Thursday, January 31, 2008

Resources for Biblical Hebrew

These are the tools and resources I have for the study of Biblical Hebrew (sadly nothing for Aramaic):

Waltke and O'Conner's An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Eisenbrauns, 1990). I call this thing the beast since it is so massive but it is simply a must have for even basic biblical Hebrew exegesis. It is basically the Hebrew version of Wallace's GGBB though with its own character.

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (GKC in most references) (Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition, 1993). This has been the standard Hebrew Grammar for the last hundred years. Though a bit dated, still quite useful and necessary for finer Hebrew work.

(C. L Seow's A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (Abingdon Press; Rev Sub edition, 1995). This is the grammar I learned from while at Fuller Seminary NW for a year. It is one among a plethora of Hebrew Grammars. One of the profs at Evangel and AGTS also uses it. It will get you both the basics and the more technical stuff. Somewhere out there is a companion work that has the answers to the sentences.

Pratico and Van Pelt's Basics of Biblical Hebrew: Grammar. I have the green hardcover edition (Zondervan 2001). This is in the line of Zondervans biblical languages works and Mounce is the Greek variation. Never hurts to have two grammars.

Van Pelt and Practico's The Vocabulary Guide to Biblical Hebrew (Zondervan, 2003). The vocabulary companion to BBH and quite useful.

Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) (Hendrickson, 1996). I have literally been from one end of this lexicon to the other and back when I took a Hebrew exegesis class on the Psalms at Fuller NW. Its quite outdated but nonetheless a necessary complement to HALOT and should not be overlooked.

Holladay's A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament: Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner. (Eerdmans, 1972). This is not a detailed lexicon but a shorter lexicon based on HALOT (mostly glosses not extended definitions for which you will have to look up HALOT for. Quite a useful little tool.

Ronald William's Hebrew Syntax: An Outline, 2nd ed. (University of Toronto Press, 1976, 2001 Reprint) This ha to be my most favorite possession! It is just a splendid little book outlining various parts of Hebrew Syntax. There is a 3rd edition out but I am not familiar with it. As Holliday is to HALOT, Williams is to Waltke-O'Conner (somewhat) you look up Williams for quick stuff and WC for more in-depth issues.

Armstrong, Busby, Carr's Reader's Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament, (Zondervan, 1989). This is the Hebrew counterpart to Kubo's Greek Reader. It does words less than 50 times but if you haven't kept up your vocab it is completely useless but if so, it will help you plough though large parts of the text fairly easily. For many it can be a crutch. it has been made obsolete with the upcoming Reader's Hebrew Bible which more or less does the same thing.

Ellis Brotzman's Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction it is a really good introduction to Hebrew textual criticism and to the BHS. I need to move up to Emmanuel Tov's Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Augsburg Fortress Publishers; 2 Revised edition 2001) - this is the scholar's standard for Biblical Hebrew Textual Criticism

Douglas Stuart's Old Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors (WJK, 3 edition 2001) - the OT companion to Fee's NT Exegesis - this covers outlining, diagramming; resources for further study.

Robert Chisholm's From Exegesis to Exposition: A Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew, (Baker Academic, 1999) - This is a really great source for in-depth and practical exposition of the Hebrew for preaching and teaching. In my opinion it is a must have and should not be overlooked when doing exegetical work for sermon or paper preparation. His grammar section is more a summary of WC than Williams.

Wigram's The Englishman's Hebrew Concordance of the Old Testament: Coded to Strong's concordance numbering system, (Hendrickson 1996). This is quite the sufficient Hebrew concordance but fortunately it gives the verses in English. If you want to go hard core get Evan-Shoshan's A New Concordance of the Bible: Thesaurus of the Language of the Bible Hebrew and Aramaic Roots, Words, Proper Names Phrases and Synonyms, "Kiryat Sefer" Publishing House Limited, 1985). As far as I know there is no English in Evan-Shoshan's concordance so knowledge of Hebrew will be a must. Indeed, it is the scholar's concordance.

Of course I have of BHS and Bible Works 7.0 with the BDAG/HALOT module and concordances and things which are helpful.

To my shame I did not take a class on Aramaic but here is the resource I would get to teach myself or use for reference since Aramaic is limited to parts of Daniel and a few other places in the OT: John's A Short Grammar of Biblical Aramaic (Andrews University Press Rev ed,1972). I won't get into all the stuff about the Gospels being written in Aramaic and such.

This about covers my resources for study in the biblical languages upon completion of an MDiv. Of course I need to get going on Theological German, French, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, and so on...



At 3:57 PM, Blogger Celucien L. Joseph said...

These are good resources to study Hebrew. I've taken several hours of Hebrew in Seminary but do not remember anything now:)

I definitely need to improve my Hebrew. By the way Regent University is a good school. How's the PhD program there structured?

If you have time you can email me at


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