Hebrew Nuggets, Lesson 6: Abba (Part 2)

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Abba is an Aramaic word meaning "the father." This word was borrowed by Hebrew speakers and used in the sense of "Daddy." In lesson six, the word Abba is used to teach another Hebrew letter.

Revised: 23-Aug-2015
A knowledge of Hebrew is central to understanding the Hebraic background of Jesus’ life and teaching. Previous installments of “Hebrew Nuggets” presented the three letters and three vowel symbols that form the name יֵשׁוּעַ (ye·SHU·a‘). In Lessons Six, Seven and Eight we will learn the two new letters and one new vowel symbol found in the word abba.

Hebrew NuggetsThe two letters that comprise the word abba, ’A·lef and bet, happen to be the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In Hebrew, the word for “alphabet” is alef-bet, which comes from coupling the names of these two letters.

The English word “alphabet” is derived from the names of the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta. Although Greek, the names of these letters sound like Hebrew. That is because the Greeks learned to write from the seafaring Phoenicians,[1] who spoke a Semitic language very similar to Hebrew. The Greeks borrowed their alphabet—its symbols and the names for its symbols—to write the sounds of the Greek language.

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In Lesson Seven we will learn the next letter of the word אבא. To read the next lesson, click here.

For the transliteration system used in this series, click here.

This article originally appeared in issue 6 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

  • [1] The Phoenicians belonged to the larger Canaanite people group.

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  1. Pingback: Hebrew Nuggets: Lesson 05 – Abba (Part 1) | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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