Offered at AST, Fall 2018

Course Description

An introduction to the basic principles of biblical Hebrew with emphasis on morphology, phonology, and syntax, this course is for students who want to study the Old Testament in Hebrew. Students will learn basic Hebrew grammar, develop a rudimentary biblical Hebrew vocabulary, and begin to read the Hebrew Bible with one eye on the window it opens into ancient Israel and another on its historic role as as scripture in Judaism and Christianity. This course is suitable preparation for further study in religion, theology, or classics. (It is open to undergraduate and graduate students from other universities. Please contact the AST Registrar to enroll as a Letter of Permission student.)

Prerequisites: None. The course is required for HB 2202 and advanced biblical Hebrew.

Download the latest syllabus (Fall 2018, v 3.1.x)

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Required Texts (Fall 2018)*

John A. Cook and Robert D. Holmstedt. Beginning Biblical Hebrew: A Grammar and Illustrated Reader. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013.
Note that this textbook includes a significant set of online study aids.
Order it in Canada or the USA.
Takamitsu Muraoka. A Biblical Hebrew Reader: With an Outline Grammar. Leuven: Peeters, 2017.
Order it in Canada or the USA.
Karl Elliger and Willhelm Rudulph, eds. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997.
Optional for HB 2201 (Fall 2018), required for HB 2202 (Winter 2019). The student edition (paperback) is more affordable, but the hardcover is significantly more durable.
Order it in Canada or the USA.

Please note that textbook selections for my courses often change with each iteration of the course.

Making Sense
Margot Northey, Bradford A. Anderson, and Joel N. Lohr. Making Sense in Religious Studies: A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing. 3rd ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2019.
This title is optional but strongly recommended. It includes basic advice on things like reading religious texts, writing essays and book reviews, making oral presentations, and learning languages. It should help you master fundamental tasks in nearly any course in religion or theology.
Order it in Canada or the USA (2nd ed). ISBN 978-0199026838.
The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd Edition, is the definitive style manual for biblical studies and related disciplines.
A blog ( and free Student Supplement (PDF) should cover the issues most common to term papers. The AST library copy is in the reference section at PN 147 S26 2014.
Serious students of biblical studies will want a copy of their own. Order one from SBL Press or elsewhere in Canada or the USA. ISBN 978-1589839649.
See my resources page for further advice on writing, style, and research.