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Winter 2012/Phoenix

Winter 2012/Phoenix




LG502B: BEGINNING HEBREW. Chris Schutte.



DESCRIPTION: This course provides an introduction to biblical Hebrew. Students will gain a basic understanding of the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of biblical Hebrew and begin developing translation skills necessary for biblical exegesis.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Interpreting the Bible in a critically responsible and faithful way is vitally important in guiding our lives together as Christians, and in whatever ministry God calls us to. The ability to read, translate, and analyze the text of the Bible in its original languages greatly enhances our search to discern God's message to us. With a basic understanding of the Hebrew language, the Old Testament comes alive in new ways and allows us to open ourselves to more of what God may be saying to us through God's word.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completing this course, the student will demonstrate the ability to (1) read aloud from the Hebrew Bible; (2) write legibly in a standard Hebrew script; (3) recognize and use high-frequency vocabulary of biblical Hebrew; (4) identify basic word forms, grammatical structures, and syntax; (5) translate short passages from the Hebrew Bible using a standard lexicon and other tools.


COURSE FORMAT: Ten weekly meetings from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm to provide 35 in-class hours. Class time will consist of lecture, reading, and translating from the Hebrew Bible, translation exercises, quizzes, and tests. Attendance is very important for successfully completing this course and towards acquiring the skill of reading biblical Hebrew. Students should expect to spend at least two hours of outside preparation/homework for every hour of class time.



Brown, F., S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, with an appendix, containing the Biblical Aramaic. Hendrickson, 1996 [1906]. ISBN: 9781565632066 ($34.95).

Elliger, K., and W. Rudolph. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 5th ed. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997. ISBN: 978-3438052223 ($39.99).

Green, Jennifer S., G. Brooke Lester, and Joseph F. Scrivner. Handbook to A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. Nashville: Abingdon, 2005. ISBN: 978-0687008346 ($16.00).

Seow, C. L. A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. Revised Edition. Nashville: Abingdon, 1995. ISBN: 9780687157860 ($40.00).


See also the Biblical Division bibliography ĎLinguistic and Exegetical Books Required in the Master of Divinity ProgramË available online and in the Academic Advising office.



Chisholm, Robert B., Jr. From Exegesis to Exposition: A Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew. Baker, 1998. ISBN: 9780801021718 ($28.00).

Jočon, P., and T. Muraoka. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblio, 1991. ISBN: 9788876536298 (Fuller price: $80.00).

Gesenius, W., and E. F. Kautzsch, et al. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar. 2nd. ed. Clarendon, 1963 [1910]. ISBN: 9780198154068 (Fuller price: $69.95).

Tucker, W. Dennis, Jr. Jonah: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text. Baylor University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9781932792669 ($24.95).

Williams, Ronald J. Hebrew Syntax: An Outline. 3rd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780802094292 ($27.95).

Recommended Resource:

Van Pelt, Miles V. Old Testament Hebrew Vocabulary Cards. Zondervan, 2004. ($17.99). [Van Pelt's cards are keyed to Seow's text (you may have to re-sort them). Of course, making your own set of vocabulary cards provides additional writing practice and may help you learn the words better.]



1.     Attendance and Participation (5%)

2.     Homework (15%)

3.     Hebrew Text Presentation (5%)

4.     Quizzes (Vocabulary and Grammar) (25%)

5.     Two Tests (25%)

6.     Final exam (25%)

PREREQUISITES: None, no audits.


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: The course meets MDiv core requirement in Hebrew (HEB).