משפטים מהתנך

Helen White

Senior Member
Chinese - Taiwanese
Hi all,
I learn from the dictionary that משפטים means sentences and מהתנך means from the Good Book, so I understand משפטים מהתנך to be sentences from the Good Book, but I am not sure if it is correct. Does the Good Book refer to the Bible? So can I understand משפטים מהתנך to be Bible sentences? I need the help of you, a native speaker. Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.
 
  • Albert Schlef

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    You're right. But here are some clarifications:

    The word "תנך" indeed means the Bible. Some Christians fondly call this book "the good book", but we Jews don't.

    (Translating it as "the good book" may actually be a mistake, because the Christian Bible includes the New Testament, whereas "תנך", being a Jewish term, refers only to the so called "Old Testament".)

    (BTW, "תנך" is an acronym. Same way as NASA and CIA and FBI are acronyms. In English, acronyms are distinguished from real words by using UPPERCASE or dots (as in N.A.S.A.). In Hebrew, they're distinguished from real words by typing quotes before the last letter: תנ"ך. But for well-known words you can do without these quotes.)

    ‎"מהתנך" means "מן + ה + תנך", which means "from the Bible".

    "‎משפטים" indeed means "sentences". Sentences from the bible are often called "verses".

    I'd use the word "verses" (possibly "proverbs"), because the word "sentences" seems mundane: the speaker is probably not interested in just any sentence; He's interested only in sentences having some merit.

    So "משפטים מהתנך" means "verses/proverbs from the Bible".

    I would not translate it, to English, as "Bible sentences" because this phrase might be understood as "Biblical court rulings" (i.e., killing people for crimes). That's because "sentences" in English (AND "משפטים" in Hebrew) also means "verdicts".
     
    Last edited:

    Helen White

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwanese
    You're right. But here are some clarifications:

    The word "תנך" indeed means the Bible. Some Christians fondly call this book "the good book", but we Jews don't.

    (Translating it as "the good book" may actually be a mistake, because the Christian Bible includes the New Testament, whereas "תנך", being a Jewish term, refers only to the so called "Old Testament".)

    (BTW, "תנך" is an acronym. Same way as NASA and CIA and FBI are acronyms. In English, acronyms are distinguished from real words by using UPPERCASE or dots (as in N.A.S.A.). In Hebrew, they're distinguished from real words by typing quotes before the last letter: תנ"ך. But for well-known words you can do without these quotes.)

    ‎"מהתנך" means "מן + ה + תנך", which means "from the Bible".

    "‎משפטים" indeed means "sentences". Sentences from the bible are often called "verses".

    I'd use the word "verses" (possibly "proverbs"), because the word "sentences" seems mundane: the speaker is probably not interested in just any sentence; He's interested only in sentences having some merit.

    So "משפטים מהתנך" means "verses/proverbs from the Bible".

    I would not translate it, to English, as "Bible sentences" because this phrase might be understood as "Biblical court rulings" (i.e., killing people for crimes). That's because "sentences" in English (AND "משפטים" in Hebrew) also means "verdicts".
    Thanks to your help, I learn more about this phrase, Albert Schlef. Thanks for your detailed explanation.
     
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