“And a superscription also was written over Him in letters of… Hebrew, ‘This Is The King Of The Jews.'”
“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?'”
“…Paul stood on the stairs… he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying, ‘Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence…’ (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence…)”
Order of Contents
Intermediate to Advanced 14
Scripture Index 1
This webpage has resources which will be very useful for all levels of Hebrew learners, whether you are beginning, intermediate or advanced.
If you desire to learn to read the inspired Hebrew of the Old Testament, never has it been easier to learn on your own, though learning from and with others is greatly beneficial and recommended. The best way to learn any language is the method God uses in teaching every child born into this world (and is 100% effective), through a loving, native-speaking parent and a stimulating, environmental reward system in immersed, practical living.
That not being a practical reality or option for many, the next best thing, and by far and away the best, quickest, and most stimulating way to self-learn Hebrew for long-term retention is with the interactive method of BibLingo.org. For a description of its standout method, see the ‘Websites’ section below. It is only $14-40 a month (2023) depending on your plan. There is a 10-day free trial (no credit card).
The investment is well worth it if you are able to make it. We consider it superior to paying for an academic course (or even a free one). Through this website you can attain fluency in Biblical Hebrew, something rarely attained through classroom instruction, reading grammars, writing out exercises and even prolonged readings in Scripture.
If you are not able to afford the site’s program at this time, the interactive immersion method can be imitated in some ways through children’s books, videos, etc. (get creative, your only limit is the internet). A great place to start with the traditional method used in schools for learning Hebrew (which is still a productive way to do it) is with this evangelical introductory grammar by two professors at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (and its free):
Pratico, Gary D. & Miles V. Van Pelt – Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar 2nd ed. (Zondervan, 2017) 512 pp. ToC Blurbs See also the Workbook.
For learning how to pronounce words, have fun with the following children’s picture-book:
Amery, Heather – The First Thousand Words in Hebrew with an Easy Pronunciation Guide (London: Usborne, 1984) 60 pp.
As a supplement, many beginners will take off with DuoLingo.com. It has a free tier, is fun, motivating and a bit addictive. It teaches modern Hebrew, especially for travel, conversation and practical living, but there is so much overlap it is a great way to get familiar with Biblical Hebrew. DuoLingo helps you not only to learn vocabulary and grammar, but also to hear and speak the language correctly. It has chat-rooms in which to practice with others (see more at ‘Websites’ below).
Shortly into your study you will want to be reading from the Bible. While Genesis and the historical narratives are a good place to start (an interlinear may be helpful), Hebrew readers, which guide one through easy selections from Scripture will be greatly advantageous. In the meantime, buy a Hebrew/Greek Bible with the Masoretic text. You will also need a Hebrew dictionary or two.
The greatest factor in whether persons will successfully progress to a competent level in a new language, besides environmental and social stimuli (as is present in kids growing up), is long term motivation. You have to want it, for the whole marathon. Remember, only the first thousand hours of your first second language is the hardest (think how many hours you spent learning English). If your shedule is packed as it is, use some time each Lord’s Day to progress in Hebrew. The crown goes to those who slowly, consistently endure.
Second year Hebrew often reviews the gamut of Hebrew grammar from a begining grammar, but with more depth. Feel free to pick another beginner grammar from the collection below. The traditional second year also uses more reading selections and brings out some exegetical insights.
If you have used Hebrew before but need a refresher or a quick reference, review these ‘Verb Tables’ in Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew.
While interactive websites as above can be very helpful for inductive learning, and can provide some intermediate and advanced material, yet they simply are not structured for providing a mass of in-depth, detailed, precise and comprehensive instruction and scholarship in the language, which can be easily referenced. For that, upper-level grammars are irreplacable.
For an intermediate grammar, to really learn the language and fine tune one’s knowledge of it, pick between one of the following. The first is mostly conservative in its theological bearing, but profuse and large. The second is liberal, but very helpful and is shorter and more concise.
Waltke, Bruce K. & M. O’Connor – An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) 780 pp. ToC
Arnold, Bill T. & John H. Choi – A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Cambridge University Press, 2003) 230 pp. ToC Blurbs
This page will be very useful for those looking for reference grammars to find things in, whether for personal interest or for providing authoritative citations in writing and scholarship. See the Intermediate to Advanced Grammars and you will find no shortage of help. You have found the treasure-house.
