DRAFT EDITION: to be published 26/Apr/2022
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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Introducing Biblical Hebrew (Honours) (BIST10057)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers a structured introduction to biblical Hebrew, working through a text book and supplementing it with further examples and exercises. Students learn the foundations of syntax, grammar, and vocabulary, and by the end of the course will be able to translate simple prose passages from the Hebrew Bible. One biblical text (e.g. Gen 22) is studied in depth in Hebrew at the end of the course.
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 in Hebrew, 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, the Akedah (Genesis 22).

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has three classes 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 sessions often include a brief quiz to test understanding of recently covered grammar points, and the quality of vocabulary acquisition. There are also additional online materials and activities which can be completed in the students' own time.
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
Not being delivered
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. Accurately parse biblical Hebrew verbal forms
  3. Understand a range of core biblical Hebrew vocaulary
  4. Read (aloud) and translate basic prose in biblical Hebrew
  5. Understand grammatical, syntactic, and exegetical issues relating to a set text from the Hebrew Bible
Reading List
The course text book may change depending on the course structure. Some typical examples include:

John A. Cook & Robert D. Holmstedt, Biblical Hebrew: A Student Grammar (revised edition, 2011).

Jo Ann Hackett, A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (Hendrickson, 2010).

G. Pratico & M.V. van Pelt, Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar (Revised Edition: Zondervan, 2007).

C. L. Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (Revised Edition, Abingdon 1995).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Ability to learn a new language
- Work with linguistic analysis of a particular language
- Applying previous knowledge to learn a related but new topic
KeywordsBiblical studies,ancient language,Semitic language,Hebrew
Course organiserDr Suzanna Millar
Tel: (0131 6)50 8904
Course secretaryMr Rory Meehan
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