1. Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook
    Donald R. Vance, George Athas, Yael Avrahami, Jonathan G. Kline
    Hendrickson Publishers / 2017 / Hardcover
    Our Price$20.99 Retail Price$39.95 Save 47% ($18.96)
    4.0 out of 5 stars for Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook. View reviews of this product. 2 Reviews
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    Stock No: WW708914
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  1. dgreegor
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Understand Aramaic
    March 14, 2017
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Aramaic was once a language that was spoken by many people throughout the times of the Bible. It was spoken during the time of Daniel and was even spoken by Jesus Christ. However, time had a way of diminishing the number of Aramaic speakers and this has caused Aramaic to be in danger of becoming a dead language.

    Because of miniscule amount of speakers today, is it worth studying Aramaic? After all, Greek and Hebrew compose almost all of Scripture. To learn these languages would be a prudent course of action for those wanting to study the Bible in its original form. Yet, does this give reason to ignore studying Aramaic?

    One advantage of studying this language is that it was still spoken during the time of Christ and it would give insight into how people of that day thought. After all, we think in language and language influences our cultures. To understand Aramaic would be to understand better the mindset of those living during the time of Christ.

    With this in mind, Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook, is an excellent resource to understand this tongue. The book gives the text of Scripture that are in Aramaic but also has a lexicon element to aid in the understanding of each word. This allows for a better grasp of the language to aid in thinking like an Aramaic-speaking person.

    One section that I wanted to draw specific attention to is the Easily Confused Words. This section lists words that are similar so as to build correct vocabulary while reading Aramaic. It also points to how difficult it can be to translate a passage of Scripture.

    That aside, the introduction gives some historical background on Aramaic as well as how the book is laid out for ease of use. By doing this, the utilization of the book can be strengthened and the effectiveness can be maximized.

    Another item to note is that I did not see a pronunciation guide. It is assumed that the reader has an understanding of how to read Hebrew and can pronounce the words as read. While this may not be an issue to some, the book notes that Aramaic shifted from some forms of Hebrew pronunciations and it would have been nice to have a pronunciation guide to remind the reader of these shifts.

    I did enjoy the footnotes of the Biblical texts in Aramaic. They aid in variants and translation of the texts assisted by the textual abbreviations found near the front of the book. It again shows the cousin-like connections of Hebrew to Aramaic which again aids the reader in the understanding of the mindset of the Aramaic-speaking world.

    *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
  2. Jim West
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Biblical Aramaic tool worth having
    February 3, 2017
    Jim West
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
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    Whilst at SBL in San Antonio the nice folk at Hendrickson handed off a copy of their brand new Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook for perusal and examination.

    Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook is a one-stop shop for anyone who is studying Biblical Aramaic or seeking to retain the knowledge they have already acquired. A wonderful resource for both professors and students, Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook effectively empowers students to be able to read the Bibles Aramaic texts with comprehension, ease, and enjoyment, and to sustain a solid, lasting command of the language long after their formal study has ended. Split into two main sectionsa Reader and word liststhis is an essential tool for anyone who wants to read the Aramaic portions of the Bible with understanding and confidence, and to maintain this ability over the long term.

    Created by a team of scholars: Donald R. Vance (PhD), George Athas (PhD), Yael Avrahami (PhD), and Jonathan G. Kline (PhD).

    My first thought was if someone has a copy of Hendricksons BHS Readers Edition (which contains as well all the Aramaic passages in the Hebrew Bible), what will this stand alone Aramaic reader provide that it doesnt contain? The answer- much indeed.

    First, and probably most importantly, the notes intended to aid readers are in many instances more complete than in the BHS edition. The grammar of the Aramaic texts is offered without the (admittedly) sometimes confusing encoding of the BHS counterpart.

    Second, the limited nature of the Aramaic texts in the Old Testament allow the editors to provide a really fantastic supplement to what we find in the traditional Aramaic Grammar. Indeed- the biblical text takes up barely 60 pages whilst the grammatical material extends from page 61 through page 233. This volume, then, is the ideal text for a course introducing Aramaic to students familiar and competent in Hebrew. It does not, however, take the place of a traditional Grammar but it brilliantly supplements such a volume.

    Finally, whereas such volumes tend to normally be cursed with tiny print and tinier notes, this is a volume people outside of their teens will be able to see with ease and enjoy and, further, profit from enjoying. The font is really lovely and the paper is thick enough so that there isnt any annoying bleed through. The entire presentation is crisp.

    I recommend it without hesitation to those looking for a readers aid for Biblical Aramaic. The editors are to be congratulated for a very useful tool and the publisher is to be thanked for bringing to us a work which will undoubtedly find its way to many classrooms and studies.
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