Teaching & Learning Biblical Hebrew

Which Grammar Should I Use?


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Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I have been remiss in keeping up with my Hebrew (mostly because I did poorly in the class) and am in the process of refreshing my ability to use Hebrew. I have two Hebrew Grammar books at my disposal and am trying to figure out which one to use. Both works teach inductively.

The first is by Allen P. Ross called Introducing Biblical Hebrew


Second is by Page Kelley called Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar


If you have any advice as to which one I should use let me know.


Blessings and Thanks!

-----Added 3/23/2009 at 03:30:53 EST-----

:bueller:
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Benjamin,

I am not familiar with either of those; but, I would suggest making use of Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar as a good reference. It's freely available in pdf online. It's compact, and yet accurate and useful.

Edit
The above will not be useful by itself if you are looking for a "lesson book;" but it will serve as a useful supplement to one (and, of course, will be useful forever afterwards, as well)
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Benjamin,

I would recommend that you look into picking up a copy of Mark Futato's grammar. I studied Hebrew at two seminaries, and have looked over other grammars beside, and have found that Futato's layout, presentation of concepts, practice exercises, and the like make it a very accessible volume either for an intro or a brush up.

I would toss Gesenius as a refresher option if you found that you struggled with Hebrew to begin with.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
If one is turning to a grammar for the second time it is usually because the strictly grammatical approach hasn't worked, so I would suggest trying something more inductive, like Biblical Hebrew by Kittel, Hoffer, and Wright. If it all starts making sense fairly quickly then it won't take long to work through the whole book. It is also helpful in building up a familiarity with the language to take time at least once a week in consecutively working through an Old Testament text in the original with the help of a good commentary or two. Ruth is usually considered the best place to start.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
If one is turning to a grammar for the second time it is usually because the strictly grammatical approach hasn't worked, so I would suggest trying something more inductive, like Biblical Hebrew by Kittel, Hoffer, and Wright. If it all starts making sense fairly quickly then it won't take long to work through the whole book. It is also helpful in building up a familiarity with the language to take time at least once a week in consecutively working through an Old Testament text in the original with the help of a good commentary or two. Ruth is usually considered the best place to start.
I'm working through KHW's book now. Great stuff.

Theognome
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
There is an excellent little book called:

A Beginner's Handbook to Biblical Hebrew by John H. Marks and Virgil M. Rodgers. It is out of print (I believe), but there are copies available on Amazon HERE

This book combines an inductive and deductive method to approaching the study of the language. Contains complete paradigms and other valuable study helps.
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
Backwoods Presbyterian,

Both of these grammars are good. I used Ross when I was in undergrad. However, you do need to recognize that Ross has some drawbacks, imparticular the number of exercises per chapter. There are, quite simply, too few. Kelly is better in that regard, but, then again, Kelly also has been accused of overloading students with too much information all at once.

Also, some have suggested using Gesenius as a reference grammar. I have no objection. However, you also need to realize that Gesenius is badly outdated, and some of the things in Gesenius have been overturned by later finds, as well as the fact that many things from later finds have illuminated our understanding of the language that is not found in Gesenius. For example, when Gesenius was written we did not have Ugaritic, and we had a very limited corpus of Old Aramaic inscriptions. Also, our knowledge of Akkadian has grown as well. I would suggest supplementing these books with either Jouon-Muraoka, or Van Der Merwe.

God Bless,
Adam
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
I have been remiss in keeping up with my Hebrew (mostly because I did poorly in the class) and am in the process of refreshing my ability to use Hebrew. I have two Hebrew Grammar books at my disposal and am trying to figure out which one to use. Both works teach inductively.

The first is by Allen P. Ross called Introducing Biblical Hebrew


Second is by Page Kelley called Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar


If you have any advice as to which one I should use let me know.


Blessings and Thanks!

