This course is designed to introduce you to the language of the Hebrew Bible using Learning Biblical Hebrew – Reading for Comprehension: An Introductory Grammar by Karl Kutz and Rebekah Josberger (see Course Textbooks). As the title suggests, this curriculum focuses on having the student translate Hebrew very early on, starting with relatively long texts as early as chapter four. It uses the grammar-translation method that has fallen out of repute among modern-day language instructors, but it makes up for the pitfalls of this method by giving lots of comprehensible input through vocabulary lists and immediate use of the words in actual Hebrew texts (even when adapted, as in the beginning of the Joseph story in the workbook).
We cannot get around beginning with instruction in how to read the Hebrew alphabet. Many modern approaches (such as that of the Hebrew from Scratch עִבְרִית מִן הַהַתְחָלָה series) spend several weeks introducing the alphabet. By contrast, this textbook spends one chapter on the consonants and one chapter on the vowels. Sufficient skill at pronouncing the various sounds of the language will be achieved by reading practice in encounters and by repetition of the daily reading passages.
The grammar is presented in a typical way, though some aspects are given a very theoretical description of morphology (forms). You will not be tested on these theories, though they will come up in encounters as we seek to understand how we have the various vocalic structures within words.
In this syllabus, you will find the publication details of the textbooks, specific course requirements and restrictions, details about times and grades, and how you will be expected to engage the course in order to succeed as a student.
Please, read the material in this syllabus and make yourself familiar with where we will be going on our journey into the Tanach.
בְּהַצְלָחָה! — Good luck!