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First Hebrew Primer or Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar?


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#1 Chuck Schneider

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:13 AM

Which would you recommend to start with?

 

Would both be helpful in different ways?


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#2 Abram K-J

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:47 AM

Chuck,

 

I learned Hebrew with the second (BBH) and am now working my way through the first.

 

The primer has you reading Hebrew right away, in the first lesson (through exercises). It's (by its own admission) a little less grammatically technical, since the emphasis is on getting the user to read Hebrew soon. Though its quality is no lower as a result. 

 

BBH emphasizes paradigm memorization, though also claims uniqueness in its approach of using color-coded "diagnostics" to aid in verb conjugation memorization, rather than just rote memory. However, it still feels like rote memory at times (as good as that text is).

 

The primer has a modified version of Ruth that is introduced partway through. BBH uses some biblical texts for exercises, but my feeling in going through it was always an itching to get more into the text.

 

Both are solid, though--I suppose it depends on how you learn and what you're up for. If you're a good memorizer and don't mind it, BBH lays a good foundation. But the primer also does that, I think.

 

If you have time, I'd think using both in tandem could be really effective.


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#3 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:05 AM

Chuck

 

I have both. I have read through Basics on my own once, and sections of it again. It is akin to Mounce's Greek Basics, presenting an organized scheme of the language. This is typical of classroom instruction, and different than how when learned our native tongue; check out this thread for a good discussion: http://www.accordancebible.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9079&hl= The sound files are okay, but be aware that English speaking Hebrew teachers apparently use different pronunciation schemes, based on intelligent guesses on ancient pronunciation. If you purchase the Basics workbook (paperback, not available electronically), you will not have the answer key to the exercises. The CD with the hardback Basics apparently has them, but Accordance only retained the sound files.

 

I am going through the Primer now. The sound files are much longer, and (I think) based on Sephardic pronunciation, the same or similar to spoken modern Hebrew. I am still halting in reading Hebrew aloud, but the Primer is much better at facilitating this than Basics (in my opinion). The order of presentation of grammar is different once you get beyond the very basic items of consonants and vowels. I am still in the early chapters, so I do not have further comments.

 

At the moment, Basics is on sale, so it is less expensive than usual. It is less expensive when not on sale. That might factor into your decision.

 

Both are useful in their own ways.

 

Hope this helps.


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#4 Abram K-J

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:37 AM

I think there's a free online pdf of the answer key to the BBH workbook. I can send that to you if you like, Chuck.


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#5 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:22 AM

Abram,

 

Could you please copy the link to that online .pdf and include it in this thread?

 

I think we have other users who might be interested.

 

Thanks!


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#6 Abram K-J

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:24 AM

Sure! It's here (pdf).


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#7 Chuck Schneider

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:21 PM

Thank you very much for the helpful information!


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#8 Kevin Soars

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:47 PM

Chuck,

 

Abraham and Michael have offered good advice on the two books and both of them are positive about each book. Abraham's " I'd think using both in tandem could be really effective" might sum things up for you.  If you are going for just one of them at the moment, I would choose The Primer; however that probably says more about the way I personally am 'trying' to learn Hebrew than about any judgement on BBH!

 

Kevin.


Kevin.




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