Students of the Bible who lack experience of the Hebrew language and culture, may struggle to reach a proper understanding of the Holy Scriptures.
It follows that a knowledge of Hebrew is fundamental to a proper understanding, considering that the contemporary Christian Bible is a product of many translations and modifications.
The Christian Bible is founded on the Torah, the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament, the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses.
By Contrast, over a period of thousands of years, the original ancient Hebrew texts have been meticulously preserved to the present day.
Modern versions of the Christian Bible are the end product of a series of translations. The first texts were translated from the original Hebrew to Aramaic, then from Aramaic to Greek, Greek to Latin and finally Latin to English. The full Bible has been translated into over 450 languages, parts of it into more than 2,000 languages. Continue reading “Hebrew of the Torah and the Christian Bible”
Like most South Africans of my generation, as a schoolboy I learnt that the recorded history of Southern Africa started in the mid 17th century with the arrival of the European explorers.
Did ancient Dravidian Seafarers establish the first gold mines in Southern Africa?
We studied detailed accounts of these early settlers and their exploits as well as the references to the Portuguese explorers, such as Bartolameu Dias, who preceded them by about 100 years.
According to this history the Khoisan or San people inhabited the Southern African region and preceded the Bantu people who gradually displaced them as they migrated south into the coastal regions of what is now known as the Cape. In a previous post, which you can find here, we covered the many languages spoken by the Khoisan.
“Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.”
Well, alright then. Not long ago, mere hundreds of years back, inconsistency reigned regarding spelling, punctuation and print design. In the early 20th century typesetting eventually became more widespread. Typesetters began to settle on a single space after the “full stop.” Europe was first to adopt this and America followed soon after. Then came a now virtually extinct technology — the manual typewriter.
Not many people know that 24 living languages are spoken in South Africa today. Of these, according to some estimates, Afrikaans is spoken by around 23 million people, or 46% of the population of nearly 50 million people.
At the other end of the scale, an almost extinct Khoisan language known by various names, including Ng’uki, is spoken by just 12 known individuals. These rare Ng’uki speakers are scattered about South Africa in isolated ‘ones’ and ‘two’s’.
The next smallest group numbers just 87 persons. They speak a marginal Khoisan language called Xiri. Also known as Grikwa or Griqua, it will soon join the other now extinct Khoisan languages of Seroa, Korana and Xam. The Khoisan were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. The Bantu migrations from Central and East Africa towards the south eventually reached the southern African region, replacing the Khoisan as the predominant population. Today the largest Khoisan language group numbers 50 900 (2006) Continue reading “Language of Afrikaans and Khoisan Two of 24 Spoken in South Africa”