The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is a key text in the study of Divinity and a deep understanding of this text is crucial for historical, theological, and narrative analysis. As the text is composed almost completely in Biblical Hebrew, knowledge of this ancient language is a vital tool for developing that deep understanding.
Main topics of the module include:
- The Hebrew alphabet, vocalisation, syllabification and tone, the definite article, the conjunction waw (units 1-4)
- Nouns (gender and number); Verb conjugations: qal qatal, yiqtol, wayyiqtol (5-8)
- Adjectives, demonstratives, the construct chain (formation and use) (9-13)
- Possessive suffixes, personal pronouns, suffixes on prepositions, cardinal numbers (14-18)
- Verb conjugations: qal weqatal, active participle, volitives, infinitives construct and absolute (19-23)
- The qal passive participle, stative verbs, ordinal numbers, object suffixes on verbs (24-27)
- Verbal stems: the nifal, hifil, hofal (27-29)
- Verbal stems: the piel, pual, hitpael (30-32)
- Weak roots: I/II/III-guttural, III-alef, III-he, I-alef (33-36)
- Weak roots: I-n, I-y/w, hollow, geminate; minor stems (37-40)
On successful completion of this module, you will be expected to be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
- Recall common Biblical Hebrew words, roots, and forms;
- Read and translate original texts in Biblical Hebrew, with the aid of a dictionary.
Intellectual and cognitive skills
- Conjugate strong and weak verbal roots in all verbal stems;
- Parse Biblical Hebrew words and analyse their morphology;
- Analyse common Biblical Hebrew syntactical structures.
Practical and transferable skills
- Memorise words and patterns;
- Be prepared to perform exegesis of Biblical texts with reference to the original language.
A 3-hour unseen written examination (100%).