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Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars accessible introduction to a fascinating topic, 14 Mar. 2008
This review is from: The Ancient Hebrew Language and Alphabet: Understanding the Ancient Hebrew Language of the Bible Based on Ancient Hebrew Culture and Thought (Paperback)
A great guide to the way that English and Arabic alphabets (not to mention all other modern Latin alphabets, and modern Hebrew, as well as ancient Greek, Phonecian, and Aramaic) have all derived from the shared root of the Ancient Hebrew alphabet. Benner uses charts to draw out the diverging evolutionary paths of the alphabets in a very visual way that is easy to understand. Most illuminating, for me, were the appendices containing the ancient Hebrew alphabet (with "translations" of the meaning of each letter), and the parent root dictionary (which shows how two or more letters are combined to create a more complex meaning, which can then be further refined by adding additional letters). For example, the pictographs for the letters "P" and "D" mean "mouth / open" and "door" - so "PD" means "open the door", in the literal sense, and "redeem" in the ideal sense, for which opening the door is a poetic analogy. If you are remotely interested in language and poetry, then you will be fascinated by the ideas and information in this book. It is amazing to think that this ancient root language built mental concepts out of the building blocks of physical realities, and it offers an exciting alternative to the Greek emphasis on the primacy of abstract thought which has formed our own cultural inheritance. My only complaint is that there are quite a lot of typos in the book, but the subject matter is so interesting that I didn't really mind too much.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Mar 2009 11:47:18 GMT
patannk says:
I also found this book a fascinationg read.
Learning Biblical Hebrew is something feared by many, because some grammar books make it seem so complicated?
After learning about the original pictographic form of the alphabet letters and gaining some understanding of how the ancient Hebrews went about forming their words, I was enjoying myself thoroughly!
If you enjoy a bit of a puzzle, you can work out what I word might mean, just by breaking it up into syllables.
This is a wonderful asset, when one comes across a new word..... you don't have to dive for the dictionary, but can try to see if you can work out what it means?
My only complaint is that on a couple of occasions, I found the American English less comprehensible than the Ancient Hebrew!

Posted on 24 Jun 2009 17:48:35 BDT
G. Samara says:
Sophie, if you follow the study of the alphabet, you will find out that ancient hebrew and all modern alphabets are derived from the phoenician alphabet and not as you are suggesting in your review, to quote "the way that English and Arabic alphabets (not to mention all other modern Latin alphabets, and modern Hebrew, as well as ancient Greek, Phonecian, and Aramaic) have all derived from the shared root of the Ancient Hebrew alphabet."

Th phoenician alphabet is the proper mother of all modern alphabets (exceptions are Ethiopia. china etc.). Ancient Hebrew is a diredt copy of Phoenician alphabet.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2011 12:55:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Feb 2011 13:14:54 GMT
To be fair, the book does say that languages such as Latin, Greek and English alphabet come from Ancient Hebrew Pictographs. It's the author's error, not the reviewer's.

Bear in mind that Jeff A. Benner is a Creationist who claims that the original creator of Ancient Hebrew was God, therefore he can't accept the fact that it was derived from Phonecian or any other language.
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