And as such, this free webpage of resources will likely never be replaced by interactive, language learning websites. For producing solid teaching material and scholarship in the Biblical fields, you have to cite scholars and their professional works, which are all here. Everything else is based on these foundations.
If you have a question on the grammar of any Bible verse, the following Scripture index provides citations to intermediate and advanced grammars on this webpage where the verse is discussed.
Putnam, Frederic C. – A Cumulative [Scripture] Index to the Grammar & Syntax of Biblical Hebrew (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996) 338 pp. ToC Abbrev.
The two sections of grammars below are thorough, but not exhaustive. May these resources be a blessing to you as you seek to learn more of God’s Word!
Beginner or Basic Biblical Hebrew Grammars
Muller, August – Hebrew Syntax trans. James Robertson (Glasgow, 1883) 175 pp. ToC
Harper, William R. – Elements of Hebrew Syntax by an Inductive Method 3rd ed. (NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895) 180 pp. ToC
Wijnkoop, J.D. – Manual of Hebrew Syntax trans. C. van den Biesen (London, 1897) 220 pp. ToC
Nakarai, Toyozo – Biblical Hebrew (Bookman Associates, 1951) 185 pp. ToC
* Harrison, R.K. – Biblical Hebrew in Teach Yourself Books (London: St. Paul’s House, 1955) 215 pp. ToC
By a noted Old Testament scholar.
Lambdin, Thomas O. – Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971) 380 pp. ToC
“Lambdin deserves notice because of its scope and detail (and popularity). In contrast to Kittel, this work takes a deductive approach and emphasizes morphology. The latter fact, as well as its extensive use of transliteration, makes it difficult to use. Nevertheless, it is still a helpful resource.” – Tyler F. Williams
Blau, Joshua – A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew in Porta Linguarum Orientalium (Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1976) 215 pp. ToC
Simon, Ethelyn, Linda Motzkin & Irene Resnikoff – The First Hebrew Primer: The Adult Beginner’s Path to Biblical Hebrew 3rd ed. Ref (Jewish Publication Society, 1992) 401 pp.
This has been recommended by a professor at UCLA, and is used there. “It’s been an enormously successful textbook for us.”
Gibson, J.C.L. – Davidson’s Introductory Hebrew Grammar: Syntax (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994) 225 pp. ToC
Davidson was a liberal.
“The recent revision of Davidson’s Hebrew Syntax by Gibson is a helpful, yet brief survey of Hebrew syntax.” – Tyler F. Williams
* Seow, C.L. – A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (Abingdon Press, 1995) 380 pp. ToC Verb Tables
Liberal. This is the grammar the webmaster learned Hebrew from at the University of Nebraska.
Dobson, John H. – Learn Biblical Hebrew 2nd ed. (Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1999) 310 pp. ToC Blurbs
Ross, Allen P. – Introducing Biblical Hebrew (Baker Academic, 2001) 576 pp. Blurbs
Isbell, Charles David – Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (Warren Center, PA: Changri-La Publications, 2002) 330 pp. ToC
* Bartelt, Andrew H. – Fundamental Biblical Hebrew (St. Louis: Concordia Academic, 2004) 375 pp. ToC
Fuller, Russell T. & Kyoungwon Choi – Invitation to Biblical Hebrew: A Beginning Grammar (Kregel Academic, 2006) 388 pp. Blurb
Benner, Jeff A. – Learn to Read Biblical Hebrew (Virtual Bookworm, 2004) 125 pp. ToC
Webster, Brian L. – The Cambridge Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009) 380 pp. Blurb
Hackett, Jo Ann – A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (Hendrickson, 2010) 320 pp. ToC
* Pratico, Gary D. & Miles V. Van Pelt – Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar 2nd ed. (Zondervan, 2017) 512 pp. ToC Blurbs See also the Workbook.
This is an evangelical work designed to be a basic, one year course in Hebrew. Both authors have been professors at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The volume applies William Mounce’s strategy of teaching Greek to teaching Hebrew. It emphasizes the structual patterns of Hebrew rather than rote memorization and combines both inductive and deductive methods. See the back-cover.
Kelley, Page H. & Timothy G. Crawford – Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar (Eerdmans, 2018) Blurb
* Carasik, Michael – Biblical Hebrew: Learning a Sacred Language in The Great Courses (Chantilly, VA: The Great Courses, 2018) 225 pp. ToC
Intermediate to Advanced Biblical Hebrew Grammars
Stuart, Moses – A Grammar of the Hebrew Langauge 5th ed. (Oxford: Talboys, 1838) 274 pp. ToC
Stuart was a professor at Andover seminary.
