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Foundations in Biblical Hebrew

DT2002

This module offers translation, grammar (including parsing of words and phrases), and exegesis of a set portion of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.

Topics covered

  • The Hebrew Alphabet
  • The Hebrew vowels
  • Open and closed syllables, weak and strong dagesh, vocal and silent sheva
  • The gutturals, the definite article, maqqef
  • Prepositions
  • Vav conjunction
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Pronouns
  • Construct state
  • Pronominal suffixes
  • Roots and stems
  • Qal perfect weak verbs, Qal perfect plus vav, the interrogative, numerals
  • Qai imperfect strong and weak verbs: Jussive and cohortative
  • Vav consecutive
  • The remaining stems (strong and weak verbs)
  • Pronominal suffixes on verbs
  • The imperative forms

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate recognition and knowledge of the basics of Biblical Hebrew grammar with reference to the set chapters
  • Demonstrate a basic and systematic ability to study the Old Testament in its original language
  • Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the Hebrew Bible and the problems of translation
  • Show an awareness of the intricacies and challenges of interpreting the text
  • Conduct basic parsing and translation of grammatical forms
  • Undertake further courses in the exegesis of the Hebrew Bible with the aid of reference grammar books and lexicons
  • Select and organise material from a range of primary and secondary sources
  • Manage their own learning, including working effectively to deadlines
  • Progress to more advanced Biblical Hebrew grammar and language courses

Assessment

Three-hour examination.

Indicative reading list

  • Kelley, Page H. Biblical Hebrew: an introductory grammar. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans publishing company, 1992) [ISBN 0802805981].
  • Kelley, Page H., Terry L. Burden and Timothy G. Crawford. A handbook to Biblical Hebrew an introductory grammar. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans publishing company, 1994) [ISBN 080280828X].
  • Pratico, Gary D. and Miles V. Van Pelt. Basics of Biblical Hebrew grammar. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2007) second edition [ISBN 13: 9780310270201; ISBN 10: 0310270200].
  • Pratico, Gary D. and Miles V. Van Pelt. Basics of Biblical Hebrew workbook. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2007).
  • Brown, F., S. Driver and C. Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996)
  • The critical edition of the set text (Genesis 42–45) taken from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia