Adventures in Hebrew Studies

Author’s Note: Gah Creepy Guy on America’s Got Talent is singing Music of the Night and now it’s just weird. *shivers*

I’m taking Hebrew Studies class this semester, and, well, it has kind of shattered my personal constructs.

Because apparently, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that I have had a rather religious upbringing and attended Catholic schools (Yes, I’m counting my living room, because I think any history book that can condense the gist of the Inquisition into “It was a misunderstanding,” deserves to be Catholic. If stupid.), I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the Old Testament and Jewish civilization before Christ.

I’m good with the New Testament. I can run down the gospels like nobody’s business. When you say “Premarcan” or “Q”? I get it. I know the differences between the synoptic and Johannine traditions. I’ve studied the historicity of Christ as a man. Right now I’m reading a 1600-page breakdown of the Passion narratives. For fun.

And thanks to one particularly awkward homily, I even know that Corinth was a sea port and sailors would come in looking for a good time.

But pre-6 BC? SCREWED.

Like, I kind of know the creation story? (Actually, stories, because I didn’t realize until today that in Genesis chapter one God creates man and woman together and then in chapter two there’s the whole rib thing that generally pissed me off, if only because (again with the homeschooling) I saw crazy Protestants take it to an extreme.) But after that, meh. Notsomuch.

So this semester should be quite interesting. Perhaps it’s a good thing there aren’t any tests. And maybe before my presentation I should give a disclaimer like, “Product of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee” or something.

OH! Also! Did you know that the actual proper name of God, Yhwh (anglicized to Yahweh) is untranslatable and no one knows how it was pronounced because the High Priest was the only one who could say it and he only said it once a year on Yom Kippur in the temple and no one has any idea how it’s pronounced STILL???

As we established earlier, I didn’t.

I find it fascinating, though.

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