Understanding the Language of the Bible

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Tsaphah, Apr 18, 2019.

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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

    Feb 18, 2013
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    Understanding ancient Greek and Hebrew requires the knowledge that both are different from the modern Greek and Hebrew languages. The meanings of certain words have been altered over time. Four things missing in the written ancient language are, dialect, accent, inflection, and punctuation.

    The last, punctuation, is how a particle of a word is built into that word used in a sentence. Without these missing aspects in ancient languages, it is difficult to exactly understand how the meaning effects the idea of what is written. One example is the word “now”. There are 15 different Greek words that can be translated as “now”. One example: de = now, so, also, then, and, but, etc. Another similar word is dh/ = now, then, verily, in truth, really, surely, certainly, forthwith, at once. Both of these words, in English, are pronounced slightly different. de = “day”, where as dh/ = “deh”. This is why believers in the trinity can argue about John 1:1. But, if that were the correct understanding, why write verse 2? “He was in the beginning with God.” ( Joh 1:2 NKJV ) “The same was in the beginning with God.” ( Joh 1:2 KJV ) “He was with God in the beginning.” ( Joh 1:2 NIV ) This verse would be unnecessary and redundant.

    In the written word, a person would have to know the setting and circumstance, in order to know how to pronounce these words, and which to use with the correct idea intended. As Mark Twain said; “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

    He also said: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

    We ( U.S. Military ) used to have communication devices called Teletypes, to send and receive messages electronically between facilities. These machines would automatically print the sent and received messages. We also had to make sure that the machines were printing correctly. We typed, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This contains all the letters of the English alphabet. Plus, numbers and punctuation marks were typed into the messages.

    How important was the accuracy of this information? Lives depended on it! We had a situation where an airplane became off-course because a wrong number was entered into the navigation system. A small number was entered, it was 300 miles off-course. Thankfully, the correct information was transmitted by radio to the Navigator. They were able to correct their flight path, and were saved.

    Let’s look at a sentence presented to someone. “Now, you are not going to like this.” Does the “now” mean “at that moment”? Or, could it mean that the intended person will not like what they hear. If the message was written, would it mean “when you read this”, you are not going to like it? Or, if the message was relayed, by messenger, to the person receiving it, heard or read it, at that time.

    1. Linguistics . a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
    2. a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, especially when considered as substandard.
    3. a special variety of a language: The literary dialect is usually taken as the standard language.
    4. a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor: Persian, Latin, and English are Indo-European dialects.
    5. jargon or cant.

    1. prominence of a syllable in terms of differential loudness, or of pitch, or length, or of a combination of these.
    2. degree of prominence of a syllable within a word and sometimes of a word within a phrase: primary accent; secondary accent.
    3. a mark indicating stress (as (·, ·), or (ˈ, ˌ), or (′, ″)), vowel quality (as French grave `, acute ´, circumflex ^), form (as French la “the” versus là “there”), or pitch.
    4. any similar mark.

    1. a change in the form of a word (typically the ending) to express a grammatical function or attribute such as tense, mood, person, number, case, and gender
    2. the modulation of intonation or pitch in the voice.

    1. the marks, such as period, comma, and parentheses, used in writing to separate sentences and their elements and to clarify meaning.
    2. the practice or system of using certain conventional marks or characters in writing or printing in order to separate elements and make the meaning clear, as in ending a sentence or separating clauses.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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