Advanced Biblical Hebrew

Spring 2017
T 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Area I
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

The course explores the language of Biblical Hebrew writings. This is done primarily through a close study of text specimens written in vocalized and unvocalized Hebrew. We will study both prose and poetic texts with an aim of understanding their grammar.

The course focuses on the grammar of the language, exploring in great detail matters of orthography, phonology, morphology, and syntax. This course builds on the students’ familiarity with grammar as studed at the Intermediate level.

Throughout the semester we will be reading unvocalized texts. This is done with the aim of learning the language and its subtleties. In particular, we will be comparing the language of the texts we are reading with that of Standard Biblical Hebrew. By the end of the semester, students should be comfortable with reading unvocalized Hebrew texts.

By the end of the year, the student should have a firm grasp of this ancient language’s grammar. 

Background Expected: 

Intermediate Hebrew or equivalent

Course Requirements: 

Weekly reading of vocalized and unvocalized Hebrew texts, vocalization and translation in class, in addition to some reading of secondary literature.

Basis of Evaluation: 

The grading of the tests and for the semester as a whole is based on a percentage, according to the following model:

100-95 = H

94-90 = H-

89-87 = HP+

86-83 = HP

82-80 = HP-

79-70 = P

69-0 = F

Grades are determined based on attendance and participation in class (25%), quizzes (10%), and a midterm (25%) and final exam (40%) (both midterm and final exam are cumulative).

Students achieving a grade of H demonstrate complete mastery of the material covered, including a masterly understanding of the morphology of Hebrew nouns and verbs and of Hebrew vocabulary, as well as a masterly ability to translate Hebrew into English.

Students achieving a grade of HP demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the material; their understanding of Hebrew morphology and vocabulary is less advanced than that of the students achieving an H grade. The translations of HP students are sometimes less developed than those of the students achieving an H grade.

Students achieving a grade of P demonstrate some marked limitations in their understanding of Hebrew morphology and vocabulary and sometimes produce translations that exhibit clear deficiencies.

Students receiving an F grade show significant deficiencies in their understanding of the language and its translation.