Review on the Philological Impact of Biblical Hebrew on the English Language

Authors: Gloria Wiederkeher Pollack


Section : Review Article

Published Date : Aug 25, 2021


This study focuses on the extensive but unacknowledged influence of biblical Hebrew on Western languages, especially English. My contention that biblical Hebrew has contributed towards molding our language, enhancing it with added depth and merit was the motivating force to pursue this work and hopefully will constitute a creative contribution to diachronic linguistics. As a student of Hebrew and the Bible I sought to detect the more precise and earlier source for words, expressions, and phrases that, rooted in the Bible, encompass inspiring historical, ideological, and philosophical concepts. Attention is also given to historical factors that have accounted for the influence of Hebrew on the Greek language, on the Latin language of Roman rule and on the languages of lands of the Roman Empire before and after the dispersion of 70. My findings are mostly arranged in categories that span our speech, ranging from the mundane to the sublime, from which these excerpts are cited. The concluding section of the article browses selected interrelated vocabulary of the Western languages, and their correspondent biblical precedents. Several examples are chosen for this mini review.