Intermediate Hebrew Training

Discussion in 'Languages' started by Eved, Feb 6, 2014.

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  1. Eved

    Eved Puritan Board Freshman

    Due to life circumstances I am forced to teach myself Biblical Hebrew with only a semester of training under my belt. I am wading through Beginning Biblical Hebrew by Mr. Mark D. Futato as it was my textbook the first semester. Does anyone have recommendations on a great book for the next level of Hebrew after the basics? Or is it simply my Biblia Hebraica and my Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the OT?

    Any help is appreciated. God Bless.
     
  2. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi Derek,
    You've done well to continue on on your own. Most people don't manage it, though Futato is definitely the best self-study text book.

    In terms of where do you go from here, I think there are a number of options. Pratico and Van Pelt have a Graded Reader of Biblical Hebrew, which guides you through some simple Biblical texts from all over the OT, with helpful notes. Of course, some of those notes are keyed to their beginning grammar, but you shouldn't find it difficult to use. Then from there, you could launch out onto books like Jonah or Ruth on your own (with a couple of commentaries that address grammatical issues - the tiny print part of the Word series is quite useful for that, though the quality of the commentaries themselves varies immensely). Narratives are much easier than poetry and stay away at first from post-exilic books like Esther, which have some Late Biblical Hebrew features.

    Another option, which I would do alongside what I just mentioned, is to work on writing Hebrew. It's an under-rated skill that hardly anyone learns in seminary any more, unfortunately, but it's where you really find out what you know and don't know. To work on that, I'd start with Weingreen's introductory grammar, which has English to Hebrew exercises (there are answer keys online). That would also give you a review of the grammar issues from a different author's perspective. Then move on to Weingreen's "Classical Hebrew Composition" (out of print but usually available second hand), which gives you made up texts that sound so like the KJV that you could preach on them in a liberal church and no one would know the difference, along with some notes to guide you. With Bible works, or similar, it would be easy to look up Biblical usage. That really helps to develop a sense of what "normal" Biblical usage is, so that you then notice where the Bible breaks away from that.

    Better still: find a pastor who really learned his Hebrew in seminary and ask if you can read the Bible together, looking up everything you don't understand. Maybe there is someone on the board who is not too far away from you.
     
  3. Rev. Todd Ruddell

    Rev. Todd Ruddell Puritan Board Junior

    I cut my Hebrew teeth on Weingreen. Highly recommended.
     
  4. Eved

    Eved Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you Pastor Duguid for your kindness and helpful recommendations. I have written them down for when the time is right. God Bless.
     
  5. GloriousBoaz

    GloriousBoaz Puritan Board Freshman

    This might be helpful, maybe not, maybe someone else has any more info on it. I tried a while back using this site to teach myself, but I got sidetracked and decided just to focus on Koine for a while. Hebrew for Christians - Learn Hebrew for FREE!
     
  6. Eved

    Eved Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks Peter. The website looks helpful.
     
  7. chatwithstumac

    chatwithstumac Puritan Board Freshman

    I've dedicated most of my language studies to Greek so far and have not started with Hebrew. However, I did pick up this book last year at a book fair: "Introduction To Hebrew" by Moshe Greenberg. Anyone heard of it/him?
     
  8. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I second Van Pelt's Graded Reader. If you have a decent vocabulary then this really helps a lot.
     
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Also, google "Hebrew Grammar PDF" and see what comes up. I found a lot of practice material and charts that way.
     
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