I <think> this is a picture of Isaiah 53 from the Dead Sea Scrolls. I say <think> because if I could actually read it, I would know for sure! I took this picture a couple months ago when we were blessed to see this on exhibit at a local church in our area.
A friend and I are beginning our study on the Hebrew aleph-bet. Tho we have studied here and there and know some things, she more than I, we want to have a very serious study in order to teach our children this fall.
Why study Hebrew? The first question I usually get when I tell someone I am about to learn Hebrew so that I can teach my children is, “Why study a dead language?” or “Why not study a ‘useful’ language?” I have spent much time in prayer on this question. As I began to “dabble” in the Hebrew I learned many things. Hebrew is the original language of our Bible. When Yahweh spoke, he spoke Hebrew. When Moses wrote, he wrote Hebrew. Hebrew is Yahweh’s language. It’s beautiful, deep, and spiritual! Yeshua (Jesus) spoke Hebrew. If Yeshua read a Torah scroll… He read Hebrew. If He spoke in a Synagogue, He spoke Hebrew.
Luke 4:16 Now when he went to Natzeret, where he had been brought up, on Shabbat he went to the synagogue as usual. He stood up to read, 17 and he was given the scroll of the prophet Yesha`yahu (Isaiah). Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of ADONAI is upon me; therefore he has anointed me to announce Good News to the poor; he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the imprisoned and renewed sight for the blind, to release those who have been crushed, 19 to proclaim a year of the favor of ADONAI.” 20 After closing the scroll and returning it to the shammash, he sat down; and the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 He started to speak to them: “Today, as you heard it read, this passage of the Tanakh was fulfilled!”
also Acts 26:14 We all fell to the ground; and then I heard a voice saying to me, in Hebrew, ‘Sha’ul! Sha’ul! Why do you keep persecuting me? It’s hard on you to be kicking against the ox-goads!’
In addition, all of our authors of the New Testament read and spoke Hebrew.
Acts 21:40 Having received permission, Sha’ul (Paul) stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When they finally became still, he addressed them in Hebrew
Acts 22:2 When they heard him (Paul) speaking to them in Hebrew, they settled down more; so he continued
John 5:2 In Yerushalayim, by the Sheep Gate, is a pool called in Aramaic, Beit-Zata, (Aramaic is very closely linked to Hebrew, if you can read Hebrew you can read Aramaic.)
Studying Hebrew helps us appreciate the Jewish roots of Christianity. Yes, our Bible has Jewish roots. Many over the centuries have tried to wipe out the Semitic culture of our Scriptures. But, in fact, our roots are found with the Jewish people! The Jewish people have been praying the blessings and chanting the Scriptures for thousands of years.
We cannot fully appreciate and study our Bible in it’s entirety without studying the Hebrew language and thinking. We simply cannot approach the Scriptures from a Greek/Western mindset. It will only cause confusion and miss-understanding.
I hope, in the days and weeks to come, to be able to share all that I am learning of this very beautiful language. I also hope to add all the resources and “helps” I am using. Stay tuned!