What Hebrew Transliteration format should I use.

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BobFar | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 5 2014 7:35 AM

Hello. I cannot read Hebrew and want to choose a good transliteration format that I can use to copy into papers I write. I would like the format to be something that can be easily stated in a sermon or paper.

Should I just leave it to the default format: Scientific? What are the differences in the other formats?

Posts 11222
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 5 2014 8:52 AM

Bobby, I'm just bumping this back to the top.

But I'd assume the anwer would likely be relative to your audience ... your sermons or readers of your papers.  If it's like most congregations, etc, the format used by Strongs is going to confuse people the least. The more technical formats are going to quickly be an issue for those not familiar with hebrew.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 20
BobFar | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 5 2014 9:11 AM

This is illustrates my problem. What are the differences between the formats? Which one is the more technical? Which one has an output like Strongs? I tried to research this on Logos and even outside, but my googlefu must be weak because I could find no information.

Posts 11222
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 5 2014 10:09 AM

Well, I'm primarily popping your question up to the top, in the case that there's an official answer.  

My impression through the years, is that it's a resource-specific issue.  I included a group below to illustrate. The more technical lexicons (e.g. HALOT don't transliterate or not predictably) and so I didn't include below.

For non-Hebrew readers and illustrations in a sermon (again a congregation not familiar), I'd use the Strongs, and the version relative to pronouncing (e.g. eloheem).   Now, a more normal answer would be 'elohim' (typical for those already having some hebrew), which for non-Hebrew-ists  will quickly be pronounced wrong.  The contra to my preference, is that anyone seeing 'eloheem' and wanting to 'look it up' quickly won't find it (typically Strongs).  They'd want 'Elohim'.

And then if you look at Swanson, TWOT, and TLOT, they use a transliteration approach more technical, but demanding specialized fonts.  Finally, if you move into specific volumes that involve hebrew, the transliteration can get pretty detailed which often is relative to manuscript differences for non-hebrew-ist readers.

..

It really depends on your target audience.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 8648
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 5 2014 10:34 AM

Bobby Farris Jr:
want to choose a good transliteration format that I can use to copy into papers I write.

Denise is right, this is a resource specific issue. 

There are some "official" transliteration schemes such as SBL, but I've seen various grammars suggest different schemes.  

If you're writing papers for a seminary - they probably have a prefered transliteration format - check with your professor.  

Otherwise, I see no reason not to find one you can comprehend and stick with it.

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 2187
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 5 2014 11:44 AM

Bobby Farris Jr:

Hello. I cannot read Hebrew and want to choose a good transliteration format that I can use to copy into papers I write. I would like the format to be something that can be easily stated in a sermon or paper.

Should I just leave it to the default format: Scientific? What are the differences in the other formats?

I would suggest copy and paste from resources you are quoting. Trying to communicate a language you do not understand can lead to disaster.

illustration. The Greek word for "father" is πατρὸς. One person transliterated the Greek letters of the English sounds as φαθερ which is gibberish to anybody who knows Greek. The problem came when he showed the large tattoo on his back to a visiting preacher. The young man asked the visiting professor "What's the problem? Don't you recognize the Lord's Prayer?" His entire back was covered in this "Greek" gibberish.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 13407
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 5 2014 12:04 PM

Here are examples of Genesis 1:1 in the various formats:

  • Scientific: be rē(ʾ)·šîṯʹ bā·rā(ʾ)ʹ ʾ ě lō·hîmʹ ʾēṯʹ hǎš·šā·mǎʹ·yim w e ʾēṯʹ hā·ʾāʹ·rěṣ
  • SBL Academic: bĕrēʾšît bārāʾ ʾĕlōhîm ʾēt haššāmayim wĕʾēt hāʾāreṣ
  • SBL General: bereshith bara elohim eth hashamayim weeth haarets
  • SBL General with Glottal Stops: bereshith bara 'elohim 'eth hashamayim we'eth ha'arets
  • Simplified: bereshith bara elohim eth hashshamayim we'eth ha'arets

The differences are mainly to do with the balance between accuracy and simplicity.

Personally, if you don't know Hebrew, I'd go with SBL General with Glottal Stops or Simplified. Otherwise, you've got to know the difference in pronunciation between a, ǎ and ā to make it worthwhile.

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