Rabbi Eldon Clem, PhD
When I was 8 years old I fell in love with the Hebrew alphabet and the Torah, and since then I have fallen in love with the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, as well as various cognate languages, such as Arabic, Akkadian, and Ethiopic. All of these help me read my Bible much better, and if you take courses with me, you will understand why. I hold a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Comparative Semitics with a concentration in Hebrew and Aramaic, and am an ordained Orthodox rabbi. This means that I study the Bible from 2 different approaches: 1. as a religious believer; 2. as a scholar using the scientific method. The latter drives me to understand the text of the Bible in the light of its original geographical, cultural, and historical background. The former drives me to understand the Bible as God’s word to us. These twin approaches to the classical source texts inevitably means there is some tension between them, and I cannot always satisfy both tensions adequately, but that does not keep me from trying.
I am currently director of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Jerusalem University College - American Institute of Holy Land Studies, and some of you may want to come over here and join me live for classes here. My doctoral dissertation was on “The Peshitta Text of Hosea as a Translation.” I have published my translations of ancient Aramaic versions of the Torah and several other books of the Bible into English for Accordance Bible Software, soon to be published in hard copy by Baylor University Press. Every year I re-read my Torah in Hebrew alongside one of several languages, including Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, Classical Ethiopic, and Greek so as to get various perspectives from ancient translators.
I also am the owner and head instructor of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Kfar Etzion, where I teach Israelis how to defend themselves.
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