Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

A Modern Grammar for Classical Hebrew

Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

A Modern Grammar for Classical Hebrew

Article excerpt

A Modern Grammar for Classical Hebrew. By Duane A. Garrett. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2002, vii + 395 pp., n.p.

Duane Garrett has made a fine contribution to the realm of teaching Hebrew grammar. he arranges 62 relatively brief lessons or sections (anywhere between 1-9 pages each) under six headings: the alphabetics and phonetics of Hebrew; nouns, adjectives, prepositions, and the basics of verbs; the Hebrew verb system in summary; the QaI stem in detail; the derived sterns in detail; and additional details and introduction to advanced issues. The volume concludes with several appendices that provide a listing of Hebrew-English vocabulary, a smaller English-Hebrew vocabulary, a list of proper names, a glossary, answer key, and several paradigms.

The bulk of each lesson or section introduces the student to another set of new grammatical issues followed by a vocabulary list, exercises, and a brief chapter summary that provides hints for memorization. Numerous helpful charts are interspersed throughout the volume. Garrett introduces his readers to the verbal system initially in section 6 and then more fully in sections 8 and 9, compared to lesson 12 in the grammars by Kelley (p. 80) and Pratico and Van Pelt (p. 121). Consequently, students using this volume read at the clause level relatively soon after starting their venture into learning the Hebrew language.

Garrett's volume is distinctive in that he introduces his readers to basic concepts of Hebrew poetry, Hebrew text linguistics, strategies for reading biblical law, proverbial and prophetic literature, and textual criticism. Another feature that students will enjoy is the PDF file located on the publisher's website that provides a companion workbook containing all the exercises with more space between each problem. This provides the student with more workspace without unnecessarily adding to tbe volume's cost and provides a convenient way for professors to collect their students' work (if desired).

Another great feature of the book is that it requires the user to translate various blocks of OT Hebrew text: Gen 5:1-32; 8:3-7; Exod 19:1-8, 7:25; 20:1-17; Deut 6:4-5; 1 Kgs 17:1-24; 2 Chr 13:1-16:13; Pss 87:1-6; 112:1-10; Prov 14:8-15; Isa 2:1-11; and all of Jonah. In addition to these blocks of text, the exercises include individual verses from all parts of the OT.

After introducing the Hebrew verbal system (perfect, imperfect, imperative, infinitive, and participle), Garrett introduces the student to the derived stems and weak verbal roots in broad terms. he then introduces the QaI stem in detail, as it appears with various weak roots. The fifth section of the book gives attention to the derived stems with weak verbal roots.

In addition to the features mentioned above, Garrett's provision of an answer key serves as a great tool. Although professors of Hebrew will continue to debate the ultimate value of answer keys for students, in my years of teaching Hebrew grammar I have found a good answer key relieves a good deal of frustration and enhances learning for most students. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.