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An Introduction to Aramaic (Resources for Biblical Study, No. 46) [Hardcover]

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Item description for An Introduction to Aramaic (Resources for Biblical Study, No. 46) by Frederick E. Greenspahn...

An Introduction to Aramaic is a straightforward introduction to biblical Aramaic for beginning students who are already familiar with Hebrew. All Aramaic passages in the Old Testament are included, along with an introduction to other Aramaic texts, such as ancient inscriptions, Dead Sea Scrolls, rabbinic literature, and quotations in the New Testament. There are also paradigms, a complete glossary, and a list of resources for further study as well as practice exercises for each chapter. This revised edition clarifies certain points in the first edition, updates the contents and provides an answer key.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   281
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 8.5" Height: 11.75"
Weight:   2.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004127216  
ISBN13  9789004127210  

Availability  0 units.

More About Frederick E. Greenspahn

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Frederick E. Greenspahn is Gimelstob Eminent Scholar in Judaic Studies, Florida Atlantic University. He is the editor of The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship, Essential Papers on Israel and the Ancient Near East, as well as author/editor of numerous other titles including When Brothers Dwell Together: The Preeminence of Younger Siblings in the Hebrew Bible and An Introduction to Aramaic.

Frederick E. Greenspahn was born in 1946 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Denver.

Frederick E. Greenspahn has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Jewish Studies in the Twenty-First Century

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Reviews - What do customers think about An Introduction to Aramaic (Resources for Biblical Study, No. 46)?

Honorable effort  Jul 25, 2008
I would not call it a grammar, or a study guide, but a rich compilation of Aramaic sentences and references. However, to the beginners, -An Introduction to Aramaic- is a sort of grammar.

The author most be recognized for this honorable effort.
The transliteration is well noticed.
Linguistically, it is refreshing.

The public will now realize and understand the differences and similarities between the Hebrew and the Aramaic.
This is an important tool for learning and teaching as well.
so far so good  Mar 16, 2008
I've just started the book. Aramaic gives an interesting perspective on Hebrew and the author provides it in full. It starts right away from the real biblical texts (simplified) and I like its big format and the good print. The explanation on aramaic-hebrew cognates is kind of confusing because it is not clear when the letters are meant and when the sounds.
Too many errors  Dec 3, 2007
There are too many errors. I would advise teachers of Aramaic not to use this handbook in the present edition, but to wait for a thoroughly corrected edition (Taken from A. Shoors)
Handy for a beginner  Mar 1, 2007
Aramaic is not as well-served by modern grammar books as Hebrew. Other than Alger John's Grammar of Biblical Aramaic(which I don't have yet), this is the only beginner's grammar of note that I could find.
It is easy to read, but knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is a prerequisite because almost every chapter takes off from comparisons with the morphology of Hebrew words and inflections. The closing chapters are devoted to Aramaic beyond its biblical incarnation and are very interesting. The print is easy on the eyes and the key to the exercises is included. All in all, this is a good introduction.
I only wish it had more
1. explanatory content which would be useful to a self-learner - every chapter leaves you wanting for more (I had to refer to Franz Rosenthal's reference grammar in several instances)
2. exercises to aid retention of what you've learned (I'm thinking of Nava Bergman's Cambridge Biblical Hebrew Workbook which is excellent in this regard)
The author acknowledges the work's limitations in his preface and has suggestions for further study at the end. I think he should take the opportunity and expand this work, including the latter extra-biblical portions. The Aramaic content of the Tanakh is slim and one objective of trying to learn Aramaic is presumably to gain facility to read other works, e.g. the targums. Though the audience for this work may be relatively small, it fills a gap for those wanting to take a further leap. I'm not aware of any other comparable beginner's grammar available with such a scope.
finally, Aramaic is *taught*  Dec 11, 2006

The coterie of Northwest Semitic dialects that we abbreviate as 'Aramaic' are collectively a staple of biblical and other historical research. Yet even though Aramaic is the second language of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and arguably the first language of Jesus, English-language teachers and learners have suffered from the absence of a pedagogically designed *teaching* grammar of Aramaic.

Until now. Fred Greenspahn has solved the problem. (Full disclosure: I am the translator of the Spanish edition of this work and have used it for several years to good effect at Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica).

In thirty-two chapters, the author introduces the student who already knows Biblical Hebrew to the biblical Aramaic texts in full, as well as selections from inscriptions, the Elephantine and Bar Kochba letters, Midrash, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.

The text is well formatted with lots of white space, a psychological help to the student of no small import. Though errors bedevil the Aramaic of even this second edition, they have been identified and will doubtless disappear in a third.

The exercises are derived from the texts under study, which in the biblical portions are mostly Daniel and Ezra-Nehemiah passages that have been scrubbed of their most troublesome features. A full answer key appears in the back of the book.

This work is a gift to teachers and students of Aramaic. The ever essential works of Alger Johns, Franz Rosenthal, and others are now liberated to play their proper role as brief but invaluable reference works.

It's enough to make you doubt the decline of Western civlization.

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