An Introduction to Classical Hebrew

This grammar introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the essentials of classical Hebrew. It begins with the simple and regular elements of the language and proceeds to the complex and irregular, frequently referencing the historical development of Hebrew. Extensive explanations of elements in English prepare students for the discussion of the corresponding Hebrew element. Through the course of the text, the reader will translate the book of Ruth as well as other biblical and nonbiblical texts, learning particular skills in reading both the entire Hebrew Bible and the later sixth-century Hebrew material, such as the Lachish Letter. Accomplished students of this text will be prepared to progress to advanced study of Hebrew grammar and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible.

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Donald R. Vance, Ph.D. (1997) in Biblical Interpretation, Denver University-Iliff School of Theology, is Associate Professor of Biblical Languages and Literature at Oral Roberts University. His most recent publication is A Hebrew Reader for Ruth (Hendrickson, 2003).
'Donald Vance’s Introduction to Classical Hebrew will provide students with a serious foundation for further study. It is suited to a one-year course and focuses, as all introductory grammars of Biblical Hebrew must, on the morphology of the language. The basic processes of the sound system, the various vowel lengthening and reduction mechanisms, are introduced early and clearly. They are repeated as needed throughout the book. A grasp of these processes makes learning the forms easier. The vocabulary is clearly presented, and there is a broad set of readings. Appropriate attention is given to problems of translation and the differences between Biblical Hebrew and English.' M. O’Connor, Department of Semitics, The Catholic University of America ' To a degree beyond anything that I have seen in my twenty-plus years as a teacher of the subject, Vance's work is lucidly organized and cross-referenced, as well as replete with historical explanations of phenomena in the language, in a way sure to prove valuable to students who return to it after their introductory course for purposes of review or reference. ... I recommend Vance's work highly to colleagues as a worthy investment for their own libraries (and those of their institutions).' George Heider, Review of Biblical Literature, 2005
Teachers and students, both undergraduate and graduate, of biblical studies, semitics, classical and biblical Hebrew.