-----Added 3/23/2009 at 03:30:53 EST-----

:bueller:
I've had some Greek (Homeric and classical) but not koine. If I applied myself to Greek studies I could probably become proficient in a reasonable amount of time but Hebrew looks like a whole different world. How many people here despaired at the thought of learning Hebrew?
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
KS_Presby,

I've had some Greek (Homeric and classical) but not koine. If I applied myself to Greek studies I could probably become proficient in a reasonable amount of time but Hebrew looks like a whole different world. How many people here despaired at the thought of learning Hebrew?
I *loved* learning Hebrew. There were times, expecially in the third semester of undergrad in which it was tough, but, other than that, it has grown to be my favorite language.

Interestingly enough, I struggled in Greek. The New Testament wasn't bad [except for Luke/Acts, Peter, and Hebrews], but, when we got to the more difficult Greek texts such as Josephus and Plato, I was toast. The weird thing is, though, I loved Latin, and am doing ok in Akkadian, which many people say is harder than Greek.

God Bless,
Adam
 

Bookmeister

Puritan Board Freshman
I am at RTS Jackson studying under Miles Van Pelt and I have to say not only is his grammar in a league by itself, so is his teaching. I would not use any other grammar. The workbook that goes with it is full of excercises and the graded reader that would constitute a third semester of Hebrew is fantastic as well.
 

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
If one is turning to a grammar for the second time it is usually because the strictly grammatical approach hasn't worked, so I would suggest trying something more inductive, like Biblical Hebrew by Kittel, Hoffer, and Wright. If it all starts making sense fairly quickly then it won't take long to work through the whole book. It is also helpful in building up a familiarity with the language to take time at least once a week in consecutively working through an Old Testament text in the original with the help of a good commentary or two. Ruth is usually considered the best place to start.
This is what I used on my second attempt at Hebrew. Of course, during my first attempt I was working full time, going to seminary full time, and was married with two kids!

Factors aside, I liked round two a lot better than round one. Plus Dr. Murray's Hebrew course, which is free online, I believe (or I could mail you the DVD), follows this book to the T. Good stuff.
 

Scott Shahan

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am at RTS Jackson studying under Miles Van Pelt and I have to say not only is his grammar in a league by itself, so is his teaching. I would not use any other grammar. The workbook that goes with it is full of excercises and the graded reader that would constitute a third semester of Hebrew is fantastic as well.
:agree: Miles Van Pelt is awesome! Are class is also using his grammar, I also have the lectures of the grammar on my itunes... those lectures are worth the $80. I have listened to them many times over... I also find this to be of great help;

Online Hebrew

Shalom-
 

Scott Shahan

Puritan Board Sophomore
There are videos on Utunes of a free hebrew class from concordia... those are really helpful. there are like 30 classroom lectures to watch. You'll love em. :up:
Do have a link? I did a search and could not find it.
Go to the Itunes store, then go to itunesU, then go to "languages" and you will see the Concordia Seminary Hebrew class. there is no link to give but those directions will get you there..;)
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Factors aside, I liked round two a lot better than round one. Plus Dr. Murray's Hebrew course, which is free online, I believe (or I could mail you the DVD), follows this book to the T. Good stuff.
Thankyou; it will be very useful to direct someone to a free course to help in going through the book.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Are you confusing Page Kelley with Paige Patterson? Or are Southern Baptists in the habit of naming men "Page/Paige"? ;)
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
No Page Kelley taught at SBTS. So your second assumption is correct. Though I think the "Page" (cf: Shirley Guthrie, Lorianne Boettner, etc...) thing must be more common down South. For instance my youngest daughter if she was going to be a boy would have been named Shelby (after Shelby Foote of course). Which I am told is a girl's name.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
No Page Kelley taught at SBTS. So your second assumption is correct. Though I think the "Page" (cf: Shirley Guthrie, Lorianne Boettner, etc...) thing must be more common down South. For instance my youngest daughter if she was going to be a boy would have been named Shelby (after Shelby Foote of course). Which I am told is a girl's name.
What about Meredith Kline? :lol:

Seriously, Shelby is a popular name, I think, in certain areas of Tennessee. It's a well known last name, so sometimes men will carry that as a family name being passed down. I guess it's a way to do so on the matriarchal line.
 
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