Item description for Introducing Biblical Hebrew by Allen P. Ross...
Overview This first-year grammar has grown out of the author's experience in teaching Hebrew to seminary students for over thirty years. Through those many years of classroom use, Dr. Ross has developed and refined his explanations, exercises, and examples to provide students with an effective introduction to Biblical Hebrew. In addition to traditional deductive methods and exercises, Introducing Biblical Hebrew includes inductive sections that provide practical translation experience as the student works through passages from the Book of Genesis. In addition, there are well-paced vocabulary and grammar exercises and practical guides to the more technical features of the Hebrew Bible. First year Hebrew students in Bible college, seminary, christian college, or a university setting will find Introducing Biblical Hebrew to be one of the most useful and balanced textbooks available.
Publishers Description Ross (director, Christian Leadership Center) outlines the grammar of Biblical Hebrew, offering a system for parsing verbs and introducing the basic elements of syntax, interpretive guidelines, and a critical apparatus. Extensive examples are drawn from scriptural passages. An Hebrew-English glossary
Citations And Professional Reviews Introducing Biblical Hebrew by Allen P. Ross has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Reference and Research Bk News - 02/01/2002 page 199
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Studio: Baker Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.34" Width: 7.33" Height: 1.46" Weight: 2.55 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2001
Publisher Baker Academic
ISBN 0801021472 ISBN13 9780801021473
Availability 0 units.
More About Allen P. Ross
Allen P. Ross (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament at Beeson Divinity School and has taught Hebrew grammar to seminary students for over thirty years. His publications include Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of the Book of Genesis and Introducing Biblical Hebrew.
Reviews - What do customers think about Introducing Biblical Hebrew?
One of the better books on the market Feb 19, 2008
Ross' book is definitely one of the better books on the market. There are books that promise to teach BH quick and easy or "as you go", but the truth is that there isn't an easy way to do this. BH is a very different language and for most folks with an Indo-European native language is pretty tough to learn.
Moreover, it is important to remember that each BH book is written for a specific purpose, either self-study, in-class instruction or as a reference grammar. Most books, including this one, fall into the second category of being written for in-class instruction, although many of these can be used for self-study as well. But with the focus on the in-class instruction these books are formatted to fit a two semester course in first year BH. And you can only fit so much into the first year or you can only learn so much in two semesters. So they are not comprehensive as a reference grammar might be. So there will be things that the author simply doesn't have room to cover and will be left out. This one is no exception, but that is not a bad thing. Reference grammars are intended to be comprehensive and thorough, but on the other hand they're not very useful as a textbook for a first year student. On the contrary, they can be pretty overwhelming -- try showing Jouon, Gesenius or even Weingreen to a new student and you might scare them away.
This book is well structured and well laid out -- nice type-setting, which is very important especially in case of Hebrew fonts. Ross' introductory material is pretty good compared to most grammars, it's visual and well laid out. I like his section on vowels, it is often neglected and poorly done in other grammars. Likewise, his verbal summary tables at the end of the book are great and well laid out. They should be a standard part of every BH textbook. The answer key in not provided, which might make it challenging if used for self-study.
The individual lesson's are structured quite well, Ross is pretty clear on his grammatical principles, has good examples and exercises. He introduces you to verbal stems besides Qal pretty early on and then covers each stem separately with all the different patterns and variation for weak and doubly-weak verbs within each stem. I tend to think that this is a better approach then Lambdin's (although I like his book too for different reasons), where you spend an entire semester learning BH before learning another stem besides Qal. Ross also has pretty well structured discussion of the most important syntactical rules and examples which is very helpful. This comes after all the verbal stems are covered, that is after one has reasonably "mastered" BH grammar. I would think that introducing some syntax early on (like Lambdin does) would make learning BH more fun, but that's a matter of preference. This way one does not have to search through the book to find this or that syntactical rule.
Ross' book compares pretty well to other BH grammars, like Lambdin or Seow in particular. It may not be as in-depth in some areas, but it is in others. And it's structure and layout are very good. Compared to Van Pelt/Pratico or Futato on the other hand, it's much more in depth and better organized than those two. But there probably isn't an ideal BH textbook out there -- once again it's a matter of preference. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and depending on the audience and the setting, each of them can be appropriate. But Ross is definitely one of the better ones out there and I do recommend this book.
I would have used another book had I known better Jan 31, 2007
The textbook is great if you think you have a solid grasp on Biblical Hebrew. The exercises concluding each lesson are wonderful, save for there not being a key within the book to help with potential incorrect transliterations and mistranslations.
Mediocre at best.
Good Concise Introductory Grammar Dec 14, 2004
This is an excellent grammar if you are after conciseness but enough depth to have a good grasp of the language.
The weakness is not enough exercises and no answer key (not in back of the book and no one has published one as yet).
A good compromise for those learning Hebrew on their own is to supplement with Page Kelley's Biblical Hebrew which has plenty of exercises and is very verbose.
If you intend to use this book for self-learning, it is best to have some previous experience in some other anicent language (e.g. Greek); this will reduce the steepness of the learning curve especially in dealing with grammatical terminology. If you have no previous experience there are books which are more 'user friendly' like Mansoor or Pratico. But of course you sacrifice depth for user-friendliness.
A student's perspective: Don't use this book! Jul 31, 2003
I am a second-year, first-time-with-Hebrew MDiv student with an A average overall, and one seminary instructor chose this book to teach us Hebrew, rather than the book our seminary traditionally usually uses. Here is why I think that a Hebrew first-timer and MDiv-er shouldn't buy this book -- and why, as a committed student who wants to master the material in it, I would ask profs to use different textbooks to teach other students like myself.
1. Most U.S. M.Div. people need to learn to translate from Hebrew into English, not the other way around. Far too many of Ross's exercises (in fact, the majority of them for the first 30 or so chapters) are about translating from English to Hebrew -- something we do not need facility in to do good jobs as pastors/preachers/exegetes. Better to see lots of Hebrew and translate it into English -- the skill to be mastered, after all.
2. Each of the first 40 or so chapter/lessons has a maximum of 10 phrases for the student to translate from Hebrew to English. This is insufficient to acquire mastery of any of the concepts, grammar, or vocabulary covered in any one of the chapters, especially without an answer key available, let alone to continually reinforce and build upon one's mastery of previous vocab/grammar. Also, one does not get to see what specific forms of verbs, constructs, etc. actually look like "in vivo" often enough to facilitate future translation.
3. In each chapter, the author introduces vocabulary that he does not then use in translation exercises until tens of chapters later. As the old saying goes, "Use it or lose it."
In short, I would never recommend this book as a textbook or study aid to students new to Hebrew. I have found it helpful to reference and use the abundant exercises and explanations in Kelley's "An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew," as well as the "Basics of Biblical Hebrew" book and workbook to gain mastery of the material.
quick review Apr 1, 2003
The book is clearly written and seems to contain all of the information necessary for a first-year grammar. My only complaint is that, to the best of my knowledge, there is no answer key for the book. So if you are planning on self-study, this would not be a good choice.