Bible.mp3!

19 02 2007

Thanks to the Academy of Ancient Languages, you can now turn your iPod into a ChaiPod!

That’s right: there is a website that features the entire Tanakh, chapter by chapter, as mp3. The best part is, it’s read by a man with a wonderful Eastern accent (Yemenite? Baghdadi? I can never tell) and he really knows how to differentiate both his עs and his אs, his חs and his כs. Well, no, the best bit is the fact that I can now sit on a bus and listen to the Hebrew Bible being read to me. I can look cool, in other words, but still secretly be a Bible-geek. It’s every man’s dream!

Much thanks, of course, to John F. Hobbins, without whom I may never have noticed this incredible resource. Now, to download them all…

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13 responses

20 02 2007
Conrad

Apparently a batch of Kant lectures are popular iPod downloads now. There’s also a complete Plato’s “Republic”. Can you imagine the Kant-Britney-Plato shuffle?

21 02 2007
S.

I can’t tell precisely what the accent is, but it’s quite different from Yemenite.

You can hear a sample of Yemenite reading of the the first verses of Genesis (with trope) here. If you follow with a Chumash you can really see the differences from all other spoken Hebrews: /w/ for vav, patah sound for patah and segol, /th/ for tav w/o dagesh, Ashkenazi-like qomatz etc.

21 02 2007
Simon Holloway

S: What a fascinating site! A mixture of Torah, halakha, and bizarre messianism (non-minted coins for the messianic era!). I found particularly humorous the list of contributions by men (dealing with masorah, the Rambam, divrei Torah) and the list of contributions by women (cooking recipes). In any case, I’m glad to now have an .mp3 file in my possession that provides me with a sample of the Yemenite pronounciation system. Thanks!

Conrad: There’s a website from which you can purchase those sorts of lectures: they have some really good ones (including an introduction to Genesis by Prof. Rendsburg that looks promising). As for the “Kant-Britney-Plato shuffle”: is this a reference to the random mixing of their tracks, or a new type of dance move? I would pay to see it, whichever of the two it is.

22 02 2007
Conrad

I was thinking of the former, but now you mention it. . .

25 02 2007
tikkiro

Some consider there is benefit to be had in listening to Hebrew scripture regardless of whether you can understand it or not, but I must admit I do prefer having some knowledge of the context of the text at least – just wish my biblical Hebrew was a bit more up to speed – perhaps a nudge to challenge me to relearn it once more :)

25 02 2007
Simon Holloway

Yes, I have encountered this perspective before – particularly in relation to Psalms. The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Yosef Yitzkhaq Schneersohn) was once asked why he was always reciting them. He answered, saying that if one had any inkling of the supernal effect their recitation was having, they would never stop reciting them.

Why don’t you check out the JPS translation? It is considered to be an academic, rather than a sectarian, translation and it has the benefit of having the Hebrew alongside the English. Makes listening to the .mp3 files a lot easier if you have a means of reading along!

And nice blog, by the way: very attractively set out!

26 02 2007
tikkiro

“Why don’t you check out the JPS translation?”

Can you point me in the right direction to find that – new one to me :). Appreciate your encouragement on my blog too – thanks.

27 02 2007
Joel Nothman

The same MP3 recordings are available on the Snunit web site, and linked from the Mechon-Mamre web site. I found them a while ago and made the resource available in my Bibref. The copyright belongs to the United Bible Society, 1976, according to M-M. And the reader just sounds like a careful Modern Hebrew pronunciation, although likely of Oriental background.

As to Yemenite, /w/ for waw and /θ/ for taw are also pronounced by a number of other communities (some Iraqis, etc). Yemenite nonetheless does have a distinctive set of vowels and dzhimel/ghimmel. There is also dhaleth, t’eth and s’ade, but at least the first (if not all) has some presence in other Mizrahi dialects.

While the JPS is good for readability, and is known also for maintaining a reasonably academic approach, even in your presence we have found strangely rough translations…

27 02 2007
Simon Holloway

Joel: Thanks for the info regarding the pronounciation of our anonymous reader! I never was too strong on Masorah, and find that I don’t spot the differences between different reading traditions as well as I might like to. As for JPS, yes I have found numerous strange translations, but there is no other translation that I know of that accurately conveys the Hebrew in every instance. For that, one needs the Hebrew itself. My recommendation was merely related to the fact that the JPS features the Hebrew alongside the English, and is a far more professional undertaking than any other bilingual edition that I know.

Tikkiro: The easiest way is to probably have a look at it online. To that end, you probably don’t even need to order it in; from memory, they have a website from which you can find individual chapters and view them in both Hebrew and English. Good luck!

16 08 2007
LUIS

I only will be thanksfull if you say me where may I find the mp3 no pay in aramic audio to download. that God bless you thanks

3 02 2009
Yohannan varughese

Dear sir, Could you please send an mp3 audio of Hebrew bible verse genesis 3.14 what word is using instead of ‘curse’.

7 02 2009
Simon Holloway

Yohannan, I am not sure if I understand your question. The word used is ארור, which is a passive participle (ie: it is in the passive and is functioning adjectivally) of the root √ארר, which means “curse”.

31 03 2014
ReuvenH

Terrific resource… I still like to see differentiation between the Tzeire and the Segol, but I understand that tradition does not make much (if any) distinction.

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