Tracking Ancient Languages in the Covid Era

Shalom, Namaste and Hello!

This week was hectic in many ways with my apartment complex being declared as a ‘Covid Hotspot’ although restrictions haven’t been applied as yet. My cycling trips have been drastically cut down with regular 100 km. runs now being limited to 50 km. or so. The general advise here is to hunker down and closet oneself to beat the bug.

My new hobby is checking the trail of ancient languages and their evolution, with the focus being on Hebrew and Koine Greek. It was my dream to learn the original language of the Tanakh ( the Jewish Bible, written in Hebrew ) and the New Testament ( NT for short , written in Koine Greek ) and *cough* thanks to Covid, I am on the cusp of achieving it. I would like to emphasize that it will take years of hard learning to become an expert. At this point I am a novice.

As far as Hebrew goes, the script used in the ancient kingdoms of Jewish kings was ketav ivri or Paleo-Hebrew i.e. before 500 B.C., when it was replaced by the Aramaic script. The Pentateuch or Torah was written in this script as was most of the other books in the Old Testament. Paleo Hebrew fonts are available albeit rare. Am also planning to code in the ancient script in to my operating system to use it more liberally.

Amos 5:24 in Ketuv Ivri font
Amos 5:24 in Paleo-Hebrew or Ketuv Ivri

The Book of Psalms ( Tehillim in Hebrew ), one of the many books of the Tanakh , is my all time favourite. There are several online resources available to get one started and running on the ancient languages trail and I am not going to elaborate on these. Tip :- A good way to kick off is to access an online Interlinear Bible. The Tanakh ( Hebrew acronym for Torah, Nevi’im and Ketuvim ) is almost the same as the Old Testament with the order of the books being different.

Koine Greek has a ton of resources online and I had been dabbling in it for several years now, but decided to get serious only in the Covid era. The original NT was written in an unbroken flow style, with ancient manuscripts using both majuscule and minuscule Greek text. Again, studying Koine Greek is quite technical with a lot of grammar and associated stuff involved. The Gospel of John is my favourite book in the NT and am thrilled with the ancient Greek reading. [Greek — ΤΟ ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ ΑΓΙΟΝ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟΝ, the Gospel according to Saint John.]

Sanskrit is another ancient language that I have in my sights but learning Sanskrit is like fish taking to the water for me as I had studied it till the 8th standard in school. My scores were almost cent percent in the Sanskrit school tests. Also my mother tongue is Hindi and it is interwoven with Sanskrit. So, I am going easy on Sanskrit right now with the focus being on Hebrew and Koine Greek.

That is it from me then, hope we all beat this era and emerge victorious on the other side. Ciao!

One Reply to “Tracking Ancient Languages in the Covid Era”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s