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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2007
Learning biblical hebrew can be a dounting task. Not only because it is not as simple and straight forwards as its modern counterpart, but also and mainly because the few existing books that are available on that topic, tend to cram your head with endless and boring grammar rules, exceptions and whatever they can create to make your life a misery .

Well, be ready for a chock with that book .

It is awesome .. easy to use, even if your self studying, the grammar is clear, loads of exercices and.. it s pleasant to use..

I would not say fun as learning is seldom fun, BUT it sure does make the task of learning Old Testament Hebrew pleasant and does trigger some smiles along the way

The textbook comes with a CD rom .. VERY useful for getting a grasp of the language and also.. for learning .. without learning ..

"you listen .. you understand .. you know "

Good news for all students in theology .

The same textbook exist as well for New Testament Greek (Koine)

Get them both and enjoy .. You REALLY will
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on 5 May 2004
This is an excellent book for those learning Biblical Hebrew. It uses a more inductive approach than other textbooks, giving examples and exercises to help the learner see and understand how Hebrew grammar works rather than focussing on memorising of formal and rather abstract grammar rules. For the current generation of students who have not much knowledge of formal grammar, having never studied Latin or Greek in grammar school, this is a much better book than most others. I attended an intensive "Hebrew in a week" course using this book and we learnt more Hebrew in five days than most seminary students learn in a semester.
One question: The previous edition came with a casette tape. This contains reading exercises from the book and is an essential accompanyment to it. Does the 2003 edition come with a casette or CD?
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on 28 January 2014
I've been using this book since August 2005 when I first began learning Hebrew just before going to uni to read Biblical Studies. I wanted to get an advantage over my classmates and have the confidence to pass my exams. This book certainly helped me achieve that. Now, nearly 9 years later, using this user friendly textbook, I'm about to teach from it and earn a full time living.

Long Live Israel!
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on 26 November 2013
Great little book which is accompanied with a Cd to help the student advance there understanding of ancient Hebrew, especially great for the layman.
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on 27 March 2008
I have been trying to learn Hebrew as a part of my theological education at university, but so far in vain. The material used in class focuses mainly on grammar and less on reading and understanding, and I find it extremely difficult to learn parsing, rules, exceptions, etc. by heart. And fortunately I don't have to any more. I bought Dobson's excellent book, and as stated on the cover, I was reading and understanding passages from the Hebrew Bible after only two hours. It wasn't easy, but still a lot easier and infinitely more fun and motivating than the university approach.

Dobson teaches words and their use, and when topics of grammar arise, he explains by means of examples, exercises, etc. And in my opinion this practical approach to grammar is a lot easier to understand, compared to learning an endless number of rules. The grammar drills include using certain word forms in a number of ways, and translating sentences from Hebrew to English, and (probably more important for learning purposes) from English to Hebrew. The pleasure of being able to translate actual sentences into Hebrew after only a few hours of studying is hard to describe.

One of the brilliant things about Dobson's book is that the student almost immediately gets the feeling of being able to read, understand, and even translate. At first, only simple phrases and sentences, but pretty soon long and rather complex narratives. The lessons take approx. 2 - 3 hours each, and after lesson 25 I can actually read and understand the bulk of the Hebrew Bible, as well as discover and understand interesting grammatical points, word plays, etc. I cannot recommend this book enough. I have been through 5 or 6 books on the subject, but absolutely nothing compares to Dobson's. In my opinion, this is by far the best way of learning biblical Hebrew.
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on 12 March 2008
Dobson has applied his acclaimed inductive method to Hebrew following the runaway success of his NT Greek course. I wouldn't agree with the reviewer below who thought this was a good reference book. What makes this approach so attractive is that Dobson applies modern approaches to language acquisition to classical Hebrew. Hebrew sentences are presented which are subtly varied and built upon so that the student can develop a sense of how Hebrew conveys meaning. Certain types of people are used to learning languages the way we learned multiplication tables. People with certain personality types love learning tables, and then quickly 'calculating' sentences as if they were solving equations. Old-style language teaching encouraged people like this. However, they are a minority, and for most people, complete fluency is better/only achievable by the inductive method used here by Dobson, assimilating grammar in a more natural way. I have no hesitation in recommending both of Dobson's textbooks - NT Greek and Biblical Hebrew. As for the CD - the function is integral to the method. Learning to read an ancient language is not at all the same as learning to survive in a modern language. Hence the CD is not about 'shopping' or 'passport control', but readings of the exercises. Why? Because becoming familiar with a new alphabet is hard, especially one like Hebrew which reads Left to Right, and uses 'points' (dots) instead of normal vowel characters. Dobson's recordings are massively helpful in getting over the first hurdle of fluency in the alef-beit. Go Dobson!
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on 21 January 2011
Wonderful book which follows the method of the author's more widely known Biblical Greek course. The way in which material is presented allows for rapid progress and you'll be reading meaningful texts in a few short hours. This book is so readable that it just leads you on - you may not want to put it down. Audio CD (not CD-ROM as advertised) included to help with pronunciation and recognition. No glossary at the back but material is presented side by side in both languages so none needed. Enjoyable learning activities at the end of every chapter. Highly recommended!
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on 26 August 2011
I've only just started using this book so I can't comment on it all. It is easy to use and leads you through in a natural unthreatening way. There is a homely feel, rather as if you were receiving personal lessons from a friend, but the content is substantial and comprehensive. I look forward to when I will be able to read the chapters on Hebrew poetry. I could have wished the Hebrew font was a little larger, for I need a magnifier to pick out the vowel marks; but I get by, and I expect I'll get more skilled in time.
I want to mention the accompanying 'CD-ROM'. That label is misleading: there is no software, it isn't interactive. It is an audio CD with 80 minutes of listening practice and as such it is really valuable. Listening is vital for learning a language and hearing written words is better than just seeing them. The content of the CD is carefully selected to illustrate key learning points, and very helpfully signposted in the audio commentary: 'Listen to 6.3'. The Hebrew is spoken or sung by the author and a woman student.
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on 25 May 2011
In common with his other textbook, "Learn New Testament Greek", the author gives an excellent and concise introduction to his subject. The format is easy to follow for the beginner without previous knowledge of the subject and any syntactical issues are covered adequately where necessary. There are various instances of somewhat "naive" learning techniques and the actual writing of Hebrew is discouraged, which can tend to put some students off. But overall, in spite of a few minor points, the text is excellent and comprehensive, the teaching system is thorough, the audio CD is very well produced (particularly for the first-time Hebrew students), the book is very well bound and and superb value for money. No serious beginner should need anything beyond this one book and a couple of hours a day to make a very good start in Hebrew either as a lone reader or part of a class.
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on 11 July 2011
I love this book! Am about to use it on a week-long residential course which hopefully will further enhance its value. I love the simple and varied approach, gradually building and reviewing without neglecting the importance of having fun in the process. It took me awhile to get through the 1st lesson and having done that I know I need to revisit that before moving on, but I was impressed at how many letters and sounds I was able to recognise in a short time. As with most things, you get out of it what you put into it. I think this is an excellent tool. If I could really have my way, I'd have loved to have all of the word sounds on the CD to increase my confidence that I'm pronouncing correctly and to reenforce the aural recall. Hence only 4 stars!!
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