Item description for Biblical Hebrew, Second Ed. (SET) (Yale Language Series) by Bonnie Pedrotti Kittel, Vicki Hoffer & Rebecca Abts Wright...
This revised edition of the best-selling "Biblical Hebrew is thoroughly updated and augmented for a new generation of students. Designed for use in a two-semester course, the book's fifty-five lessons are constructed around Biblical verses or segments and arranged in order of increasing complexity. At the successful completion of the course, students will be well equipped to tackle prose passages on their own. "Biblical Hebrew is part of a comprehensive learning program that includes a 3-CD audio program and a companion volume, the "Supplement for Enhanced Comprehension. The CDs present the alphabet, vowels, readings and cantillations of biblical passages, songs to assist with memorizing grammar concepts, selections from Psalms performed in a variety of musical styles, and all the vocabulary words from English to Hebrew. The "Supplement offers reinforcement and review exercises along with more detailed and deeper discussion of topics treated briefly in the textbook.
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.75" Width: 8.5" Height: 11" Weight: 4.25 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2004
Publisher Yale University Press
ISBN 0300101031 ISBN13 9780300101034
Availability 0 units.
More About Bonnie Pedrotti Kittel, Vicki Hoffer & Rebecca Abts Wright
Victoria Hoffer is lecturer in Biblical Hebrew and Biblical literature at Yale Divinity School. The late Bonnie Pedrotti Kittel was professor of Biblical Hebrew at Yale Divinity School and ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Rebecca Abts Wright is a member of the faculty at the University of the South.
Reviews - What do customers think about Biblical Hebrew, Second Ed. (SET) (Yale Language Series)?
Biblical Hebrew, Second Ed. (Audio Program) (Yale Language Series) Mar 27, 2007
This was a gift for my son and he really enjoyed this and he said this will be of great help in learning Hebrew.
fairly good Jan 11, 2007
I have just started learning Hebrew with this book. This book is user friendly that skips long introduction and tonnes of grammatical rules in the beginning chapters. After brief introduction on pronunciation and writing system, it starts immediately with phrases taken from the Bible. Each chapter one phrase or a sentence is discussed. I find it interesting that I can read the bible shortly after learning pronounciation. But since it only give short explanation on grammar (may be bit by bit in each chapter, I haven't finished the book yet), I would say that better achievement would be seen if it is used in class with a tutor. For someone who likes to learn the language in "natural way", this book is excellent. But for someone like me as a non english speaking learner and want to know the language systematically, I would recommend another book "Basics of Biblical Hebrew" by Gary D. Pratico. With these two books, one complementary to another, I get deeper understanding of the language while start immediately reading the Bible.
I love the CD attached in the book. The alphabet song truly helps me to remember the order and pronunciation of the Hebrew consonant.
All in all, this is a good book. The reason I give it four stars is it lacks detailed and systematic explanations on grammar. And it is really bulky.
Cutesy and incomprehensible Nov 10, 2006
Unfortunately, I received only the 3-CD audio program, not the written companion volume, "Supplement for Enhanced Comprehension." Perhaps the latter would have helped, but I don't think so. I found the little mnemonic songs incredibly cloying -- the pretentious and idiotic musings of a bunch of Yalie turds who think they're OH SO CLEVER AND CUTE. The "Hebrew Blues" and little a capella takes on dik duk set to "Frere Jacques" wouldn't be so bad ... if they only taught something. The best of Debbie Friedman's stuff not only is catchy and beautifully performed, but leaves the listener with actual knowledge. This stuff was much more focused on amusing its creators. Worse, many of the songs are incomprehensible without the text -- like "Words 1-99," in which different Hebrew words are simply spoken at random. Very disappointing.
