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The Hebrew Bible, as the name implies, is primarily written in Hebrew Language (though there are a few sections written in Aramaic). The purpose of this short guide will be to provide students with the key resources in the grueling process of the acquisition of the language and provide tools to better utilize this skill.
Online Tools and Databases
This is an excellent site the quickly transliterates Hebrew input. The transliteration schemas of this website can be changed from SBL Academic, SBL General Purpose, and Brill Academic. This site also allows for customization.
Beginning Biblical Hebrew by Mark D. Futato
"Achieving the right balance of amount of information, style of presentation, and depth of instruction in first-year grammars is no easy task. But Mark Futato has produced a grammar that, after years of testing in a number of institutions, will please many, with its concise, clear, and well-thought-out presentation of Biblical Hebrew. Because the teaching of biblical languages is in decline in many seminaries and universities, Futato takes pains to measure the amount of information presented in each chapter in a way that makes the quantity digestible, without sacrificing information that is important to retain. The book includes exercises that are drawn largely from the Hebrew Bible itself." - Eisenbrauns
A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar by Christo H. J. van der Merwe; Jackie A. Naudé; Jan H. Kroeze
"This work is intended to serve as a user-friendly and up-to-date source of information on the morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of Biblical Hebrew verbs, nouns and other word classes (prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, modal words, negatives, focus particles, discourse markers, interrogatives and interjections). It also contains one of the most elaborate treatments of Biblical Hebrew word order yet published in a grammar. This reference grammar will be of service to students who have completed an introductory or intermediate course in Biblical Hebrew, and also to more advanced scholars seeking to take advantage of traditional and recent descriptions of the language that go beyond the basic morphology of Biblical Hebrew." - Sheffield Academic Press
The Cambridge Biblical Hebrew Workbook: Introductory Level by Nava Bergman
"This workbook can be used together with any elementary Biblical Hebrew grammar, by students at colleges, seminaries or universities. It applies many of the tools of modern language acquisition to make learning this classical language an active and inspiring process. Well-known Hebrew names are used as a pedagogical aid to memorising grammar and vocabulary. Original biblical texts are focused upon. The exercises are based on a stock of frequently used words which is gradually enlarged. The vocabulary and grammar learnt early on are regularly revised and reinforced in later exercises. The student is carefully guided through the exercises by means of boxed notes on key points. A key to the exercises is included. The translations provided follow the Hebrew text very closely. This workbook enables students to develop their understanding of the general systematic sound changes in Biblical Hebrew, progressively providing a stable foundation and deeper insight into the language." - CUP
Exegetical Gems from Biblical Hebrew by H. H. Hardy II
After spending countless hours studying Hebrew vocabulary, paradigms, and grammar, students may wonder how they can begin to reap the rewards of their hard work. H. H. Hardy II presents 30 grammatical concepts and their exegetical payoff to demonstrate the importance of learning Hebrew for interpreting the Old Testament. In the process, students will realize the practical value of what they have learned. This book is perfect for students looking to apply their Hebrew and for past students who wish to review the essentials of Hebrew grammar. - Baker Academic
Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar by E. Kautzsch; H. F. W. Gesenius
This is often considered the "standard" Biblical Hebrew grammar book. Though it has been updated various times it is often considered out-dated, and other grammars have arisen to take its place. However this should not be excluded from a student's reference library.
