I am currently enjoying learning some Aramaic to complete the trilogy of biblical languages. What concerns me, however, is the real lack of resources and general lack of interest in the language. Most Christians, to some extent, recognise the benefit of learning Greek and Hebrew, but no-one seems to care about Aramaic. So I’m hatching a cunning plan:
My cunning plan may take a long time, and may never come to anything…
but nevertheless, I’d like to create some Biblical Aramaic resources for people with 2+ years of Hebrew under their belt. I’m thinking of a series of things:
- firstly a simple and brief grammar which explains the Aramaic language and maximises on the similarities it shares with biblical Hebrew
- some exercises working through real Aramaic passages of the bible.
- a set of ‘cheat-sheets’ which will fit inside a BHS or similar volume for quick reference. I recognise that keeping two languages going is hard work, and a third is even harder. So having cheat sheets is a way to remind a reader of necessary verbal forms etc. of Aramaic
- a (again small and portable) Aramaic lexicon of all OT Aramaic words
- a (very ambitious) grammatical handbook/translation of all the Aramaic in the OT for quick reference (parsing etc.)
- that’s probably enough to be getting on with.
The overriding goal will be to provide the necessary information for Hebrew readers not to get stuck in an Aramaic passage but rather to have enough knowledge to at least fumble their way through. I’d like myself and other to be able to read the whole of the bible in its original language, not just the Greek and Hebrew parts.
So, calling all Hebrew students (and Aramaic students, if there are any!?) I’d appreciate any help, suggestions, comments so that these resources can be as useful as possible.
Take a look at this next post for an example of what I’m on about: