Self-Study Biblical Hebrew

Discussion in 'Languages' started by Peter Bell, Aug 14, 2019.

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  1. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman


    I'm about 2 weeks into self-studying Hebrew, I'm at the point where I can (very, very slowly!) pronounce Hebrew words (really only from Genesis 1:1-3).

    What resources have you used to study Hebrew? I take Hebrew next year at WSC, and the plan is to test out of it, as I did with Greek this year.

    What textbooks have you used, and online resources? I'm not looking to use online language tools, but just resources to learn how to translate and exegete on my own.

  2. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    I used Allen Ross for my own study. What you are aiming for can be done, you just have to be highly-disciplined in order to make this goal. I know a former student at Covenant Baptist who did it.
  3. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman


    It's rough, but profitable! Spending about 2 hours daily studying. We have that in the library, perfect!
  4. JP Wallace

    JP Wallace Puritan Board Sophomore

    We use Ross at our College as well - a really useful resource (which is related to Ross) is Animated Hebrew. Get the basics bedded in well - Hebrew has a steep learning curve but settles down to an easier gradient.
  5. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman


    That's what I've learned myself. Greek was far easier at the beginning, but increased in difficulty later. Hebrew is far harder at the beginning. Thanks for the advice!
  6. JP Wallace

    JP Wallace Puritan Board Sophomore

    Also if you plump for Ross this will be useful - Answer Keys to excercises. Ross doesn't have enough excercises so we augment him with "Clemens Supplementary Excercises for Introducing Biblical Hebrew - Ross."
  7. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman

    Looking through the website, this is gold! Exactly what I was looking for.
  8. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you!

    This is all exactly what I was looking for.
  9. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    We used Ross in seminary, as well.

    And I agree with what has been said here of the study of Hebrew. My Hebrew professor once told us that Hebrew is a language in which, while learning, you cry first and laugh later, whereas Greek is one in which you laugh first and cry later.
  10. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm looking forward to laughing!
  11. JP Wallace

    JP Wallace Puritan Board Sophomore

    We're starting our intensive month of Hebrew on the 27th August - much weeping ahead! :) Thankfully I've done the course a few years ago so actually looking forward to it. (Might learn more this time instead of weeping!)
  12. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    That supplement is a must. Excellent. I used it myself.
  13. Filter

    Filter Puritan Board Freshman

    I’m currently learning Hebrew to attempt to test out next year as well :) Per the suggestion of a former instructor, I got Hebrew I and II online through Calvin Seminary. I’m not sure how it stacks up compared to other resources since it’s the only one I’ve used, but so far it has been very helpful and informative.
  14. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    I really liked Basics of Biblical Hebrew by Pratico and Van Pelt.
  15. meanderingwanderer

    meanderingwanderer Puritan Board Freshman

    It partly depends on if you prefer deductive or inductive language learning/acquisition. I studied under Ross, so know his text well (he was one of my references for my ThM). Ross’ is a very good grammar. Also, had an independent Hebrew reading course with Pratico (ThM level) and have used that grammar. Some find it (along with the workbook) easier to navigate.
    I have several others on my shelf. I’d be happy to discuss any with you if it would be helpful to you.
    God bless!
  16. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't necessarily disagree with any of the recommendations so far, but I'd add the suggestion that you consider using the textbook they use at WSCAL (I expect it is Futato, but worth checking with Dr Estelle). "Testing out" of the languages is a worthy goal, but harder to do at Westminster than at most seminaries as we take the language component so seriously. It's not just a box to tick; it is the foundation for all serious theological study. If you don't make as much progress as you hope, you may well find that you are only able to test out of Hebrew 1, in which case being halfway through a different textbook could be confusing since they treat different topics in different orders.

    I like Futato; it's easily laid out for a beginning student and doesn't drown you with too much information, while avoiding lying too much (always a challenge in an introductory language text). The exercises all have answer keys.

    Learning a language on your own just from a book is daunting, especially one as different as Hebrew. I'd suggest looking for a tutor or as much online help as possible. On the other hand, even if you aren't able to test out of any classes, any prior familiarity you can gain with Hebrew - even just the alphabet and a few vocabulary words - will help enormously when you come to take classes.
  17. Peter Bell

    Peter Bell Puritan Board Freshman

    Dr. Duguid,

    Thanks for the words of wisdom. I had some Hebrew and Greek back in my undergrad. We used Van Pelt & Pratico then, and I believe WSC switched over the Van Pelt & Pratico as well.

    Trying to build a strong foundation, even if unable to test out of the course! Been translating and building on Greek since passing the placement test earlier this month. My goal is to intensely focus on the languages through my time at WSC!
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