What are you doing?! τί ποιεῖς; מָה אַתָּה עֹשֶׂה?‏

Over the summer I decided to combine my daily GNT readings with the Latin Vulgate, and that's been very instructive (and before the end of the year, I'll also have read the entire Latin text of the NT). For the OT, although I've taken a bit of a break, I read a chapter or so a day of the LXX and compare the Hebrew. That and extra-Biblical Greek -- I've been marathoning through Homer, and will finish the Odyssey in the next month or so.
 
Yes, you can get a long way with the English, especially in association with good exegetical commentaries. But the original languages can take you a bit farther... And word studies are best done in the framework of at least a working knowledge of the language.
 

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Over the summer I decided to combine my daily GNT readings with the Latin Vulgate, and that's been very instructive (and before the end of the year, I'll also have read the entire Latin text of the NT). For the OT, although I've taken a bit of a break, I read a chapter or so a day of the LXX and compare the Hebrew. That and extra-Biblical Greek -- I've been marathoning through Homer, and will finish the Odyssey in the next month or so.
The Septuagint always seemed difficult to me when I was in college. Essentially, I was much more familiar with the New Testament (as that's how most people are raised in Christian homes), so I took more quickly to Greek and could more readily understand a text even when it used unfamiliar vocabulary, since I could quickly recall the passage in English and supply what was lacking. The LXX was something else entirely, since the texts were oftentimes different from what is given in English, and I was less familiar with the “Old Testament” (that is, the תָּנָ״ךְ Tānāḵ).

Of course, having really become immersed in Hebrew, the Tānāḵ is much more familiar to me now. Also, I’ve done study of Attic, so I’ve got a wider view of the Greek language now. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that, now that I have two Septuagints sitting on my shelf, I can now sit down, open the LXX, and enjoy reading it. It’s something I never thought I could do!

I’ve begun teaching through Ἀθήναζε Athenaze (second edition, with supplements from the Italian version) in one-on-one on Zoom. That’s also a lovely experience. In addition to Wheelock and Ørberg, I’ve been focusing much more on Greek than I did in the past. Read through Galatians with a group online recently (in Greek). I’m also doing a Mishnaic Hebrew group in which we’re currently reading through פִּרְקֵי אָבוֹת Pirqê ʾĀḇôṯ.

Lots of things on the fire!
 

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How are you liking Pirkei Avot so far?
I didn’t think it would take so long. There are just three of us in the reading group, and one doesn’t have a lot of experience in reading Hebrew texts. So, we’re reading kinda slowly and going through the grammar, explaining things that might normally be taken for granted or ignored. We finished chapter 4 today and worked up through mishnah 4 in chapter 5. We’ll be starting from 5:5 next Thursday.

We are getting a lot of opportunity to talk through the concepts, though. One mishnah that really stood out for me in today’s reading was:

הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, הַיִּלּוֹדִים לָמוּת, וְהַמֵּתִים לְהֵחָיוֹת, וְהַחַיִּים לִדּוֹן. לֵידַע לְהוֹדִיעַ וּלְהִוָּדַע שֶׁהוּא אֵל, הוּא הַיּוֹצֵר, הוּא הַבּוֹרֵא, הוּא הַמֵּבִין, הוּא הַדַּיָּן, הוּא עֵד, הוּא בַעַל דִּין, וְהוּא עָתִיד לָדוּן. בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁאֵין לְפָנָיו לֹא עַוְלָה, וְלֹא שִׁכְחָה, וְלֹא מַשּׂוֹא פָנִים, וְלֹא מִקַּח שֹׁחַד, שֶׁהַכֹּל שֶׁלּוֹ. וְדַע שֶׁהַכֹּל לְפִי הַחֶשְׁבּוֹן. וְאַל יַבְטִיחֲךָ יִצְרְךָ שֶׁהַשְּׁאוֹל בֵּית מָנוֹס לְךָ, שֶׁעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אַתָּה נוֹצָר, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אַתָּה נוֹלָד, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אַתָּה חַי, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אַתָּה מֵת, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אַתָּה עָתִיד לִתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:‏
He (Rabbi Elazar haKappar) used to say: the ones who were born are to die, and the ones who have died are to be brought to life, and the ones brought to life are to be judged; So that one may know, make known and have the knowledge that He is God, He is the designer, He is the creator, He is the discerner, He is the judge, He the witness, He the complainant, and that He will summon to judgment. Blessed be He, before Whom there is no iniquity, nor forgetting, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes, for all is His. And know that all is according to the reckoning. And let not your impulse assure thee that the grave is a place of refuge for you; for against your will were you formed, against your will were you born, against your will you live, against your will you will die, and against your will you will give an account and reckoning before the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
(Translation provided by Sefaria.org)

I don’t think I like “against your will” for עַל־כׇּרְחֲךָ. I think it should be more like “without your input,” “without consulting you.” It’s not that you didn’t want to live, die, etc. It’s more that you didn’t have any say in the matter. Your will had no play in the matter.

It’s also a rather long segment, but I think it’s one that might be worth committing to memory.
 
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Gryllus Maior:

We did chapter 29 in Ørberg today. Wow... First off, it’s a REALLY LONG chapter. Second, I cannot believe that I’ve gotten this far in Latin! I’m very pleased with my progress.

I’ve opened the Vulgate and read several passages recently. I think I’ll add it to my regular Bible reading, too, especially now that I’ve got all these texts on Logos! Did I mention that the package came with Metzger’s Textual Commentary, too? I’m still ecstatic. Spend much more time reading in Logos than I ever did before!
 

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I don’t think I like “against your will” for עַל־כׇּרְחֲךָ. I think it should be more like “without your input,” “without consulting you.” It’s not that you didn’t want to live, die, etc. It’s more that you didn’t have any say in the matter. Your will had no play in the matter.
You make a good point. :)

All translations are, after all, a form of commentary.
It reminds me of a dispute between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai on whether it was better that man was created or not:

"The Sages taught the following baraita: For two and a half years, Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel disagreed. These say: It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created. And those said: It is preferable for man to have been created than had he not been created. Ultimately, they were counted and concluded: It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created. However, now that he has been created, he should examine his actions that he has performed and seek to correct them. And some say: He should scrutinize his planned actions and evaluate whether or not and in what manner those actions should be performed, so that he will not sin." (Eruvin 13b)

So certainly there was an opinion among some if not all of the sages that man actually would have not wanted to have been created. Perhaps based on this Sefaria made their translation.
 
Gryllus Maior:

We did chapter 29 in Ørberg today. Wow... First off, it’s a REALLY LONG chapter. Second, I cannot believe that I’ve gotten this far in Latin! I’m very pleased with my progress.

I’ve opened the Vulgate and read several passages recently. I think I’ll add it to my regular Bible reading, too, especially now that I’ve got all these texts on Logos! Did I mention that the package came with Metzger’s Textual Commentary, too? I’m still ecstatic. Spend much more time reading in Logos than I ever did before!
Well, Good to hear, plus Latinae semper melius!
 
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