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Thread: Recommended Basic Hebrew Grammar Text??

  1. #11

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    Thanks for the link. D/Ling now.

    But a knowledge of the language is very rewarding I find.
    Been my experience too.

    I love it when some curriculum junkie (flunkie?), who doesn't prepare and has never prepared and can only facilitate wing-it-in-the-name-of-Jesus break-out discussions, finds time to mock the folks who took the time to learn the languages and use the languages God used in His "Good Book" in the fullness of time.

    That's all I'm tryin' to say. TGIF.
    Last edited by SCSaunders; 11-16-2007 at 07:43 AM. Reason: After thought

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    124

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    Shalom Tom

    I learned Hebrew on my own and I while *every* learner is different, I personally liked The Basics of Biblical Hebrew by Practica/Van Pelt. Things I liked:

    * Well defined chapters. Yes, you get to verbs later (and thus reading) and it can be fairly "rigid" but it also aids with conceptualizing which I found helpful. They give you most of the info you need up front on a topic, so when you learn nouns or the like you really get a firm handle on the topic.

    * Excellent Layout. The typesetting is great, the chapter outlines are well thought out, and the pacing and conciseness are excellent. As a self learner I never felt overwhelmed. I could take each section and sub section in turn.

    * Diagnostic approach. The emphasis is on diagnostics, not sheer memorization. Now, you are going to learn every word that appears 70x or more and will still need to master your strong verb paradigms, suffixes, etc. It is still a LOT of hard work!! But the diagnostic approach helps in a number of ways.

    * Neat (if not Christian oriented) articles that encourage your learning and application of Hebrew. Some people hate these little articles, but I found them interesting and they do show how learning a little Hebrew can help you work with the text (as well as set boundaries). The complexity increases as you move on and are loosely tied with what you have just learned.

    The BBH series has a nice workbook (I really liked having the workbook SEPARATE from the text as you can then use the text as a reference book) as well as some other aids. There is now a Graded Reader, Vocabulary building book, and even loosely related CDs (which are great, but Pennington doesn't use traditional pronunciation which makes them not so useful... record your own on an MP3 player with a Mic I say!)

    And now they have the CDs which have Flash video covering each chapter of the book and utilize the overheads. So it is like having your own self paced teacher.

    I tried a number of grammars before BBH and while useful I found BBH's approach great for verbs (much like Ross; the only negative for Ross is no key for checking your answers--Ross is also VERY excellent, up to date, and more technical and insightful in many ways).

    There are a lot of good grammars out there. Kelly's is solid with a lot of good Biblical examples and a workbook and answer key; The First Herbrew Primer simplifies some concepts for adults (like the throaty letters and such instead of gutterals) and does move briskly into reading; Seow and Weingreen are top of class academically but I am not sure I could suggest them for a home learner; Garret's grammar has sound pedagogy and approachable to students; Rocine's grammar is very interesting as it takes the approach of discourse but the formatting isn't always great and conceptually I think would be difficult if done alone. BW has Futado's grammar but I haven't read it yet (although I have it... yeah, I collect grammars). I would suggest staying away from Kittel's and Mansoor's grammars for individual study.

    That said, after the BBH I would recommend, "Invitation to Biblical Hebrew" which does a decent job of presenting Hebrew grammar (so-so in areas; some stuff is excellent though, e.g. the chapter on proto-Hebrew is a lifesaver in trying to *understand* all the various changes in vowels) ... but the big selling point is the DVDs that are available ($50 I think) which go, chapter-by-chapter, and cover the information. The quality isn't movie quality (but better than BBH's flash videos), the only drawback is they tend to go with a whiteboard instead of digital overheads. All about preference though.

    I would recommend either BBH and CD course (you can just by the CDs for $100; so grammar, workbook, and CDs will come to about $150-$170) or you can pick up the "Invitation" grammar, workbook, and DVDs for about $100 total.

    Finally, Fred Putnam has put his grammar online: http://fredputnam.org/?q=taxonomy/term/4 So if you are looking for a thorough, and free, grammar with a discourse/genre focus this may be of some help.

    Anyhow, that is just my experience, ymmv. Good luck!

    Joshua

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