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Archive for the 'Hebrew Resources' Category

A Brief Note on Fonts for Biblical Studies

14th July 2009

I just wrote a page for my new website on Hebrew and Greek fonts for students and scholars.  Until my new website goes live, the link to the article is http://biblical-studies.ca/codex/biblical-fonts.html; once my new site is live (which I hope is soon), then the link should be http://biblical-studies.ca/biblical-fonts.html.

Let me know what you think.


Posted in Fonts, Greek, Hebrew, Hebrew Resources, Software | 2 Comments »

Some New Hebrew Resources

16th July 2008

I have re-written parts of and updated my “Mastering Biblical Hebrew” page over at Codex. Some of the more significant changes include the following:

Hebrew Bibles

In the Hebrew Bible section I have now included Biblia Hebraica Quinta project. As most of my readers are probably aware, BHQ is the new critical edition of the Hebrew Bible that is being produced under the auspices of the United Bible Societies. It follows in the tradition of BHS and BHK before it, with some exceptions. One change in approach that I am not entirely in favour of is the new policy against conjectural emmendations (i.e., a proposed reading that does not have external textual support, but does have intrinsic probability). While I am not a big fan of conjectural emendations (although I have always found the plethora suggested by Driver to be at the very least entertaining), they have a place in the practice of textual criticism. There are some places in the Hebrew Bible where the MT doesn’t make sense and other texts do not help. This is when a good text critic will suggest an emendation. At any rate, there are currently three fascicles available:

  • Biblia Hebraica Quinta, fasc. 18 – General Introduction and Megilloth (Gen. ed. Adrian Schenker et al.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2004). This was the first fascicle of BHQ available. The editors of the individual biblical books are Jan de Waard (Ruth), Piet B. Dirksen (Song of Songs/Canticles), Yohanan A. P. Goldman (Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth), Rolf Schäfer (Lamentations), and Magne Sæbø (Esther). Buy from Amazon.caBuy from Amazon.com
  • Biblia Hebraica Quinta, fasc. 20 – Ezra-Nehemiah (ed. David Marcus; Gen. ed. Adrian Schenker et al.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006). Buy from Amazon.caBuy from Amazon.com
  • Biblia Hebraica Quinta, fasc. 5 – Deuteronomy (ed. Carmel McCarthy; Gen. ed. Adrian Schenker et al.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2007). Buy from Amazon.caBuy from Amazon.com

Another new Hebrew Bible of sorts has just been published by Zondervan:

This is a nice leather-bound version of the Hebrew Bible (based on Leningrad, minus the critical apparatus) with a variety of additional helps, including form-specific glosses of all Hebrew words occurring 100 times or less (twenty-five or less for Aramaic words). It also helpfully shades proper names that occur less than 100 times. I’m sure this last feature will save beginning students countless hours of frustration since they won’t be trying to parse a proper name. Looks great for the beginning student or anyone who is rusty with their Hebrew vocabulary.

Hebrew Grammars

I have reworked my discussion of Hebrew grammars, distinguishing between reading grammars and reference grammars and including a number of new resources.

Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible

A new series of reading guides to the Hebrew text that deserves highlighting is The Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible series. This series guides the reader through individual books of the Hebrew Bible (or significant sections thereof) underscoring its grammatical and syntactic features, typically with reference to modern linguistic approaches. There are currently three volumes available:

Tucker‘s handbook on Jonah is perhaps the most accessible for students who have completed a year of biblical Hebrew. He includes a translation of the book of Jonah followed by clause-by-clause and word-by-word syntactic analysis. Tucker’s discourse analysis follows in the tradition of Rocine and Longacre. I would think this Handbook would be ideal for second year students who want to work through Jonah on their own, though I am almost considering using it near the end of my first year Hebrew class when we typically work through Jonah (I think it may be too much; it would probably be better to use it in a third semester class where the students have already translated Jonah in order to introduce discourse analysis).

Bandstra‘s volume on Genesis 1-11 takes a different and somewhat unique approach to the text — and it  isn’t for the faint of heart. Bandstra introduces students to functional grammar through and in-depth analaysis of the opening chapters of Genesis. The 40-page introduction to functional grammar in and of itself is worth the book’s price. I had a chance to work through the manuscript prior to its publication and found the functional approach both intriguing and fruitful. I would recommend this work for more advanced students and scholars.

Williams’ Hebrew Syntax

Finally, one other grammar I want to highlight is John C. Beckman’s thorough revision and expansion of R.J. William’s Hebrew Syntax: An Outline.

This is a major revision and expansion of Williams’ Hebrew Syntax. While the new edition preserves the best of the second edition (at least based on my comparisons thus far), Beckman makes it far more useful for students and scholars alike. Students will like the interlinear translations of examples and everyone will benefit from the expanded definitions, improved organization, the cross references to other major grammars, and the new layout. Another useful resource connected with this grammar is a companion website that includes, among other things, a detailed outline (see HebrewSyntax.org).  This edition marks a significant improvement  that will ensure Williams’ Syntax remains a valuable grammar for years to come.

I encourage you to take a look at my updated “Mastering Biblical Hebrew” page and let me know of any errors or omissions.


Posted in Codex Updates, Hebrew, Hebrew Grammar, Hebrew Resources | 2 Comments »

Hobbins’s Helpful Hebrew Verbal System

26th March 2008

Just a short note to follow up on my previous post, How to Teach Introductory Classical Hebrew, which highlighted some recent discussions of how to teach Biblical Hebrew with reference to the verbal system. It appears that John Hobbins over at his Ancient Hebrew Poetry held a little “Hebrew Verb” soirée a few weeks back. His recent post, “The Verbal System of Ancient Hebrew: A Postscript,” provides a brief summary of his take on the issue and links to the previous discussion.

As I am thinking of textbooks for introductory classical Hebrew for next fall, I am really tempted to choose a different grammar. I have used Kittel for a decade with increasing frustration (especially with the supposed “fully revised” second edition which didn’t fix any of the major issues with it!), so I am thinking that it is time for a change.  The question is, what introductory textbook should I use?


Posted in Hebrew Grammar, Hebrew Resources | 1 Comment »

Biblical Hebrew Dictionaries and More

25th February 2007

John Hobbins over at Ancient Hebrew Poetry has a good post highlighting the top Dictionaries of Biblical Hebrew. He notes the same major Hebrew-English lexicons that I discuss in my “An Annotated Bibliography for Mastering Biblical Hebrew,” but also helpfully notes some non-English dictionaries such as Meyer and Donner (Hebrew-German) and Alonso Schökel (Hebrew-Spanish).

jouon_muraoka_rev.jpgOn related note, I just received my copy of the new edition of Paul Joüon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Revised English edition; 1 vol.; Subsidia Biblica 27; Pontifical Institute, 2006; Buy from Eisenbrauns.com).

There are a number of things that I quite like about this volume, not least of which is its binding. I find it far easier to prop open on my desk than the previous two-volume edition. I haven’t had much time to actually compare the content with the previous editions, though I like the fact that Muraoka’s additions are integrated with Joüon’s original text, the notes are cleaned up, and there is a great bibliography included. I wish they would have updated some of the charts in the volume, however.


Posted in Hebrew, Hebrew Grammar, Hebrew Resources, Online Resources, Reviews & Notices | Comments Off