Q&A: Could a contemporary Hebrew speaker talk to a biblical Hebrew speaker?

Short answer: Yes.

Pronunciation is undoubtedly very different today—but then the same is true for English of Chaucer’s or even Shakespeare’s time and today. (Heck, these days I’m reading Sinclair Lewis’s Babbit, and I’m having a hard time understanding the characters’ 1920s slang…). 

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Q&A: Is it true that today’s Hebrew Torah is actually the Hebrew translation of the Greek Torah?

Page from the Leningrad Codex
Page from the Leningrad Codex of the Hebrew Bible

I was about to dismiss this seemingly silly question with a flippant answer along the lines of “Yes, and Shakespeare’s writings were much better in the original German,” when it struck me that OP might be confusing “the Hebrew Torah” with the New Testament.

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“The SimHebrew Bible” is out

Four years after the start of conversion from Square Hebrew to SimHebrew and compilation, and twenty years after the start of the SimHebrew (simulated Hebrew) project, The SimHebrew Bible: The Hebrew Bible in Simulated Hebrew – with English Guide is finally out.

Fig. 1: The book’s front cover.

As evident from my prolonged silence on this blog in recent years, work on this project—one chapter a day—came at the expense of my usual blogposting, in my spare time and in the wee hours of the night.

In the end, given the scope and complexity of the project, this first major application of SimHebrew was a joint collaboration with Bob MacDonald – a retired software developer, composer, Hebrew Bible translator, and author of the Dust blog, and Seeing the Psalter, The Song in the Night, and other books on the Hebrew Bible – whose automated convertor engine (based on the SimHebrew algorithm) complemented my semi-manual efforts, and served as a quality control. His conversion was based on the pointed Leningrad Codex, while mine was based on the unpointed ktiv malé (‘full spelling’) which I ‘semi pointed’ manually (to distinguish between consonantal vav (ו), ḥolam malé (וֹ) and shuruq (וּ), and converted by my in-house convertor app. The final SimHebrew manuscript is therefore a blended and resolved version of the two, to ease reading.

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