Biblical Hebrew, without the Grammar Oct 13, 2006
Kittel has been received with great enthusiasm by reviewers at this site.com and on the Internet. I walked away from it with an entirely different reaction. Perhaps the best way to describe the difference I see between Kittel and other texts like Pratico, Kelley, Weingreen and Lambdin is through the use of an analogy:
Imagine someone who has decided to take up ballet and who is, understandably, motivated by visions of doing leaps and turns across the stage. If you were our prospective dancer, you would be able to find classes that would teach you an entire routine right from the start - including all those leaps and turns you are so anxious to learn. In the alternative, you would be able to find classes that would force you to work at the barre every day doing mundane exercises instead of complete dance routines.
Reading Kittel is like taking the first type of dance class. There the thinking is that students are more likely to remain interested in (and keep paying for) ballet classes if they are given routines with pirouettes in them than if they are constantly hammered with technique at the barre. Similarly, the thinking behind Kittel seems to be that students will be more enthusiastic if they are not pushed too hard, and if they are given passages directly from the Bible rather than if they are required to memorize rules and translate simplified practice sentences.
I submit that the dancer who learns routines with pirouettes first receives more instant gratification, while the dancer who does the exercises at the barre receives the better education. The feeling of accomplishment imparted by Kittel is illusory because the ability to translate even complex series of words strung together in Hebrew does not mean you understand the language - it means only that you have been drilled in pattern recognition.
In defense of Kittel's approach, we are told that we all learn in different ways. The problem is, no serious dancer ever learns this way. This teaching method is popular with students because it panders to their natural desire to have it both ways: They want to believe they can learn more with less effort because the teaching method has been improved.
We are also told that Kittel's method is better because this is how we learned to speak as children. It is, therefore, the natural way to learn. This argument is fallacious. The "natural" method of learning - one of simply becoming accustomed to using the language without understanding it analytically - is used by five-year-olds, not because it is better, but because five-year-olds are incapable of anything more. You cannot master any language - even your native tongue - without studying its grammar and syntax.
Kittel will teach you as little grammar as possible. The information that is provided will be disorganized and scattered throughout the text. Descriptions will be vague and you will not be given enough examples to determine when a particular form is used. You will be translating verbs for weeks without understanding their underlying tense. Your attention will be directed away from even thinking in these terms.
On the other hand, lest you have any doubt about the method of translating a series of words from one language into another, Kittel will carefully walk you through the process with fill-in-the blank sentences like: "(The word "king") means _____. It has ____ letters." This grade-school level of prodding is the manner in which, and the level of sophistication with which, the entire book is written.
Weingreen, in his introduction dated in 1939, tells us with eloquence that "Hebrew grammar is essentially schematic and, starting from simple primary rules, it is possible to work out, almost mathematically, the main groups of word-building." Weingreen makes that schematic logic of Hebrew come alive. Kittel not only relegates grammar to a secondary role but, through its lack of both conceptual organization and verbal precision, makes these schematic patterns of Biblical Hebrew impossible to find. Weingreen tells us to pay attention to pronunciation, because it is important. Yet, for anyone who does take pronunciation seriously, I would argue that the audio CD accompanying Kittel's text does more harm than good.
Perhaps what disturbs me most about Kittel is that it teaches students to use postmodern thought processes. Students are not bothered by this because they are not thinking about the politics of undermining authority structures when they take Biblical Hebrew - they are content simply to use a textbook that promises to produce better results in less time.
Putting philosophical issues aside, the truth is that Kittel will demand less from you than will a text like Weingreen. You will, accordingly, learn less if you use it as a substitute for a more rigorous Hebrew grammar. At least, if you understand the trade-off, you will be able to make an informed decision about using Kittel based on your own learning objectives.
Clear and Concise Jul 19, 2006
The Yale University Language Program has produced an excellent format in text and CD to assist in the learning of Biblical Hebrew, which often differs in pronunciation and meaning from the standard modern Israeli Hebrew spoken today. Lessons are laid out in an order that makes it easy to build one upon the other, giving the student a gradual process in acquiring both vocabulary, reading skills and necessary grammar to make reading the Tanakh ( the Hebrew Bible ) in it's original language an achievable goal. This is not a "read Biblical Hebrew in 10 minutes a day" type format, and it does require some effort and consistency, but the results are greater in depth and comprehension - and well worth the time invested.