ובאגמאע מן דכר
אן טריקה ארץ ישראל הי אלאצל
והי אלדי יסמונהא אלקראן אלטבראני
(אבו אלפרג̇ (הדאיה אלקאר
Abū al-Faraj (Hidayat al-Qari) - 11th century
And it is held by consensus among those (diaspora Jewish communities) just mentioned
that the way (i.e., reading tradition) of the Land of Israel is the original
and it is what has come to be known as 'The Tiberian Reading'
The vocalization (vowel) signs found in most modern Hebrew Bibles ultimately go back to a group of Hebrew scholars from the early Islamic period who were based in the city of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This group has come to be known as the 'Tiberian Masoretes'. Despite the fact that they were the tradents of the most prestigious Biblical Hebrew reading tradition of the Middle Ages, their reading tradition eventually faded out of use. TiberianHebrew.com exists to provide a pronunciation guide for those desiring to hear, understand, and use the Tiberian Hebrew reading tradition themselves based on the medieval sources and the most recent advances in modern scholarship.
The Tiberian tradition, however, was not the only pronunciation tradition of Biblical Hebrew that existed in antiquity or in the medieval period. For that reason, we also make a point on TiberianHebrew.com to educate the user regarding some of the other reading traditions attested throughout history. In the ancient period, these include the Hebrew tradition reflected in the Greek transcriptions of Origen's Secunda and the Hebrew tradition reflected in the Latin transcriptions of Jerome. In the medieval period, these include the Babylonian, Palestinian, and Samaritan reading traditions of Biblical Hebrew.
This site is dedicated to Geoffrey Khan (Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge), who has advanced the field of Tiberian Hebrew studies significantly over the past few decades. Much of the content here is either based on or inspired by his work and research.*
*Views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not imply any endorsement on the part of Prof. Khan unless explicitly cited or quoted.
Although we regularly mention, quote, and interact with the primary medieval sources on Tiberian Hebrew, we are greatly indebted to Geoffrey Khan (Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge) for the extensive work he has done on the Tiberian Hebrew reading tradition over the past several decades. His research forms the basis for the reconstructed pronunciation used on this website. His description of Tiberian Hebrew is available as an open access publication (downloadable) online or as a low-cost hard copy:
א:א | אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי־הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר ׀ לֹ֥א הָלַךְ֮ בַּעֲצַ֪ת רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים וּבְדֶ֣רֶךְ חַ֭טָּאִים לֹ֥א עָמָ֑ד וּבְמוֹשַׁ֥ב לֵ֝צִ֗ים לֹ֣א יָשָֽׁב׃
א:ב | כִּ֤י אִ֥ם בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָ֗ה חֶ֫פְצ֥וֹ וּֽבְתוֹרָת֥וֹ יֶהְגֶּ֗ה יוֹמָ֥ם וָלָֽיְלָה׃
א:ג | וְֽהָיָ֗ה כְּעֵץ֮ שָׁת֪וּל עַֽל־פַּלְגֵ֫י מָ֥יִם אֲשֶׁ֤ר פִּרְי֨וֹ ׀ יִתֵּ֬ן בְּעִתּ֗וֹ וְעָלֵ֥הוּ לֹֽא־יִבּ֑וֹל וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה יַצְלִֽיחַ׃
א:ד | לֹא־כֵ֥ן הָרְשָׁעִ֑ים כִּ֥י אִם־כַּ֝מֹּ֗ץ אֲֽשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶ֥נּוּ רֽוּחַ׃
א:ה | עַל־כֵּ֤ן ׀ לֹא־יָקֻ֣מוּ רְ֭שָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט וְ֝חַטָּאִ֗ים בַּעֲדַ֥ת צַדִּיקִֽים׃
א:ו | כִּֽי־יוֹדֵ֣עַ יְ֭הוָה דֶּ֣רֶךְ צַדִּיקִ֑ים וְדֶ֖רֶךְ רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֹּאבֵֽד׃
THE TEAM BEHIND
Benjamin P. Kantor is a postdoctoral researcher in Biblical Hebrew philology at the University of Cambridge. He specializes in the phonology of the Biblical Hebrew reading traditions of the Roman and Byzantine periods.
A.Z. Foreman is a translator and poet who has been obsessed with languages and literature since the age of 10. He is self-taught in many of the languages he translates, though he also holds a bachelors degree in linguistics from the University of Chicago, and a masters degree in Arabic from the University of Maryland.