The Study Of The Hebrew Language Among Jews And Christians -- By: B. Pick

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 041:163 (Jul 1884)
Article: The Study Of The Hebrew Language Among Jews And Christians
Author: B. Pick

The Study Of The Hebrew Language Among Jews And Christians

Rev. B. Pick

Nearly four hundred years ago — it was in the year 1488 — the first complete Hebrew Bible was published at Soncino. Shortly before that time the famous John Capnio, better known as Reuchlin, had commenced the study of the Hebrew language which he then privately taught at Heidelberg in 1498. In him the study of Hebrew found its champion, and ever since “Japheth dwelleth in the tents of Shem.” It is a remarkable fact that since the days of Gesenius very little has been done among the Jews themselves to promote Hebrew grammar, and the best European teachers of Hebrew are members of the Church. It would be unjust, however, to overlook the fact that we owe a great debt of gratitude to those Jewish scholars who cultivated the Hebrew before Reuchlin, and whose works are still of the greatest importance to Hebrew learning.

In these pages the history of the study of Hebrew, comprising almost a period of one thousand years, is given. It is the first effort, in the English language, to bring down the history of Hebrew grammar to our own days, that is, to the year 1881, in which König published his Lehrgebäude. To aid the student in his researches we have not only added the literature on the different Jewish writers, but we have also appended a rich bibliographical material, which, though rough, and not aiming at completeness, brings before the student almost everything which has of late been published either in book form or in essays contained in English and German periodicals.


1. The Hebrew Language

The Hebrew language is only a single branch of a great parent stock called Shemitic, so called because spoken chiefly by nations

enumerated in Scripture amongst the descendants of Shem,1 of which Prof. M. Müller2 exhibits the following

A somewhat more intuitive Table is the following, by Böttcher:3

Like all other languages, the Hebrew has been subject to a series of changes. Its grammatical development was probably earlier than that of the other offsets of the parent stem; for, as Gesenius shows,

of many forms the origin is still visible in the Hebrew, while all traces of it have vanished from the kindred dialects.

2. Name And Origin<...
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