Blog

/Blog

The category all blog posts belong to.

Linguistics and New Testament: Pronunciation

Dr. Randall Buth recently gave a presentation at SEBTS (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 26 April 2019) on Linguistics and New Testament: Pronunciation. SEBTS has posted the session on youtube. While the lecture ends up on Greek pronunciation, the introduction addresses an important and wide-reaching note for pedagogy: why speech is vital for development of high [...]

Live instruction right to your home

BLC is proud to announce the launch of its Live Video Classes! This milestone is exciting because BLC's acclaimed classroom pedagogy is now being extended to the online world, making the learning of the biblical languages more accessible to more people. The Live Video Classes differ from the Living Biblical Hebrew and Living Koiné Greek Online Courses that have [...]

Why Christian Aramaic if it is not the Aramaic of the OT?

After more than a decade of providing curricula in biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek, we are excited to offer our first book in Aramaic: Living Christian Aramaic: Introduction Part One ! As you might be aware, Christian Aramaic, also commonly known as Classical Syriac, is a different dialect of Aramaic from that found in the Hebrew Bible / Old [...]

By |2017-08-11T07:45:31+00:00August 11th, 2017|ancient language acquisition, Aramaic|0 Comments

Why learn Syriac?

Special guest post by Jordash Kiffiak, co-author of Living Christian Aramaic   Syriac is not merely the dialect of Aramaic that provides learners with the largest body of Aramaic literature, including a lengthy catalog of Christian texts written in a Semitic language and related to the Bible and the earliest followers of Jesus. Syriac also [...]

By |2017-08-17T10:23:02+00:00August 11th, 2017|ancient language acquisition, Aramaic, Blog, Syriac|0 Comments

Interview with Randall Buth

These are answers to an online interview with Seumas Macdonald. 1. Randall, I wonder if you'd share a little about the environment and methods you were exposed to when first learning the biblical languages yourself? Before the biblical languages I was given traditional Latin and German high school training. The German was done as "grammar [...]

What happened at BLC’s 2014 Summer Hebrew Course in North Carolina at Mid-Atlantic University

From Elizabeth City, North Carolina's The Daily Advance. "Two teachers chattered enthusiastically to each other in ancient Hebrew about a tree growing, which they demonstrated by setting increasingly large twigs in buckets in the center of their classroom. Students aptly responded to the teachers’ questions in the language some had only begun to learn two [...]

By |2014-10-15T11:32:57+00:00July 17th, 2014|Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew alive, Uncategorized|0 Comments

More on Why Jesus was a Hebrew speaker

I appreciated the title of a recent essay (June 9, 2014) by Seth Sanders on Religion Dispatches entitled, “Why the Argument Over Jesus’ Language is More Complicated and More Interesting Than Media Experts Have Claimed.” In fact, many of Sanders’ points that elucidated the complexity of the language situation in the first century resonated with [...]

Differentiating Hebrew and Aramaic Backgrounds in Greek writings

Semitic influence on an ancient Greek writing has been discussed widely in Biblical Studies and Pseudepigraphical texts. In general, it is quite difficult to go deeper and to differentiate between Hebrew influence and Aramaic influence on a particular Greek text. The new volume, Randall Buth and R. Steven Notley, edd., The Language Environment of First-century [...]

Did Jesus Heal the Sick before or after the Sabbath Had Ended? (Luke 4:40; Mark 1:32; Matt. 8:16)

A little story begins in Luke 4:40 after the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39): Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλοις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς. While the sun was setting all as many as were having sick people with various diseases, [...]

The Language Background and Literary Function of the Cry from the Cross Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

We are finally able to provide the published text of the article on the "cry of dereliction" from the Brill volume, The Language Environment of First Century Judaea,  Randall Buth and R Steven Notley edd., (Brill, 2014, ISBN 9789004263406). The PDF of Randall Buth, "The Riddle of Jesus' Cry from the Cross: the Meaning of [...]

So what, in fact, does ἑβραϊστί mean?