Ewald, Heinrich – Syntax of the Hebrew Language of the Old Testament trans. James Kennedy (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1891) 330 pp. ToC
Ewald was a German scholar.
Wilson, Robert D. – Notes on Hebrew Syntax (1892) 130 pp. no ToC Text is only on the left pages.
A conservative Old Testament scholar at Old Princeton.
Davidson, A.B. – Hebrew Syntax (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1901) 240 pp. ToC
Liberal. The fuller title calls this an introductory Hebrew grammar, but it would not be easy to start with.
* Gesenius, W. – Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar (GKC) ed. A. E. Cowley & E. Kautzsch; 2nd English ed. based on 28th German ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1910; 1995) 610 pp. ToC errata
Gesenius held to higher-critical views.
“GKC‘s attention to detail, comprehensiveness, and many indexes make it an indispensable reference work, even though it is somewhat out of date.” – Tyler F. Williams
Williams, Ronald J. – Hebrew Syntax: an Outline 2nd ed. (University of Toronto Press, 1976) 125 pp. ToC Here is the 1st ed. (1976).
“…it is not a reference grammar… it is much abbreviated. Rather it falls in the category of what one may call a “Quick Reference” on Hebrew syntax… it is an inexpensive and perhaps indispensable handbook.” – Seow, p. 130
* Waltke, Bruce K. & M. O’Connor – An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) 780 pp. ToC
Waltke leans conservative, though is not free of higher-critical, liberal views.
“…a major intermediate-to-advanced level treatment of Hebrew syntax that attempts to balance modern and traditional treatments of Hebrew grammar while also interacting with modern linguistics. Its discussion of the verbal system is especially noteworthy (though not convincing on all points).” – Tyler F. Williams
* van der Merwe, Christo H.J., Jackie A. Naude & Jan H. Kroeze – A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999) 410 pp. ToC Blurbs
“…van der Merwe et al brings together information on the morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of Classical Hebrew. As such it is the most comprehensive intermediate Hebrew reference grammar available in English.” – Tyler F. Williams
Joüon, Paul & T. Muraoka – A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, 2 vols. rev. English ed. in Subsidia Biblica 27 Pre (Pontifical Institute, 2006) ToC This is a translation and revision of Joüon, Grammaire de l’Hébreu biblique (Rome: Institut Biblique Pontifical, 1923) 630 pp. no ToC.
“Joüon–Muraoka is another highly recommended reference grammar that is more accessible than GKC [Gesenius]. The thorough revision by Muraoka makes it one of the only up-to-date advanced reference grammars available in English that covers phonology, morphology, and syntax. It should be on every Hebraist’s bookshelf.” – Tyler F. Williams
* Arnold, Bill T. & John H. Choi – A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Cambridge University Press, 2003) 230 pp. ToC Blurbs
“…is a readable guide to the complexities of Hebrew syntax (the way words, clauses, and sentences relate to one other) that remains readable. It follows in the tradition of Waltke and O’Connor and is keyed to most major advanced BHS reference grammars.” – Tyler F. Williams
Beckman, John C. – Williams’ Hebrew Syntax 3rd ed. Pre (University of Toronto Press, 2007) 248 pp. ToC Blurb
A handy update that includes references to relevant modern Hebrew grammars for each section.
Steinmann, Andrew – Intermediate Biblical Hebrew: A Reference Grammar with Charts & Exercises Ref (Concordia, 2009) 264 pp.
Fuller, Russell T. & Kyoungwon Choi – Invitation to Biblical Hebrew Syntax: An Intermediate Grammar (Kregel Academic, 2017) 528 pp. Blurb
Noonan, Benjamin J. – Advances in the Study of Biblical Hebrew & Aramaic: New Insights for Reading the Old Testament (Zondervan, 2020) 336 pp. Blurb
On the Pronunciation of Hebrew
Amery, Heather – The First Thousand Words in Hebrew with an Easy Pronunciation Guide (London: Usborne, 1984) 60 pp. no ToC with pictures
Khan, Geoffrey – The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, vol. 1 in Cambridge Semetic Languages & Cultures (Open Book Publishers, 2020) 750 pp. ToC Vol. 2 has a very narrow focus and is not as relevant.
