Item description for The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff A. Benner...
All previous Biblical Hebrew lexicons have provided a modern western definition and perspective to Hebrew roots and words. This prevents the reader of the Bible from seeing the ancient authors' original intent of the passages. This is the first Biblical Hebrew lexicon that defines each Hebrew word within its original Ancient Hebrew cultural meaning. One of the major differences between the Modern Western mind and the Ancient Hebrew's is that their mind related all words and their meanings to a concrete concept. For instance, the Hebrew word "chai" is normally translated as "life," a western abstract meaning, but the original Hebrew concrete meaning of this word is the "stomach." In the Ancient Hebrew mind, a full stomach is a sign of a full "life." The Hebrew language is a root system oriented language and the lexicon is divided into sections reflecting this root system. Each word of the Hebrew Bible is grouped within its roots and is defined according to its original ancient cultural meaning. Also included in each word entry are its alternative spellings, King James translations of the word and Strong's number. Indexes are included to assist with finding a word within the lexicon according to its spelling, definition, King James translation or Strong's number.
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Studio: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.4" Height: 2" Weight: 2.3 lbs.
Release Date Aug 29, 2005
Publisher Virtualbookworm.com Publishing
ISBN 1589397762 ISBN13 9781589397767
Reviews - What do customers think about The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible?
Great Study Resource Sep 18, 2008
Jeff Benner's book is a valuable tool in studying the essence of Hebrew parent/ child root words and how they work. The illustrations bring the concepts of the words to life. Some of his aleph-bet definitions are considerably different from Frank Seekins' definitions in his book, "Hebrew Word Pictures", but that actually helps to refine some of the pictographic explanations. I would've liked more information on how Mr. Benner arrived at the definitions of some of the Hebrew pictographs, but overall, this book is very helpful to my studies of Ancient Hebrew.
New Concrete Understanding Jun 20, 2008
Excellent book! It took me a while, but I finally understand the concept. Now when I read the Tanakh, it's almost like watching a movie. I can see the action of the words come alive. This is one of the most used books in my collection. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to study. This book has brought a renewed zeal to our weekly Torah study group.
Kudos to Jeff Benner Jun 5, 2008
Thank you Jeff for tackling such an enormous project and doing an excellent job.
I have been in the ministry for nearly 30, and have been using this book Ancient Hebrew Lexicon for over a year now. It has been a valuable resource in expanding my understanding of the Old Testament. Having used other references, such as Wilson's O.T. Word Studies, I have often found some generic confirmation, in Wilson's et al, concerning the explanations given by Jeff. In fact one friend, who was raised in Orthodox Judaism and has now accepted Jesus as his Messiah, shared with me concepts, definitions and things that I have found confirmed by Jeff Benner.
I notice that Jeff has encountered some criticism of his work. That certainly is no surprise. I have a graduate degree in another area, and am planning to work on another. One thing I have found in the "upper" academic circles is frequent lack of consensus. Often what is promoted as "absolute" is nothing more than someone else's ego/agenda based on their interpretation of their data.
Truth is verified in the application. I have continually found Mr. Benner's Lexicon to be accurate, not only in application of one word, but in coordination with the same word in other scriptures, when correct hermeneutic principles are adhered to. The basic understandings and revelations given me by the Holy Spirit have been confirmed by this Lexicon.
Back in the sixties there was a debate held on television for a half an hour between those Christians who spoke in tongues and those who did not. At the end of the program the moderator (who was not a Christian, let alone a "tongue-talker") summed up the debate with these words, "Well folks, one thing is clear. One group has an argument, the other has an experience." Jeff Benner has a lot more than an argument!
An unfortunate result of non-scholarship May 10, 2008
I had started to write a much harsher review of this book when I decided to find out what I could about the author. It turns out that he is an engineer who became fascinated with Hebrew. I now been moved by pity more than outrage to write a general statement about this book and others of its ilk.
Mr. Benner states on his website that he has no formal training in Hebrew, though lots of self study. I must recognize that his motives in preparing his many books on the subject are sincere, but his utter lack of familiarity with the scholarly literature and sound research methodology leaves him unprepared for writing even the most basic sort of book on Hebrew.
The example cited by another reviewer of *bara'* "create" is a perfect case in point. Consultation of the standard Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon shows that the root refers to "shaping by cutting," for example, cutting a reed to shape it for a particular use. It looks like Mr. Benner took a lone use of a homophonous root in a reflexive form in 1 Samuel 2:29 (meaning "to fatten oneself") and tried to generalize this to all uses of the root. This is hardly a legitimate procedure unless he can prove, by investigation of cognates in Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Arabic, Ethiopic and other Semitic languages that there is evidence of a shared cognate with these two widely divergent uses, and that neither use of this cognate in fact derives from a loan from another language, such as Sumerian, from which Semitic languages borrowed many words. In fact, BDB cites cognates of *br'* "create, shape by cutting" from Arabic, Phoenician, Akkadian, Sabean and Aramaic. For the homophonous *br'* meaning "be fat," BDB refers the reader to the root *mr'* (b and m are both bilabial and variation between them in cognate languages is not unusual, a fact that a person with adequate linguistic training would recognize). We learn that this root is the usual form of the root meaning "be fat," as attested by cognates in Akkadian and Arabic. Hebrew has a number of words derived from it, such as *mri'* "fatling". Thus, we see that Mr. Benner has used a superficial correspondence, inadequately researched, to devise a creative but entirely unwarranted bogus etymology. He has served his readers very poorly.
However, self-taught amateurs such as Mr. Benner are rarely aware of the necessity for such careful research, nor do they tend to have the reference works necessary for such in-depth research.
Aside for the example of this one word, statements such as "This is the first Biblical Hebrew lexicon that defines each Hebrew word within its original Ancient Hebrew cultural meaning" make Mr. Benner's ignorance of the relevant literature glaringly obvious. If he had bothered to become familiar with the standard scholarly lexicons and the vast scholarly literature, he would see that a great deal has in fact been done to help us understand Hebrew words in the context of Hebrew culture. It is a shame that he has invested so much effort in such an ill-informed effort. If he were to undertake serious studies at the graduate level, his considerable zeal and interest could be channeled into truly useful works for the interested public. As is, he is producing a string of very poorly informed books that simply add to the great pile of low-quality popular literature on Hebrew which propounds a great deal more myth than fact. It grieves me to see many people interested in this area so ill served by so many well-intentioned but utterly unprepared authors.
P.S. I just discovered the image of p. 54 of this dictionary, which is displayed on this site. Having looked it over, I am appalled! This is far worse than the BARA entry. Mr. Benner gives the pictographic Proto-Canaanite forms of letters used to write Hebrew and then tries to link the pictures to general semantic concepts associated with roots. This is just ludicrous. It shows abject ignorance of the nature of alphabetic writing systems, to say nothing of the fact that speech came to exist millennia before writing systems. It looks as if Mr. Benner could have borrowed some of the wilder ideas of Athanasius Kircher (a 17th century Jesuit scholar and very creative interpreter of Egyptian hieroglyphs), but Mr. Benner's scholarship is so shallow that I would be astonished to learn that he had done enough research to have even com across Kircher's name. No, I suspect that Mr. Benner has simply re-invented this particular wheel of ignorance bordering on superstition.
Valuable study aid! May 2, 2008
For anyone wanting to go deeper in their Bible studies, this is a must have. Our study group uses this every week in word studies to help us understand more of what we are reading in our Bibles.