Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Free Online/Downloadable Hebrew Grammar Instruction

It does not appear that there are very many free Hebrew instructional grammars on the web. (I've paid for my share of Hebrew grammars! I'm just saying, if someone wanted to check it out for free...) The only ones I could find (and these are not necessarily recommendations, but I have * ones that look most helpful) are:
[UPDATE: 2008.02.18] A posting on the BibleWorks Forum requesting suggestions for a Hebrew Grammar suitable for teaching an Intro class has now generated a number of responses. One recommendation by David Kummerow points to *Ancient Hebrew: A Student Grammar by John A. Cook (Asbury Theol. Sem.) and Robert D. Holmstedt (Univ. of Toronto). It is a free PDF download. In their preface they define its purpose:
This textbook is intended for a university classroom. It is divided into thirty lessons, corresponding to the typical thirty-week academic year. Following the sequence of lessons will provide the average student with a cutting-edge understanding of ancient Hebrew grammar and will enable the student to read both prose passages and less complex poems from biblical and non-biblical texts. Additionally, the textbook introduces the student to the standard Biblical Hebrew lexicon [BDB] and includes an appendix on the Masoretic “accents,” which may be incorporated into the sequence of lessons at whatever point the instructor desires.

Because of the variety of first-year biblical Hebrew textbooks currently available, it is worth briefly noting what this textbook is not: it is not a reference grammar; it is not meant to be used without supplementation from the instructor; it is not meant for self-study; it is not theologically oriented. What this textbook does not do represents fairly well the character of almost every other available textbook, and thereby indicates that there exists a significant lacuna in the world of Hebrew textbooks. This textbook is intended to fill this hole.
Thank you to Cook and Holmstedt for sharing this resource which looks to be a competent and reliable guide.

UPDATE: 2008.03.14 - SCSaunders on the BibleWorks forum found a few more resources worth noting.
UPDATE: 2008.03.15 - The hits keep coming!
  • *Davar Biblical Hebrew Vocabularies from the University of Auckland (noted by Tim Bulkeley in the comments) - Great vocabulary tool; sort by Hebrew, English gloss, root, semantic domain, or frequency.
  • **CHECK THIS SITE: I had forgotten the list of Hebrew study resources provided by Ralph Klein from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. (From the menu on the left, use "Biblical Studies Misc" > "Hebrew") Quite a few PDF Hebrew Helps files of his own along with links to Vocabulary aids, Lexicons, Grammars, and more.
If you know of other resources, please share the links with us.

BTW, for an excellent summary of Hebrew grammars available for purchase, check this post over on Codex.

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