In the Beginning by Joel M. Hoffman
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In the Beginning
By Joel M. Hoffman

In the Beginning

A Short History of the Hebrew Language

By (author) See other recent books by Joel M. Hoffman
Format: Paperback

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In the Beginning by Joel M. Hoffman

Book Description

Hebrew as a language is just over 3,000 years old, and the story of its alphabet is unique among the languages of the world. Hebrew set the stage for almost every modern alphabet, and was arguably the first written language simple enough for everyone, not just scribes, to learn, making it possible to make a written record available to the masses for the first time. Written language has existed for so many years-since around 3500 BCE-that most of us take it for granted. But as Hoffman reveals in this entertaining and informative work, even the idea that speech can be divided into units called "words" and that these words can be represented with marks on a page, had to be discovered. As Hoffman points out, almost every modern system of writing descends from Hebrew; by studying the history of this language, we can learn a good deal about how we express ourselves today. Hoffman follows and decodes the adventure that is the history of Hebrew, illuminating how the written record has survived, the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient translations, and attempts to determine how the language actually sounded. He places these developments into a historical context, and shows their continuing impact on the modern world. This sweeping history traces Hebrew's development as one of the first languages to make use of vowels. Hoffman also covers the dramatic story of the rebirth of Hebrew as a modern, spoken language. Packed with lively information about language and linguistics and history, In the Beginning is essential reading for both newcomers and scholars interested in learning more about Hebrew and languages in general.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780814736906
ISBN-10: 0814736904
Format: Paperback
(5830mm x 3895mm x 18mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: New York University Press
Publisher: New York University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Joel M. Hoffman

Bible Doesn't Say That by Joel M. Hoffman Bible Doesn't Say That, Hardback (February 2016)

The Bible Doesn't Say That succinctly explains each misunderstanding, detailing the nature of what went wrong and offering insight into the original meaning of the world's most popular book.

Bible's Cutting Room Floor by Joel M. Hoffman Bible's Cutting Room Floor, Hardback (September 2014)

Explains that: The Book of Genesis tells you about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but not what happens to them after they get kicked out; The Bible presents Abraham, the father of monotheism, but doesn't explain how he came to reject idolatry; and Today's Bible contains only 150 Psalms, but there used to be more.

» View all books by Joel M. Hoffman

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Author Biography - Joel M. Hoffman

Joel Hoffman lectures and teaches classes on biblical and rabbinic Hebrew and translation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is the head translator for Jewish Lights' multi-volume prayerbook and commentary series, My People's Prayerbook. He lives in the NYC area.

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Bible Doesn't Say That by Joel M. Hoffman
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