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Biblical Hebrew

Biblical Hebrew

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Published by Witan00
Biblical Hebrew textbook. Released under Creative Commons.
Biblical Hebrew textbook. Released under Creative Commons.

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Published by: Witan00 on Dec 24, 2009
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11/25/2013

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Biblical Hebrew
A Student Grammar 
 Ruth 1, the Aleppo Codex (10th c. C.E.)
www.aleppcodex.org
John A. Cook Robert D. Holmstedt
 
 Biblical Hebrew: A Student Grammar (Draft Copy)
© 2009 by John A. Cook and Robert D. HolmstedtAll rights reserved.
 
Preface
 Purpose
This textbook is intended for a university classroom. It is divided into thirty lessons,corresponding to the typical thirty-week academic year. Following the sequence of lessons will provide the average student with a cutting-edge understanding of ancient Hebrew grammar andwill enable the student to read both prose passages and less complex poems from biblical andnon-biblical texts. Additionally, the textbook introduces the student to the standard BiblicalHebrew lexicon
1
and includes an appendix on the Masoretic “accents,which may beincorporated into the sequence of lessons at whatever point the instructor desires.Because of the variety of first-year biblical Hebrew textbooks currently available, it is worth briefly noting what this textbook is
not 
: it is not a reference grammar; it is not meant to be usedwithout supplementation from the instructor; it is not meant for self-study; it is not theologicallyoriented. What this textbook does
not 
do represents fairly well the character of almost everyother available textbook, and thereby indicates that there exists a significant lacuna in the worldof Hebrew textbooks. This textbook is intended to fill this hole.
 History
The genesis of this introductory textbook for ancient Hebrew lies in the experience of the twoauthors in teaching first-year biblical Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin as graduateinstructors, from 1996 to 2002. The desire for “something different” was born early in this period, after dissatisfaction with the out-datedness of Weingreen
2
(which, in many ways, has yetto be surpassed in terms of pedagogy as a
classroom
textbook) and outright frustration with thelack of pedagogical awareness in Kelley,
3
Seow,
4
and Kittel,
5
to name the most prominenttextbooks then on the market. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” as the proverb goes, and, asin the case of most textbooks, eventually we decided that it was time to develop “somethingdifferent” ourselves. As we continued to teach Hebrew after Wisconsin, we clarified the focusfor our project and we identified two primary objectives: classroom pedagogy and a firmlinguistic foundation.
 Design Objectives
Our concern for classroom pedagogy is based on the simple observation that many of thetextbooks on the market provide the student with entirely too much information. We foundourselves instructing our students to skip entire sections in some of the textbooks we used. Notonly is this frustrating for instructor and student alike, it both establishes an underlying tension between the instructor and the textbook and creates a sense of distrust in the often expensivetextbook the student was required to purchase for the course. Clearly, we needed a textbook that
1
Brown, F., S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs. [1906] 1979.
The New Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon
. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
2
Weingreen, J. 1939.
 A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew
. Oxford: Oxford University. [2
nd
edition,1959 and 1967]
3
Kelley, P. H. 1992.
 Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar 
. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
4
Seow, C.-L. 1987.
 A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew
. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. [Revised edition, 1995]
5
Kittel, B. P., V. Hoffer, and R. Abts Wright. 1989.
 Biblical Hebrew: A Text and Workbook 
. New Haven, CN.:Yale University. [Revised edition, 2005]

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