This unit focuses on phonology, morphology and syntax of the Classical Biblical Hebrew. Prose and poetic texts from different literary genres (narratives, laws, psalms, wisdom literature) will be studied with an aim of understanding their grammar. The development of Hebrew language will be addressed, through the comparative reading and translation of archaic Biblical poems, classical and late Biblical texts. The students will be introduced to electronic and library tools that will help them to engage in textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible.

Unit code: AL2600A (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Languages

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Translate prose and poetic texts from Hebrew into English, using standard lexicographical (Dictionaries and Grammars) and electronic (software programs) tools.


Demonstrate knowledge of Biblical Hebrew vocabulary


Identify the syntax and system of verbal tenses in Biblical Hebrew Grammar


Read simple unvocalised text


Engage in original biblical exegesis based on their own translation of the Hebrew text

Unit sequence

AL1600A Introduction to Biblical Hebrew


Lectures, seminars and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Alonso Schökel, Luis. A Manual of Hebrew Poetics. Vol. 11. Subsidia Biblica. Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1988.
  • Arnold, Bill T. and John H. Choi. A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Bible software program: BibleWorks 10.
  • Elliger, Karl and Wilhelm Rudolph (eds). Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. German Bible Society, 1997.
  • Steinmann, Andrew E. and Andrew H. Bartelt. Fundamental Biblical Hebrew/Fundamental Biblical Aramaic. Concordia Publishing, (recommended for purchase)
  • Steinmann, Andrew E. Intermediate Biblical Hebrew. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing, 2010.
  • Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011.
  • Waltke, Bruce K. and M. O'Connor. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Eisenbrauns, 1990.
  • Williams, Ronald J. (revised and expanded by John C. Beckman). Williams' Hebrew Syntax (3rd ed.). University of Toronto Press, 2007.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Oral Examination

Reading of the Masoretic Biblical Text 15 minutes (equivalent to 1000 words)

1000 20.0
Written Examination

Written exam Translation of unseen vocalised Hebrew paragraph (Dictionary permitted); Translation of unseen simple unvocalised Hebrew sentences; Grammar exam.
1.5 hours (equivalent to 1500 words)

1500 40.0
Multiple Choice Quizzes or Tests

Written tests, grammar and vocabulary quizzes Equivalent to 2000 words

2000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Jul, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-13 15:23:04 +1100