New Grammar for Biblical Hebrew

Posted By on August 28, 2013

Mail was good to me today.  just got my copy of the new biblical Hebrew grammar by my former grad school classmates, Rob Holmstedt and John Cook: Beginning Biblical Hebrew: A Grammar and Illustrated Reader. Rob and John started this pedagogical journey while they were still at the UW-Madison. Congratulations to both of them.

The grammar looks great. I’ll of course be reading through it for useful contributions to my online MEMRA Hebrew course. It has lots of biblical readings with cartoons (any biblical Hebrew grammar with cartoons is certainly worth reading). I hope many of you will get a copy!

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4 Responses to “New Grammar for Biblical Hebrew”

  1. blop2008 says:

    Right. I got the completed drafts last year when they were published for free on their site. The two versions they produced are the best I have seen so far. The cartoons are very helpful for obvious pedagogical purposes.

  2. Brian says:

    Dr. Heiser,

    I have been trying to teach myself Hebrew for a couple of months now. I have used different sites and videos to learn the alphabet and have been practicing on a Bible app for my tablet. My vocab is very limited right now and I am looking to take the Memra class that starts next year. I have had some confusion in some areas because one site will pronounce something one way and another site will pronounce it completely different. While viewing the Memra site, I found some sample videos. I am not sure if it is you in the videos or not, I assume it is, but I was wondering if you would explain your pronunciation of the Khaf of Khaf sofit. Also, I was noticing a blog post or article you did some time ago about the nachash (serpent) in the garden. I noticed you suggested the pronunciation to be nakash and not using the “gutteral” tone of the chet. From my understanding, the Khaf, Khaf sofit, and the chet all have a “gutteral” CH sound. Can you clear this up for me? Is it a difference in dialects? Or perhaps is it just easier to pass on the gutteral pronunciation? Thanks in advance.

    • MSH says:

      You shouldn’t put to much stock in transliteration in my posts. For years I could not find a font solution for transliteration or Hebrew (or Greek). Second, in slides I at one time had the same issue and opted for “dumber” transliteration for presentations – it’s a bit pointless to have to stop in the middle of a presentation and explain to an audience what an h with a dot underneath it is, and then explain that a native speaker would/could have distinguished the sounds. No one is going to care (who doesn’t know Hebrew in the first place). On other slides (like for MEMRA), before the daghesh material is hit in the grammar I don’t use the daghesh dots – it makes little sense to me to have to explain something they’ll have later.

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