Invitation to Biblical Hebrew: A Beginning Grammar (Invitation to Theological Studies) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2006
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"If you have a desire to learn Hebrew, let me encourage you to purchase this grammar, along with the workbook and DVDs. Utilizing the deductive approach, the authors instruct you in a concept and then turn you loose to practice it through pages of drills and exercises. As long as you master each chapter before going onto the next, you can work your way into a solid understanding of the grammar and syntax of biblical Hebrew."--Scott Lamb"The Pathway" (08/01/2006)
"In my opinion this is the best grammar availableoit teaches the fundamentals of morphology better than any other grammar that I have seen. He goes back to a reconstructed proto-Hebrew and then gives the strong verb and the "weak" verbs and shows the derivational patterns that stem from proto-Hebrew. Very pedagogically focused as well."--Charles Halton"blogspot.com" (08/01/2006)
"Fuller's method is the best there is. He combines reading a chapter, watching someone explain the concept on DVD, and physically doing exercises out of a workbook (or on a whiteboard in a classroom). If you want to learn Hebrew and your don't have access to a schoolobuy the book, workbook, DVDs and get studying. If you're teaching a class, integrate this into your semester, your students will thank you. You might ask how I know this works. Well, I was one of Fuller's students and now I'm doing a PhD in Semitic languages so it must have worked for me. (P.S. And no, he hasn't paid me to say these things. I say it because I want to help you learn Hebrew and/or be the best teacher possible.)"--Charles Halton"awilum.com" (08/01/2006)
From the Back Cover
The Invitation to Theological Studies Series (ITS) provides primary textbooks for core seminary courses, including biblical Hebrew and Greek, Old and New Testament introduction, biblical interpretation, and preaching. ITS provides foundational works that are both intellectually stimulating and spiritually nourishing.
Based on years of success in the classroom, Invitation to Biblical Hebrew: A Beginning Grammar provides a clear and accurate textbook for the beginning Hebrew student. It focuses on the basics of phonology (sounds) and morphology (forms) so that the student is able to learn the language by reason and rule rather than rote memorization. The textbook also includes helpful discussions of syntax with the ultimate goal of using Hebrew in ministry.
Special features of Invitation to Biblical Hebrew include a sixteen-page color insert outlining morphological principles. Also available are a companion workbook with drills, assignments, and answer keys, and a companion set of six DVDs of Dr. Fuller's classroom presentations.
"I had taken eight semesters of Hebrew courses in the standard way that Hebrew is taught, and in two semesters of studying Hebrew on Dr. Fuller's method I finally learned the language! . . . This is the best way to learn the language, bar none!" --James M. Hamilton Jr., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
"The textbook stands out on several levels. First, it is a truly elementary Hebrew grammar. It focuses on only what the student needs to know. Second, the grammar utilizes a totally deductive approach. While some modern grammars promote the inductive approach or some mixture of approaches, these authors deftly take students back to the tried and true basics. Third, the true beauty of the authors' method is in how after the students have truly mastered the basic rules, they can then tear apart any Hebrew word and give the reasons why every dot and dash is there, why it is not there, or why the vowel has lengthened, reduced, etc. With this mastery, the student's fear and trepidation about Hebrew melt away." --Eric A. Mitchell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Russell T. Fuller (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is associate professor of Old Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kyoungwon Choi (M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Old Testament Department at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
This is a DVD companion to Invitation to Biblical Hebrew which goes through each part of the textbook just like it was a classroom setting. There is a good concentration on morphology (forms) so that the student is able to learn the language by reason and rule rather than rote memorization. The six DVD set features thirty-eight lectures by Dr. Fuller, corresponding to each lesson of the textbook. It's ideal if you are teaching yourself like I did, or whether you want to supplement your classroom learning. It was a great 8 to the development of my Hebrew grammar
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Fuller's method is the best there is. He combines watching a lecture in which he explains the chapter on a DVD, reading the chapter, and physically doing excercises out of a workbook (or on a whiteboard in a classroom). Furthermore, he reveals the reasons why language structures are the way they are, instead of throwing reams of paper at you to just memorize thousands of word patterns. If you want to learn Hebrew and you don't have access to a school-buy the book, workbook, DVDs and get studying. If you're teaching a class, integrate this into your semester, your students will thank you because they will come way with a deep knowledge of the language. Then, with a little practice, reading the Bible in Hebrew will be relatively easy.
