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Unpointed (Ancient) Hebrew Reading Group: The Damascus Document (2022–23)

After making an inquiry about potential interest on Twitter, it seems a sufficient number of people would to be interested in doing an unpointed Hebrew reading group. So here are the details:

Who Is This For?

This reading group is intended for people who have little to no experience with reading unpointed Hebrew and would otherwise find the transition to unpointed texts difficult. This is therefore for people with some experience in Biblical Hebrew who are interested in learning how to read unpointed (ancient) Hebrew and who would benefit from someone guiding them through it. If you have fewer than two years experience in Biblical Hebrew this might be a bit too hard for you (though I wouldn't say you shouldn't try if you really want to!). If you know modern Hebrew, or if you already have a good deal of experience vocalising unpointed Hebrew, this reading group will probably be a bit too slow and too easy for you. (But again, I wouldn't say not to come join if you want to). The best way to learn how to read unpointed Hebrew is (in my opinion) just to take a stab at it with someone who can help you stumble through it.

What Will We Do?

We will be reading the Damascus Document (CD). Portions of this text were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and much larger portions found among the Cairo Genizah. We will be reading the version presented in Garcia Martinez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Study Edition. Don't worry if you do not have a copy; I will create PDF's of the Hebrew text for all of us to read. By 'reading' I mean that we will vocalise, translate (into English), and offer any interpretative thoughts on the text. We will set a section of text for each session and take turns vocalising and translating. If you would like to simply sit in without vocalising and translating, that is okay as well. Each session will be about 45–60 mins.

Please note that if you want to join this is not some sort of intense commitment. You may come or not come as you please!

When Do We Meet?

Monday 4pm BST (after 30th October: 4pm GMT, because daylight savings in the UK). First session will be 17 October.

Where Do We Meet?

Zoom! Though if you are in Exeter and would like to join in person, we could meet in a classroom with others on Zoom.

How Do I Join?

Send me an email: l.a.williams2 (at)

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