words of the New Testament.

I had played at learning Hebrew for years but had taken no serious steps though I had tried to read Lambdin several times without success. A little every day - diving straight in - proved to be the approach that got me well and truly started. At present there is
  1. a full visual display of my earliest diagrams - all 150 psalms with the words arranged vertically and many of them in colour to show how the psalmist formed the verses. Colourful portrait of the Psalter
  2. a full set of second draft translations in English - links are in the right hand column
  3. the first draft of a structural portrait Structural thematic map
Learning the psalms is a cure for the tendency to parochialism. The inclusiveness in the psalms is exhibited in Psalm 118 among many.
Give thanks to יְהוָה for good
כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ for his mercy is forever
Let Israel then say for his mercy is forever
Let the house of Aaron then say for his mercy is forever
Let all who fear יְהוָה then say for his mercy is forever
Let all you who read and write - let all say
for his mercy is forever

If you want to learn Hebrew and are just beginning, I am teaching a letter a week in Sunday School to children aged 4 to 12. It is just plain fun and the blog record is here: St Barnabas Sunday School

On Sufficiency - a companion blog, I am beginning to explore Ruth - to learn grammar better, and Job is a possible next project. There are also a few posts and diagrams on Genesis and the Song, personal opinions, reviews and stories.

I believed therefore I have spoken.


Phil Sumpter said...

I'm assuming you can't read German ... a pity as there is a lot of work in Germany at the moment on the canonical shape of the Psalter. One book that looks interesting, and is full of the kinds of diagrams, structures and word/thematic connections that you love is by B. Gianni, Das Erste Psalmbuch als Einheit: Eine Synchrone Analyse von 1-41 (The First Psalm Book as a Unity: A Synchronic Analysis of 1-41). Hossfeld and Zenger have translated their Psalms commentary for psalm 50-100 for the Hermeneia series. That may be of interest to you.

Bob MacDonald said...

I read German music well enough to sing it - but with limited understanding. I don't do German books, unfortunately, except in translation. Maybe one day... when I'm 120 or so :)