An Introduction to Scriptural LanguagesI am just wondering, are there any surprises on this topic that I have to work on to help me tackle the subject diligently?
I think a surprise you might find is that more meaning is packed into a word than you might be used to. Often teaching pastors will refer to the Greek or Hebrew directly translated because we use a very broad word today for words that were used in previous languages. For example, our understanding of love is broad. But in biblical times, there were different terms for brotherly love, romantic love, and unconditional love. Therefore, you may experience a great new love for languages because of the deeper meanings you are about to receive.
My children attend a school that requires Latin, a dead language. We are often driving around town when they see a word on a sign and explain a part of the meaning of a word to me and it sheds new light for me on a concept I thought was rather surface level.
Well, it depends on what scriptural languages you are going to be studying. The main two scriptural langauges that are studied in any course on the Bible or Theology are Biblical Greek and Hebrew. You need to be aware that both of these languages have a different alphabet and therefore you will be required to learn two new alphabets if you study both of these subjects. I have never studied Hebrew, but from what I have heard Greek is easier, so if you have a choice you might wish to start off by studying Greek and see if you like it before deciding to study Hebrew.
Well, a "surprise" all depends on what you already know. In brief, the Pentateuch and other Old Testament books are written in Hebrew. The books that predate and postdate the Babylonian exile are written in an older and later form of Hebrew called, respectively, Classical Biblical Hebrew and Late Biblical Hebrew. The Old Testament was translated to Greek after the conquest of Alexander the Great. The New Testament was written in Greek with influences of Aramaic and Hebrew, as the Jews under the Roman conquest were multilingual.
I agree with post #5. There is more meaning packed into a word. The Bible, while raised up above all other texts by many, is no different than a story written by Poe (no disrespect or sacrilege meant). A text is a text. Meaning comes from ones own personal understanding of a word or grouping of words. Just be ready to disagree with others who do not share the same view you do on Scriptures.