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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins with a brief linguistic sketch of the Hebrew and Aramaic of the Bible. It then focuses on the inherent difficulty of ascertaining meaning in the Hebrew Bible (or, in the Christian tradition, the Old Testament, without the deutero-canonical, or apocryphal, books), from both a textual and a linguistic perspective. The lens through which the issue is viewed is mainly that of translations, in particular the most important of the ancient versions, the Old Greek (more loosely, the Septuagint, or LXX, much of which was completed in the late third and second centuries BCE), but also other ancient versions and modern translations.

Keywords: Hebrew, Aramaic, Bible, linguistics, translation

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