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HEBREW "MUST-HAVE"s


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#1 Steve Raine

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 09:00 AM

Hello folks--

Seeking opinions on modules a (new) Hebrew student 'must have.'

Looking for a reasonably complete list (thinking of the future, as well),
not just what is needed/recommended for 'Hebrew 101.'


Blessings,
Steve

#2 Joe Weaks

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:17 AM

Well, since it goes without saying, it might be that noone will say, so I will:
The first two things you need to get are a tagged HMT, and then a BDB.
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#3 Ron Webber

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 05:01 PM

Hello Steve.

As for "must-haves" in the order of priority, I'm with Joe on the essentials - a tagged Masoretic text and BDB (which I would also like to see in an unabridged edition). Two other highly valuable resources are the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) and the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE). Jenni-Westermann Theological Lexicon would be also be a welcome addition, if you have the funds.

Best regards,

Ron Webber
Professor of Ancient Languages
Heart of America Theological Seminary

#4 jpkang

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 09:51 PM

If you're just now studying Hebrew, I'd recommend holding off on purchasing the tagged Hebrew until you've got a reasonable grasp of the grammar (otherwise, the instant parsing can easily become a crutch that can short-circuit the learning process--same goes for printed works like J. J. Owens' Analytical Key).

For the long-term, you will probably want to get HALOT, though BDB still remains indispensable (many still find its semantic analysis superior to HALOT)--keep that hardcopy handy!

And eventually, when you start seriously wrestling with syntax, Waltke-O'Connor's Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, and some of the advanced reference grammars such as GKC or Jołon-Muraoka (both not available yet as modules, but probably eventually).

But you can do a LOT with just the BHS-W4 tagged Hebrew and HALOT.
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#5 Joe Weaks

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:42 PM

If you're just now studying Hebrew, I'd recommend holding off on purchasing the tagged Hebrew until you've got a reasonable grasp of the grammar (otherwise, the instant parsing can easily become a crutch that can short-circuit the learning process


Just hit Command B.
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#6 jpkang

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 10:27 PM

I know, but it's partly the temptation of knowing how easily that information is accessible that is the danger. I tell my first year Hebrew students to save their $200-$300 until they're sure they need the software (since I suspect that many seminaries now have site installations of BibleWorks or the like, they can try before they buy fairly easily).
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#7 Ron Tavalin

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 10:21 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with J. P. Kang. As helpful as grammatical tagging and instant details are (and I make use of them often), beginning Hebrew students must avoid them at all costs. An untagged Hebrew text, suitable language tools and a dogged desire to stick with it will pay off dividends in the long run that will prove far more valuable than the instant parsings that a software program can provide. As wonderful as the software is, it is hard to argue with the long and hallowed history of the many excellent scholars who have gone before us without the aid of a tagged text, or even a mouse!
I often tell my students that there is something out there that is readily available, user-friendly, portable, inexpensive, crash-proof and even has an endless power supply. It is called a book (this is immediately followed by the groans and pained expressions of a room full of undergraduates).
The truth is that if you are a serious student there is no substitute, especially in learning, for a tool (silicon or cellulose based) that compels you to learn in order to know. When reading the Bible I've never had a professor ask me how the Westminster morphological database parsed a verb, and the reason for that is obvious enough. Truth knows no shortcuts!
Best wishes,

Ron
Ron Tavalin
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Bible and Biblical Languages
Moody Bible Institute
Chicago, IL 60089




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