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Learning Biblical Hebrew

Learning Biblical Hebrew is a challenge for even the most disciplined student. It takes hard work and time -- but it is well worth the effort!  While I would encourage you to take a class to learn Hebrew, it can also be learned by self study -- with the right tools. This page will give you some guidance in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of the best introductory Hebrew texts available. In my evaluation, I considered a number of things:

  • Approach: What approach does the text take? Inductive or deductive? Does it follow sound pedagogy?
  • Ease of Use: Is the text laid out and organized in a way that would make it easy to use? Would it be possible to use it outside of a classroom setting?
  • Extras: What other teaching and/or learning aids are available with the text?

Since the inductive/deductive question is perhaps the most significant distinction between grammars, I have broken down my discussion into two major sections. Please note that this survey is by no means exhaustive! I welcome any and all comments.

Inductive Grammars

My bias lies with inductive grammars. I like to get students into the biblical text as soon as possible, since that is the goal of teaching Classical Hebrew. That being said, I find that an inductive approach works best when augmented with deductive resources, and vice versa.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 July 2009 08:55
Deductive Grammars

There are a number of excellent deductive teaching grammars for Classical Hebrew. I personally like Seow - especially for graduate students. Practico and Kelly are more accessible for undergrad students. Lambdin is, of course, the classic deductive Hebrew grammar, though I am not sure that its advantages would outweigh the pedagogical disadvantages if using it for an introductory course.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 July 2009 13:59