Grammatical Concepts 101 for Biblical Hebrew by Gary A. Long
"Many students have forgotten, or never learned, the basic grammatical concepts needed for studying Biblical Hebrew. Explanations of these concepts in Hebrew grammar textbooks are either too skimpy or too complex. Grammatical Concepts 101 for Biblical Hebrew fills this gap. In this complement to standard classroom grammars, veteran language instructor and Hebrew scholar Gary Long revisits English grammar in order to teach more effectively concepts that are specific to Hebrew." - Baker Academic
A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax by Bill T. Arnold; John H. Choi
"At the heart of biblical interpretation is the need to read the Bible's "syntax" (the way words, clauses, and sentences relate to each other). The growing demands on theological education have made it difficult for students of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) to master the intermediate-level skills required to interpret the syntax of the Bible's original language. A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax defines the fundamental syntactical features of the Hebrew Bible, and illustrates each feature with at least one example, extracted from the Bible itself and accompanied with English translation." - Cambridge University Press
Oath Formulas in Biblical Hebrew by Blane Conklin
"Oaths often employ formulaic, elliptical phrases. Therefore, it is necessary to gather together in one place as many of these formulas as possible so that the patterns, tendencies, and divergences may be seen within a larger matrix. Conklin’s study intriguingly compiles precisely these phrases and formulas in order to solve the mystery of interpreting Biblical Hebrew oath formulas." - Eisenbrauns
Pocket Dictionary for the Study of Biblical Hebrew by Todd J. Murphy
" If you are beginning your study of Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible, this pocket dictionary by Todd J. Murphy is for you. From ablative to zaqeph qaton, it defines the tangled terms that infest Hebrew textbooks, grammars and lexicons. Here is a book that will deliver you from the perils of the Piel and the thicket of metathesis. It is an indispensable glossary that will cut through that technical language--neither Hebrew nor English--that hovers like ground fog over the study and discussion of biblical Hebrew. Now you can devote more time to enjoying biblical Hebrew in all its richness." - InterVarsity Press
The Routledge Introductory Course in Biblical Hebrew by Lily Kahn
"The Routledge Introductory Course in Biblical Hebrew provides a comprehensive introduction to Biblical Hebrew language and texts. Combining a fresh and innovative approach with an in-depth treatment of the language, it presents the essentials of biblical grammar and vocabulary in an engaging and systematic way. Unlike other Biblical Hebrew courses, it is structured around a series of vibrant and memorable stories, with each story reinforced by grammar explanations, supportive exercises, and a concluding genuine biblical text. This coherent focus encourages students to engage with the text actively and facilitate their mastery of the language to the full." - Routledge
The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew by Francis I. Andersen
Anderson argues that "The Hebrew SENTENCE (Se) as the domain of inter-clausal relationships has not been studied systematically on a full scale since the volume on syntax in Eduard König's monumental grammar." He seeks to remedy the situation with this monograph thoroughly examining the sentence structure of the Hebrew Bible.
Williams' Hebrew Syntax by Ronald J. Williams; John C. Beckman
"Although the morphology and lexicon of Hebrew are reasonably well understood, its syntax has long been a neglected area of study. Syntax, the relationship of words to one another, forms, together with morphology, the material of grammar. Its relative importance varies according to the language considered. This is particularly true of word order, for when an inflected language loses its case endings, word order assumes many of the functions of the former cases. This outline by Professor Williams re-emphasizes the significance of word order in Hebrew. Developed over fifteen years in a formal course on Hebrew syntax at the University of Toronto, it treats the syntax of the noun, the verb, particles and clauses, with a selection of illustrative examples. Its contents are based on classical Hebrew prose, but some account is also taken of the deviations in later prose and poetry. In this new edition English translations have been provided for all Hebrew phrases and sentences, and the bibliography has been expanded." - University of Toronto Press
Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause by A. Mosak Moshavi; Adina Moshavi
"Moshavi’s study investigates word order in the finite nonsubordinate clause in classical Biblical Hebrew. A common marked construction in this type of clause is the preposing construction, in which a subject, object, or adverbial is placed before the verb. In this work, Moshavi formally distinguishes preposing from other marked and unmarked constructions and explores the distribution of these constructions in Biblical Hebrew. She carries out a contextual analysis of a sample (the book of Genesis) of preposed clauses in order to determine the pragmatic functions that preposing may express. Moshavi’s thesis is that the majority of preposed clauses can be classified as one of two syntactic-pragmatic constructions: focusing or topicalization." - Eisenbrauns
The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew by David J. A. Clines
The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew is a completely new and innovative dictionary. Unlike previous dictionaries, which have been dictionaries of biblical Hebrew, this is the first dictionary of the classical Hebrew language to include the Bible, Ben SIra, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and all the other known Hebrew inscriptions and manuscripts. This Dictionary covers the period from the earliest times to 200 CE. It lists and analyses every occurrences of each Hebrew word that occurs in texts of that period, with an English translation of every Hebrew word and phrase cited. Among its special features are: a list of the non-biblical texts cited (especially the Dead Sea Scrolls), a word frequency index for each letter of the alphabet, a substantial bibliography (from Volume 2 onward) and an English-Hebrew index in each volume.
Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics by Geoffrey Khan; Shmuel Bolozky; Gary A. Rendsburg; Aaron D. Rubin; Ora R. Schwarzwald; Tamar Zewi; Steven E. Fassberg
"The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day.
The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online features advanced search options, as well as extensive cross-references and full-text search functionality using the Hebrew character set....[T]he Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields." - Brill
Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament by Georg Fohrer; William Johnstone
“This book is an attempt to provide a handy tool in the study of biblical Hebrew for students and clergy who may find the larger dictionaries too expensive and cumbersome for daily use. Its purpose is to complement the larger works rather than to make them dispensable, and it aims to help readers in the 'straightforward translation of Old Testament texts.” J.G. Snaith
The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament Online by Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner
The third edition of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner’s Hebrew dictionary ‘The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament’ is widely acclaimed as the most up-to-date dictionary for the Old Testament and related literature in classical Hebrew and Aramaic and is now available online. The study edition has proven to be a valuable resource for scholars and students. Combining scholarly thoroughness with easy accessibility, the dictionary meets the needs of a wide range of users. The enormous advances that have taken place in the field of Semitic linguistics since the days of the older dictionaries of Classical Hebrew are well documented and assessed, as well as the often detailed discussions in modern Bible commentaries of words where the meaning is particularly difficult. Full text search and possibility to find conjugated verb forms in the context of their roots is particularly helpful to the new student. Specialist users will find here a wealth of bibliographical information on Old Testament exegesis.
The dictionary contains the complete vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible, extended with variants from the Oriental and Samaritan textual traditions, the Ben Sira fragments, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Old Testament Parsing Guide by Todd S. Beall; William A. Banks; Colin S. Smith
"There are many Old Testament Hebrew lexicons available today, yet none offer the accuracy, user-friendliness, or affordable price as the single volume Old Testament Parsing Guide. Formerly published in a highly regarded two volume set, this new edition of Old Testament Parsing Guide seeks to offer help to Hebrew students by addressing their major need-- the verbal system. With newly added vowel points, Old Testament Parsing Guide is easier to read and a more valuable Old Testament translation tool than ever." - B&H Publishing
Retrograde Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary by Kerstin Mayerhofer; Ruth Sander
"This volume provides scholars with a singular device for the reconstruction and decipherment of Jewish ancient and rabbinic manuscripts, as well as inscriptions. How to reconstruct what broke away? Which word was once attested where only few characters are left? Questions like these emerge from working on ancient texts, for example the scrolls of Qumran, and can be solved with the dictionary presented. All the words of the retrograde dictionary are arranged alphabetically, beginning with the last letter up to the first. The dictionary does not add translations or meanings of words in any language. This retrograde dictionary takes into account all the ancient Hebrew and Aramaic texts in form of scriptures, scrolls, seals, ossuaries and documents reported in Palestine and dating up to 135 A.D, as well as the Words of Ahikar and other texts from the island of Elephantine." - Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament by G. Johannes Botterweck; Helmer Ringgren; H. J. Fabry
This multivolume work is still proving to be as fundamental to Old Testament studies as its companion set, the Kittel-Friedrich "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament," has been to New Testament studies.The "TDOT" volumes present in-depth discussions of the key Hebrew and Aramaic words in the Old Testament. Leading scholars of various religious traditions (including Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Greek Orthodox, and Jewish) and from many parts of the world (Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States) have been carefully selected for each article by [the] editors . . .The intention of the writers is to concentrate on "meaning," starting from the more general, everyday senses and building to an understanding of theologically significant concepts. To avoid artificially restricting the focus of the articles, "TDOT" considers under each keyword the larger groups of words that are related linguistically or semantically . . . "TDOT'"s emphasis, though, is on Hebrew terminology and on biblical usage. The contributors employ philology as well as form-critical and traditio-historical methods, with the aim of understanding the religious statements in the Old Testament. Extensive bibliographical information adds to the value of this reference work.This English edition attempts to serve the needs of Old Testament students without the linguistic background of more advanced scholars; it does so, however, without sacrificing the needs of the latter."