You might ask how I know this works. Well, I was one of Fuller's students and now I'm doing a PhD in Semitic languages so it must have worked for me. (P.S. And no, he hasn't paid me to say these things. I say it because I want to help you learn Hebrew and/or be the best teacher possible.)
The DVDs are totally disappointing. He reads from the book basically (he actually has the pages of the book on his desk) . He says pretty much whatever he has written in the book. There are a lot of "huhs," and "whatever," or "something like that." Just as with the books, he just goes through one rule after another. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, in phonology (when i was learning to read Hebrew,) he would write the word, give you all you need to know (and more) about silent sheva and vocal sheva and will NOT read the word. I was left wondering about the pronounciation.
I have it 3 stars because the grammar, in itself, is a great reference book to keep on my shelf. The teaching method, well... needs some major editing.
There are two main schools of thought on how to learn a language. The inductive method argues for immersion in the text; hence you learn enough to read, say Genesis 1 and go for it. Then you pick up what you can as you go. The deductive method, alternatively, argues that the fine details of a foreign language are too significant to be learned in an ad hoc manner. The down side is that it seems to take forever before you can use your skills. I used the inductive approach for Koine Greek, Latin, German and French, but it just wasn't cutting it when it came to Hebrew. I am grateful that Dr. Fuller has provided all three parts of this set (grammar, workbook and DVDs) for people like me who needed the help.
Language acquisition is not a one-size-fits-all phenomenon. This may not be the place to start for you. But if you really are inquisitive and like puzzles and remembering SKNMLVI rules like me, this is a good fit. I cannot wait to complete the course and know everything in it.
* Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar: Second Edition by Gary D. Pratico
* A Handbook to Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar by Page H. Kelley
* A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (Revised Edition) by Leong Choon Seow
* and this one, by Russell Fuller
I chose this one as my starting point. Now, after finishing more than 4/5 of the program, I think I made the right choice. While the first two are more popular, Fuller introduces the fundamentals of Phonology and Mophology in a quite clear system. In this system, you can know the rules of WHY of this ancient language, after you know WHY, the problem of HOW seems easy. I have to quote another reviewer's words again: 'If you get the fundamentals in place, the rest will follow.'
And the workbook is really a plus, the exercises are designed carefully, by following them constantly, the rules are ingrained in me, as the authors promised in the introduction of the book. So if you use this grammer, I highly recommend that you do all the exercises, they really worth the effort.
The organization of the verb system in this book is another plus. All the other three grammers organize verb system by the 7 stems of biblical hebrew, under each stem both strong and weak verbs are introduced. But in this book, the 7 stems of the strong verb are introduced first, and the weak verbs are then divided into ten categories, introduced one by one after the strong verb. This organization works fine for me: by a sound memorizing of the 'boxes' and 'thematic vowels' of each stem of the strong verb, the weak verb system turns out somewhat easy for me. Anyway, verb system is much more difficult than noun system of first-year biblical languages, both Greek and Hebrew. and this book makes it somewhat easy.
There are complaints too, the biggest one is: sometime I feel the authors didn't dig deep enough into the rules, they didn't give enough observation, as Mounce did in BBG. Almost in every chapter I had to observe and find out the under-ground info by myself. Some examples:
(1) in ch7-9 (particles), the author said 'they can only be learned through memory, mostly'. But in fact, after analyzing the rules, I found most of them obey the rules of ch2-6 nicely.
(2) in ch12 (pronominal suffixes of noun), the author didn't tell me at anywhere that the noun is in construct state. After I noticed: 'construct state of noun' + 'pronominal suffixes', everything is clear.
(3) in ch19-25 (verb), the author didn't tell me clearly that participle would reduce its thematic vowel in all active stems and would not reduce in all passive stems. I had to conclude this from the exercises.
(4) nearly in every chapter after ch12, I would just skip the section of 'steps of creating forms', since I always feel I've found a better procedure to create the form, based on a deep understanding of the rules introduced in the text. Their 'steps' seems cumbersome to me. Only in the weak verb chapters(ch29-), their offer agrees with mine.
Generally speaking, I highly recommend this grammer to self learners of Biblical Hebrew, it deserves more attention in the market, IMHO. I think you can use this text in the first year of Hebrew study, and then use Pratico or Kelley in the second year as a review. But when you use it, maybe you should do what I did: find out the hidden rules yourself.