This course crowns the process of acquiring proficiency in Biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax through a dual focus on systematic description and composition. Students are guided in describing and accounting for every possible linguistic feature of the Biblical text in its original language, and they are challenged to produce their own texts in Biblical Hebrew that reflect as faithfully as possible the language of the original authors.
The better an interpreter grasps the language of the text being studied, the better they can grasp the nuances and the depth of the message being conveyed. As the final step in a their journey to proficiency in the morphology, grammar, and semantics of Biblical Hebrew, this course equips students for a lifetime of rich engagement with the Old Testament.
Reading Scripture in the original language is the best way to grasp its message. The better the student's language competency, the better their interpretive ability. Furthermore, the skill of linguistic analysis is applicable to the study of other languages.
The Biblical authors intentionally communicated their messages using the full linguistic resources of the languages at their disposal. Thus, gaining maximal competency in these languages behooves those who wish to be faithful to the Bible.
Encountering the message of Scripture motivates and sustains missional living. Studying Biblical Hebrew deepens that encounter.
Context is key to meaning and it has multiple levels - linguistic, literary, cultural, canonical. This course hones the student's skills in analysing the lowest level of meaningful context - morphosyntax.
Mastering a foreign language is key to grasping the culture of any people group. This course gives students the tools to more deeply grasp the language of an ancient Israelite culture. These tools can then be applied to the study of other languages.
Rather than memorize abstract theory, students are challenged to engage in their own analyses of actual Biblical texts and to create their own Hebrew texts. The language is thus internalized and the skills acquired can be re-applied whenever the student wishes to read the Old Testament in its original language.
Encounter with God through reading Scripture is a key motor of personal transformation, which in turn makes us better interpreters of His Word. This course facilitates such encounters through grounding us in the language of the Biblical authors. Students linguistically analyze a variety of Old Testament texts, engage in group discussion with feedback from the professor on linguistic features of these texts, write their own original Hebrew compositions, learn to historically reconstruct ancient Hebrew vocabulary, and discuss advanced issues of grammar, syntax, and discourse analysis.