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Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar [Hardcover]

Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 28.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar + Basics of Biblical Hebrew Workbook + BIBLICAL HEBREW LAMINATED SHEET (Zondervan Get an A! Study Guides)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; First edition (17 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310270200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310270201
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.3 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Thumbs down, but Thumbs up 12 Dec 2010
By Stouks
I realize that the primary purpose of "reviews" is to review the given product. I must say though that most of my comments will be a response to the review by "Meeper" and his/her title "Thumbs down."

Obviously Meeper has every right to give whatever review he/she sees fit. And, obviously, Pratico's book was not helpful to him/her. Fair enough. But as a teacher of Biblcal languages (in Scotland) and one who was taught Hebrew by Gary Pratico in the early 90s (way before his book was written), I need to say a few things. First, languages (biblical or otherwise) are not easy. Part of learning a language is learning grammar and grammatical terms. There's no other way around it. Second, this book was designed on the basis of many many years of classroom teaching (that doesn't mean it is necessarily good though). Second, I am not so sure that Pratico would say that his book is the best for "distance learning" (I could be wrong). This is one of the many problems I have with distance learning: it almost always necessitates a dumbing down of content. In this case, perhaps a totally new kind of grammar would need to be designed for "distance learning." But I don't think it is fair to judge this book, designed for real classroom teaching, in the context of distance learning. Third, I suppose I am back where I started: learning biblical languages is hard and demands a serious engagement with grammar and syntax...full stop! How else will you be trained to do exegesis of the Bible and use serious secondary sources which, by the way, WILL use grammatic terms and concepts?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
great for 1st year students at undergraduate level, you set the pace on this home study course. It is without any doubt beneficial for those who wish to advance there degrees further by reading ancient languages specifically when it is to compliment Theological degrees.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Learning Biblical Hebrew made easy 5 Nov 2009
By Paul F.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When having to deal with the grammar of any language there is a lot to learn before you can progress to understanding sufficient before you can start to translate even at a basic level. This book helps you to carry out the task in a smooth, logical stepwise manner as it explains the rules required to understanding in a clear manner. One of the greatest problems when learning another language if all you know is English is that there is a great need to understand, even on a superficial level, specific grammatical rules and this book clearly and simply explains them illustrating with relevant examples.

The one negative comment I can make is that at the end of each chapter there is a monograph on specific topics such as particular commentaries on specific phrases or, more importantly, articles on specific biblical translators/commentators all who are Protestants and the tone of these may be construed as offensive, especially if one is a Catholic.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bible students gotta buy this book 14 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
great book for finding truth excellent go out and buy this book now if you are serious great book indeed
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Van Pelt's Grammar of Biblical Hebrew 24 Feb 2010
By R.M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this grammar and the accompanying workbook, flashcards, "charts," and the "Get an A" summary sheet for my Hebrew I & II courses under Miles Van Pelt. It was a treat to be taught from this grammar by the co-author himself. But for those of you who are considering buying this grammar for a course under another professor, or for independent study, I definitely recommend these items, except for the "charts" which you don't need at all. Of course, if you're a student who is going to study under another professor than either of the co-authors, be sure they approve of your relying on this text, even if in part.

Now for the self-studier (or, autodidact), I strongly encourage you to get the four items I list above. This grammar (w/ other goodies) is the simplest way to learn Biblical Hebrew, in my opinion, and that is because it is the most scientific. By this I mean that the authors have painstakingly eliminated all the gruelling paradigm memorization as was possible and caught instead upon all the ways the morphology (how verbs change and why) can give you the same information and make it possible for you to parse the verb(al).

