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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Introducing Biblical Hebrew (PG) (BIST11026)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces biblical Hebrew - the language of the Tanakh/Old Testament. It assumes no prior knowledge of the language, and takes students through learning the alphabet, to acquiring grammar and vocabulary, to reading the Hebrew Bible itself. The course finishes with a detailed study of a set text taken from the Hebrew Bible.
Course description Academic Description:
This course introduces biblical Hebrew - the language of ancient Israel/Judah, in which the Tanakh/Old Testament was written. The course is accessible to absolute beginners, and assumes no prior knowledge of the language. Students begin by learning the alphabet and writing system, followed by systematically studying grammar and incrementally acquiring vocabulary. Their learning is consolidated throughout the course through exercises, translations, and short quizzes. By the end of the course, they are able to read simple Hebrew prose and conduct a detailed examination of a set text taken from the Hebrew Bible.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course begins with an introduction to the alphabet and writing system, followed by a systematic review of grammar. The precise order of material may vary from year to year, but the following grammatical elements will be covered: nouns, adjectives, and particles; the strong verb (qal); the strong verb (other binyanim); the weak verb. This is supplemented by incremental vocabulary acquisition and frequent translation exercises. The course ends with a detailed study of a short narrative text from the Hebrew Bible, such as the first creation account (Genesis 1) or the Akedah (Genesis 22). Students will explore the grammatical, syntactic, and exegetical features of this text.

Student Learning Experience Information:
Students attend three classes per week where they will be taught new grammatical concepts, to ensure progressive consolidation of their learning. In a fourth weekly session, students will review what they've learnt and may participate in a short quiz. All sessions are thoroughly interactive, with plenty of opportunity for students to practice their new skills and to receive instant feedback from the teacher. In-class assessment provides students with a helpful gauge of their progression, and practice at exam-style questions. Students may supplement their in-class learning through independent study and homework assignments.
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 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  14
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 44, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 151 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 40 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 40% - In-Class Assessment

60% - Final Exam (in person exam)
Feedback Students receive oral feedback frequently in class from the teaching staff. They also receive written comments on submitted work, such as quizzes or homework assignments.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)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. Accurately parse biblical Hebrew verbal forms
  3. Understand a range of core biblical Hebrew vocabulary
  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
There will be a textbook assigned for the course which may vary depending on the instructor- typical examples include:

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

JoAnn 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,tanak,ancient language,semitic languages
Course organiserDr Peter Atkins
Course secretaryMr Andre Johnson Hall E Vasconcelos
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