Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar
eBook - ePub

Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar

Third Edition

Gary D. Pratico, Miles V. Van Pelt

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eBook - ePub

Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar

Third Edition

Gary D. Pratico, Miles V. Van Pelt

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About This Book

Clear. Understandable. Carefully organized. Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar by Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt is the standard textbook for colleges and seminaries. Since its initial publication in 2001 its integrated approach has helped more than 80, 000 students learn Biblical Hebrew.

The third edition of Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar represents a significant updating and revision of the previous edition with the goal of providing students with the best possible tool for learning Biblical Hebrew.

Some of the keys to the effectiveness of Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar in helping students learn is that it:

  • Combines the best of inductive and deductive approaches

  • Uses actual examples from the Hebrew Old Testament rather than “made-up” illustrations

  • Emphasizes the structural pattern of the Hebrew language rather than rote memorization, resulting in a simple, enjoyable, and effective learning process

  • Employs colored text that highlights key features of nouns and verbs, allowing easy recognition of new forms

  • Includes appendices of verbal paradigms and diagnostics for fast reference and a complete vocabulary glossary

  • Displays larger font and text size, making reading easier

By the time students have worked their way through Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar they will have learned:

  • The Hebrew Alphabet

  • Vocabulary for words occurring 70 times or more in the Hebrew Bible

  • The Hebrew noun system

  • The Hebrew verbal system

A robust suite of learning aids is available for purchase to be used alongside the textbook to help students excel in their studies. These include a workbook; video lectures for each chapter featuring the author; flashcards keyed to vocabulary in each chapter; a laminated study sheet with key concepts; audio of the vocabulary for each chapter to aid in acquisition; and a compact guide to help refresh students refresh their memory on language forms, grammar, and word meanings.

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Hebrew Alphabet 1

1.1 The Hebrew alphabet consists of twenty-three consonants or letters. It is written from right to left. The first step in learning Hebrew requires that you memorize the alphabet in order. You will also want to learn the names of the Hebrew letters and how each letter is pronounced.
Hebrew Letter Name Pronunciation
א Alef (silent)
ב Bet b as in boy
ג Gimel g as in God
ד Dalet d as in day
ה He h as in hay
ו Waw w as in way
ז Zayin z as in Zion
ח Ḥet ch as in Bach
ט Tet t as in toy
י Yod y as in yes
ב Kaf k as in king
ל Lamed l as in lion
מ Mem m as in mother
נ Nun n as in now
ס Samek s as in sin
ע Ayin (silent)
פ Pe p as in pastor
צ Tsade ts as in boots
ק Qof k as in king
ר Resh r as in run
שׂ Sin s as in sin
שׁ Shin sh as in ship
ת Taw t as in toy
1.2 Right to Left. As mentioned above, Hebrew is written from right to left, not left to right as in English. In the following order, beginning on the right, carefully study and memorize the twenty-three consonants of the Hebrew alphabet.
א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י ב ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר שׂ שׁ ת
1.3 Final Forms. Five of the Hebrew letters have final forms. That is to say, when one of these letters occurs at the end of a word, it is written differently than when it appears at the beginning or in the middle of a word. The changing of a letter’s form, however, does not change its pronunciation. The five final forms are listed below. These final forms must be memorized. Remember that the Hebrew examples are written from right to left.
Regular Form Final Form Example Translation
כ ך דרך road, way
מ ם עם nation, people
נ ן זקן old man, elder
פ ף כסף money, silver
צ ץ ארץ earth, land
1.4 Begadkephat Letters. Six of the Hebrew consonants have two possible, but closely related, pronunciations. Collectively, these are known as the begadkephat consonants. This term is a mnemonic device allowing for the easy memorization of these six letters (בגדכפת). To distinguish between the two pronunciations, a dot called Daghesh Lene was inserted into the consonantal character (בּגּדּכּפּתּ). The presence of the Daghesh Lene indicates a hard pronunciation and its absence denotes a soft pronunciation. A Daghesh Lene will only appear in the begadkephat letters. You must memorize the different pronunciations for each consonant indicated below.
Begadkephat Letter Pronunciation Begadkephat Letter Pronunciation
בּ b as in boy כּ k as in king
ב v as in vine כ ch as in Bach
גּ g as in God פּ p as in pastor
ג gh as in aghast פ ph as in alphabet
דּ d as in day תּ t as in toy
ד dh as in the ת th as in thin
1.5 Pronouncing א and ע. You have learned that א and ע are silent, lacking any phonetic value. While א is indeed silent, the consonant ע does have some phonetic value. For English speakers, however, the pronunciation of ע is so subtly nuanced that, for all practical purposes, we are considerin...

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Citation styles for Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar
APA 6 Citation
Pratico, G., & Pelt, M. V. (2019). Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar ([edition unavailable]). Zondervan. Retrieved from (Original work published 2019)
Chicago Citation
Pratico, Gary, and Miles Van Pelt. (2019) 2019. Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. [Edition unavailable]. Zondervan.
Harvard Citation
Pratico, G. and Pelt, M. V. (2019) Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. [edition unavailable]. Zondervan. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Pratico, Gary, and Miles Van Pelt. Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. [edition unavailable]. Zondervan, 2019. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.