We covered two chapters per week for Hebrew I (and in the compressed winter term, Hebrew II one chapter per day), so it is possible to cruise through this system in six months. I can actually read the Hebrew text after having studied all the chapters, but that was with the benefit of constant instruction by a professional. For autodidacts, plan on one year of disciplined study, without rushing too fast past things you're not sure about. The workbook (and CD ROM from the back of the grammar to grade it) are great! Be sure to do all the exercises, except perhaps the English to Hebrew, which isn't really necessary, but could be a useful added drill if you are struggling. Also, for self-study's, be sure to review review review. Don't be ashamed to start over from the beginning once you have finished. Then you might want to obtain a Hebrew Reader. Zondervan has a nice one. Now learn you some Hebrew ya bums!

Please consult my review of William Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek, because the same strategy and paedagogical method was adopted for Hebrew with this grammar as was adopted by Mounce for Greek.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book doesn't stand alone 14 Jun 2011
By Susan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is meant to be used with the workbook of the same name, the "survival kit" and all the other products the publisher pushes. There is no additional, free help such as I found useful when learning Biblical Greek. Rather, this book references a related website that does not exist and the publisher's website, unlike the useful websites that are sometimes connected with textbooks, provides only info on other products you can purchase. In addition, while the publisher provides an answer key for the workbook, it's on the CD that comes with the textbook and it does not work with Windows 7. The CD is supposed to contain additional aids, but I can't access them. Maybe I'm asking too much to expect additional help, but when all questions addressed to the publisher, Zondervan, are answered with a suggestion to buy more of their products, it just doesn't sit right with me.

Update: Just received an email from Zondervan that states they will not be updating any of their software and they provided a link where the author supposedly had provided the info from the CD. What I need is the answer key for the workbook and if it's on that site, I can't find it. What's there is a big list of the author's products that are available for purchase.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life after Weingreen 13 Oct 2007
By MRG - Published on Amazon.com
While Weingreen introduced me to Hebrew, Basics of Biblical Hebrew (BBH) is a perfect refresher text. Professor Pratico and Van Pelt move very slowly and carefully, taking care not to barrage students with more than the absolutely essential basics. However, this can test the eager and "short nosed" polyglots in the class very quickly. While everyone may not need to repeat their first year of Hebrew (or for that matter want to do so even if they did), I find BBH a pleasant organizational tool for the corpus of latent Hebrew in my head. All my comments must be understood as coming from a "repeater" and not a first-time love of this ANE language. So when i give it 5 stars, I do so in thanks for what it has offered me in organization, and not necessarily initial presentation of the language.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough Grammar yet has some bias 25 April 2008
By David A. Bielby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well laid out grammar with extensive help on every key grammatical point. I think many of the reviews here I have read bring out good points, however, there is a bias in this grammar that I didn't see mentioned. I'd like to point that out here.

This book uses the traditional pronunciation guides that were used in many older grammars and in Seminaries years ago. However, it is not the only traditional pronunciation of Hebrew. Yet this grammar presents it's pronunciation as if it was the traditional mode. This is unfortunate because it's not completely accurate and because the pronunciation guide used here will cause many of the words you learn to sound like you learned Hebrew in a western language Seminary. It would be better if grammars like this switched to the modern pronunciation of Hebrew, since there are millions of Jews living today who speak modern Hebrew (they use the same alphabet and all the vocabulary in this book).

Also, this Grammar has more detail in some ways than a 'basics' book ought to have, but I really love the way it is laid out and the format of the material.

Therefore, I give it a four star.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A reference work more than a beginning grammar 26 Nov 2008
By jdc, sr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Ross Hebrew Grammar is very much better, in our view, than the Pratico Grammar. Pratico has produced a book that serves better as a reference book than a beginning Hebrew Grammar. Very often, my students were confronted with material they did not need. Ross' Grammar we have found to be simpler and, for beginning students, that means better. It covers all that beginners need, and just a little bit more (for the students who want it). I am sure that other Grammars do the same. Pratico just gives too much information too soon. Much of it can safely be skipped.
We recently switched from Pratico to Ross' textbook in mid-stream because we grew tired of having to deal with so much unnecessary detail. We have kept Pratico on the shelf, and have referred to it once already. So, it still is serving a purpose. But I cannot recommend it as the text of choice for beginners.
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