Helps to Learning Hebrew
Seow, C.L. – ‘Verb Tables’ in A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (Abingdon Press, 1995), pp. 334-53
Memorize these tables inside and out! The first is the most important to know; work up to the others.
These are very useful for the beginning reader.
Goldstein, Jessica W. – The First Hebrew Reader: Guided Selections from the Hebrew Bible (EKS Publishing, 2000) 200 pp. ToC
This volume provides reading selections from each book of the Torah, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, Jonah, Micah, the Psalms, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes.
On the right page are small, segmented Hebrew readings with a phrase-by-phrase English translation. On the left page are notes on new vocabular, verbs and grammar.
Vance, Donald R. – A Hebrew Reader for Ruth (Hendrickson, 2003) 95 pp. ToC
This goes verse by verse through the chapters of Ruth, providing the English translation under each verse, with notes on the Hebrew words and constructions.
A Cumulative Scripture Index to Hebrew Grammars
Putnam, Frederic C. – A Cumulative [Scripture] Index to the Grammar & Syntax of Biblical Hebrew (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996) 338 pp. ToC Abbrev.
The index is in the order of the books of the Jewish, Hebrew Bible (Torah, Prophets, Writings).
“A very useful work that brings together the Scripture indexes from most of the major Hebrew reference grammars, such as Waltke and O’Connor, Gibson, Davidson, Joüon, Williams, as well as major works in German (Bauer-Leander, Beer and Meyer)…” – Tyler F. Williams
A Rabbinic Hebrew Grammar
Segal, M.H. – A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927) 290 pp. ToC
The History of Hebrew Grammar
Chomsky, William – ch. 6, ‘How the Study of Hebrew Grammar Began & Developed’ in Hebrew: The Eternal Language (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1957), pp. 117-38
Very helpful. Chomsky (1896–1977) was an American scholar of the Hebrew language. He was born in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) and settled in the United States in 1913.
Sperber, Alexander – A Historical Grammar of Biblical Hebrew: a Presentation of Problems with Suggestions to their Solution (Brill, 1966) 720 pp. ToC
Websites for Learning Hebrew & Acquiring Fluency
This site’s method appears to be based on Duolingo, but is for the Biblical languages: Hebrew and Greek. It is very high-quality, in some ways more than DuoLingo, and seeks to teach through using the language.
The site combines video tutorials, with visual learning, reading, hearing and speaking the language, with active sentence construction and other methods, which multi-faceted integration deeply engrains the material into you for quick acquisition and lasting retention. And it is a bit fun and easy to get hooked, whether for adults or kids.
It provides instruction for all levels of Hebrew learning, from beginner to expert. One can graphically see and track their consistency of usage, hours of learning, etc. One can easily progress more quickly using this self-paced program than in a classroom setting.
There is a ten day free trial with no credit card. As of 2023 it is $14-40 a month depending on one’s plan. It is worth the investment for your life if you are able to afford it. Cut out your other bills and devote yourself to God’s Word. It is an investment you will not regret.
While the site teaches advanced content, it does not have anything like this webpage of intermediate and advanced grammars for reference and retrieval of techinical information.
DuoLingo has a free tier, and the upgrade is affordable, whether for yourself or with a family plan. The site teaches modern Hebrew, focused on travel, conversation and daily living, which overlaps enough with Biblical Hebrew to be very worthwhile.
The site’s method is interactive, combining passive and active learning through varied, repetitive, progressive practice with visual, reading, hearing and speaking methods. Much of the learning method is inductive, by figuring out how to say things through what one already knows, so it is interesting, engaging and serves longterm retention.
DuoLingo is modeled after gaming websites, reward systems and social networking, such that the site and course is a bit addictive, which is great for learning. It is self-paced and you can advance as quickly as you are able. The site is continually adding new material with higher levels of advancement in the language.
Williams, Tyler F. – ‘Advanced Hebrew Grammars’ (n.d.) 10 paragraphs Includes a review of them.
Williams is an assistant professor of theology at The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta, where he primarily teaches biblical studies.
Hebrew Dictionaries & Parsing Guides of the Bible & Rabbinic Literature
Old Testament Background, Survey, Authenticity & Introduction
On the Textual Criticism of the Old Testament
The Masoretic Text, Notes & Guides & Background to It
On the History & Possible Inerrancy of the Hebrew Vowel-Points
Inspiration and Authority of the Bible