Readers have all kinds of reasons for preferring one Bible translation over another, but “hilarity” isn’t a standard often brought to bear. T-Rex and Utahraptor make an excellent case for the Wycliffe, and it’s not just about being able to say, “forsooth.”
I’m snowed under with unexpected emails from students and some other urgent tasks. But what can you do while I’m busy? Hm…
You eager beavers have already crashed the new online Sinaiticus site, rushing in like manuscript geeks to a manuscript (I’m too busy even to concoct a metaphor), so that’s out. [Later: It lives!]
Oh, just read popular Ph.D. Comics for a while. And scrounge for your lunch out of the fridge, I don’t have time to fix you something.
Holy Mackerel, Batman (sorry): The Book of Jonah is in comic form, with all of the Hebrew text. You can even put the font in Paleo-Hebrew if you want, or have it read out loud to you.
Students in Biblical Hebrew: I suggest you take the opportunity to try to read aloud from some unpointed biblical Hebrew, eh? Excellent practice. Here is a possible approach:
- Read the first several verses of Jonah 1 in your BHS or JPS Tanak. Read aloud, of course, as I ask that you always do.
- Repeat your reading until those verses feel comfortable.
- Go to the Jonah comic and read aloud the unpointed Hebrew there (play the cool legacy video game while you wait for it to load). Mouse-over the section you're reading to check it against the pointed text at the bottom of the screen, or if you like, check yourself against the recorded reading that the site offers.
- When you are doing well on the first several verses, repeat the process with a few more, until you complete at least Jonah 1-2.
For my part, I've been practicing reading from the Paleo-Hebrew text that the site offers. Good times! Reading unpointed Hebrew text forces you to ask yourself what you think you see, especially verb stems: the imperfect verb especially will be indistinguishable among the common stems in the consonantal text. Pronounce your words with real vowels (not just murmuring through, treating everything as shewa), and have fun.
H/T to Biblical Studies and Technological Tools.