Teaching & Learning Biblical Hebrew

Discussion in 'Languages' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Allen P. Ross

  2. Page H. Kelley

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  1. Backwoods Presbyterian

    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-----

  2. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation


    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.

    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)
  3. westminken

    westminken Puritan Board Freshman

    We used Ross at WTS Dallas. It was useful for me. I am not familiar with Kelley so I can't say.
  4. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior


    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.
  5. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    I have the one with Van Pelt

    "Basics of Biblical Hebrew"
  6. MW

    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.
  7. Theognome

    Theognome Burrito Bill

    I'm working through KHW's book now. Great stuff.

  8. Presbyterian Deacon

    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.
  9. Hebrew Student

    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,
  10. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    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?
  11. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    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,
  12. Bookmeister

    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.
  13. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    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.
  14. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

    :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

  15. uberkermit

    uberkermit Puritan Board Freshman

  16. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

  17. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    OK, cool, van Pelt says "waw" not "vav." That's a plus (since I learned the former).
  18. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

  19. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

  20. Glenn Ferrell

    Glenn Ferrell Puritan Board Junior

    The Free Church of Scotland Continuing Seminary offers a free online Hebrew Course using KHW.

    Online Hebrew
  21. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

    The one question to ask always is, "Why is the Dagesh there?" :detective:
  22. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Do have a link? I did a search and could not find it.
  23. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

    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..;)
  24. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Thankyou; it will be very useful to direct someone to a free course to help in going through the book.
  25. Bookmeister

    Bookmeister Puritan Board Freshman

    He also says "Exegetical underwear" and "That'll save your bacon.":graduate:
  26. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Wow! Page Kelley. You never know when these Southern Baptists are going to pop up!
  27. puritanpilgrim

    puritanpilgrim Puritan Board Junior

  28. Marrow Man

    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"? ;)
  29. Backwoods Presbyterian

    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.
  30. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    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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