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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Biblical Studies

Undergraduate Course: Introducing Biblical Hebrew (BIST08013)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn introduction to Biblical Hebrew for beginners.
Course description Academic Description:
This course provides a structured introduction to the language of biblical (i.e. classical) Hebrew. The aim is to enable to students to read simple prose texts from the Hebrew Bible. Grammatical concepts are covered in a systematic way throughout the course. From a very early stage students read sample sentences drawn directly from the Hebrew Bible itself, carefully chosen to correspond with the relevant lessons. Acquisition of a core stock of vocabulary is developed along with the grammar and text reading. Learning is reinforced through simple English-into-Hebrew exercises. The course concludes with a reading of a selected passage.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course assumes no background in the language, and begins with mastering the alphabet and writing system. Systematic coverage of nouns and the 'strong' verb follow. By the time of the course's mid point, basic grammatical concepts have been introduced. These are extended and developed through the verbal system, and the variations encountered in the so-called 'weak verbs'. Vocabulary acquisition features consistently throughout the course. This introduction to the language of the Hebrew Bible concludes by reading one self-contained prose text, such as the account of creation in Genesis 1, or the Akedah (Genesis 22).

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of three class sessions each week in which the grammatical concepts are introduced, explained, and put to use. There is a further weekly tutorial which does not introduce new material, but consolidates the previous week's learning. The tutorial session includes a brief quiz each week to test understanding of recently covered grammar points, and the quality of vocabulary acquisition. All four sessions are thoroughly interactive, with ample opportunity for immediate feedback and practising the 'oral' aspects of the language. A cumulative mid-semester test provides a helpful check-point, as well as giving practice in the kind of assessment faced in the final exam.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 44, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 40 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Regular in-class tests (30%), a cumulative mid-semester test (10%), and a final exam (60%).
In order to pass this course, students must obtain a minimum of 40% in the combined tests, as well as in the final exam.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and explain the basic elements of biblical Hebrew grammar.
  2. Read (aloud) and translate biblical Hebrew prose (including 'sight' reading).
  3. Translate simple English sentences into biblical Hebrew.
  4. Account for differing English translations of a given source text from the Hebrew Bible.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Suzanna Millar
Tel: (0131 6)50 8904
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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