A rather lengthy article "Hebraisti in Ancient Texts: Does ἑβραϊστί Ever Mean 'Aramaic'?" by Randall Buth and Chad Pierce has appeared in the Brill volume, The Language Environment of First Century Judaea,  Randall Buth and R Steven Notley edd., (Brill, 2014, ISBN 9789004263406). The article looks at the meanings and claims about the meanings of [...]

New Volume on First Century Language in Land of Israel

The Language Environment of First-Century Judaea, edited by Randall Buth and R. Steven Notley, (Brill, 2014, ISBN 9789004263406) has finally appeared. Here is a PDF of the table of contents and preliminary chapter "Introduction: Language Issues are Important for Gospel Studies" 9789004263406_01-Buth Intro May you enjoy the Volume.

Word Order, Focus-CC (Contextualizing Constituent, Topic) Inversion, Enclitics in Greek

While reading Philemon this morning I noticed what might be considered an inversion of Focus--Contextualizing Constituent (aka Topic) in the pre-verb area. The default order with two marked items, a CC and Focus, is normally from more topical to more salient, that is, first a CC then a Focus, followed by core template orders. Here [...]

Getting the Right Handles on the Greek Perfect

At SBL 2013 there was a session devoted to a description of the Greek perfect. Basically, there were three positions and they had been published previously. Stanley Porter argued that the perfect was a third aspect category in Greek with a meaning of "stative". Buist Fanning argued that the perfect entailed a complete action with [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:27+00:00November 29th, 2013|ancient Greek, Blog, Greek perfect|7 Comments

Faith that Grows, Genesis 15v6

While the need for Hebrew is self-evident for Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, it’s need is sometimes diminished within Chrisitan communities for the New Testament. The following little study shows how a close reading of the Hebrew Bible can raise useful questions for New Testament interpretation, too. In fact both Jewish and Christian communities [...]

Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in Biblical Hebrew

  Genesis 22 is a common narrative text that is used in introductory biblical Hebrew courses. There are several points of syntax and narrative style in that passage that are often overlooked by both beginning-intermediate students and even by Hebrew grammarians.   Consider Gen 22:3 ויקם וילך אל המקום אשר אמר לו האלהים and he [...]

We’ve Begun Biblical Hebrew Instructors Fluency Workshop July 2013 in Fresno

We've begun our Biblical Hebrew Instructors Fluency Workshop in Fresno.  We will be posting photos on our Facebook page as well as updates during the workshop. For a video from the first day, here.

What is wrong with calling the Hebrew verb “an aspect”?

The biggest problem with calling the Hebrew verb “an aspect” is the English language. This problem also applies to any language that clearly differentiates aspect from tense, like most of the European languages including Greek. Unfortunately, because Hebrew is quite different from Greek or English, the verb is often described as an “aspect” system that [...]

A review of “Living Koine Greek Introduction Part One”

On January 3rd, a review of BLC's "Living Koine Greek Introduction Part One" was posted on the blog "Priceless Eternity." While the reviewer is anonymous, the blog "is run by a college student... currently aiming for a major in Pre-Seminary Bible and also Mathematics," and I am assuming that the same college student wrote the [...]

Randall Buth on Peter Burton

I first met Peter at SBL's annual meeting in 1997. A true friendship was formed that has covered the past fifteen years but has now been sadly cut short.  Peter was interested in seeing students study Greek and Hebrew without going through a second or third language to their mothertongue.  I was interested in seeing [...]

Peter Burton

Just a quick note to inform our BLC friends that Peter Burton, Randall Buth's friend, colleague, and supporter of BLC, passed away peacefully on Thursday night (4 October 2012) of complications associated with ALS with which he had just recently been diagnosed. Peter's enthusiasm for the biblical languages and seeing them taught using Communicative Language [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:30+00:00October 10th, 2012|biblical language fluency, Blog|3 Comments

Word Order in the Verbless Clause: A Generative Functional Approach

An article by Randall Buth Introduction The basic premise of this paper is as follows: a generative-functional approach to the Biblical Hebrew (BH) nominal (or verbless) clause provides a simple, adequate, linguistic framework. It explains the discontinuities in the data and is able to unite and explain the Lists and ad hoc rules of many [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:31+00:00September 29th, 2012|Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew verb, Blog|0 Comments