From time to time, I like to post the current spreadsheet of my Bible collection. The reason for this is actually twofold, now that I think of it. First, I suspect my readers (whoever they are) might enjoy seeing it, and second, it gives me a back-up copy online, just in case. So without further ado, here is my Bible collection as of 9/15/2016. (I'm embedding a copy here in this blog post as well...) At the moment, I have a total of 291 volumes in my collection. I may actually have missed a few, so this number may change in the near future!
Back in grad school, just to enrich myself and take a break from music stuff, I took a year of New Testament Greek. It was a lot of fun, even though I didn't gain a tremendous amount of facility with the language. It was enough that I've been able to do a considerable amount of self-study in the years since I took the class. When it comes to the other major biblical language, Hebrew, it's been a different story. I've never taken a Hebrew class, even though I've sung in Hebrew a couple times during grad school and in the Nashville Symphony Chorus. Still, I have gradually acquired several Hebrew grammar books, several Hebrew Bibles, and discovered a pretty wide variety of resources online.
The first thing that makes self-study in Hebrew difficult is learning the alphabet (or alef bet, as it's usually called in Hebrew). See, with Greek, even though it's a different alphabet, there are several characters that look a little similar to our English (Latin) alphabet. Here's the Greek alphabet:
α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
So even if you haven't learned the Greek alphabet yet, you can probably spot a few letters that look similar to our alphabet. (Trickiest one is probably ν (nu), which looks a lot like the letter "v," but is equivalent to the letter "n.") But Hebrew is a different case altogether.
First of all, the Hebrew alef bet is all consonants, and they're read right-to-left. Here they are:
א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר שׂ שׁ ת
So right off the bat, it takes a little while just to get familiar with these letter; there's not really a single one that look like anything in the English alphabet. But then you get to the vowels! I won't put them all down here, but instead of having vowel letters, Hebrew has little marks called "vowel points," that appear above, below, or in the middle of the letters. So a word like אלהימ (elohim) gets pointed like this: אֱלֹהִים, so you know how to pronounce it. So that system takes awhile to learn.
Also, it took me a little while to figure out the best way to type Hebrew online and in documents. I discovered a keyboard that took a little getting used to, but I'm finally getting the hang of it. So, now that I'm just about able to work out how Hebrew words are spelled, and to read the text, I'm finally going to begin learning some vocabulary and grammar. One of my favorite online resources is a site called Hebrew for Christians. It's chock full of information, presented in a pretty straightforward manner. I finally found a printed Hebrew grammar that I really like: A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, by Duane Garrett. There's even a simple website that accompanies the book, which has a few good resources to help guide me through it.
Meanwhile, there are a couple more websites I've found extremely helpful, one of which I've used for a long time, and one that I just stumbled on a couple days ago:
So I've got my books, my websites, and my word processing tools. I'm ready to learn Hebrew! Now I've just got to find some organized structure, so I can make some progress...
(adj.) wild and frenzied; from Greek κορυβαντες (Korybantes)