Biblical Hebrew

/Tag: Biblical Hebrew

Relevance Theory and the Problem of Tense-Aspect in Biblical Hebrew

  Genesis 22 is a common narrative text that is used in introductory biblical Hebrew courses. There are several points of syntax and narrative style in that passage that are often overlooked by both beginning-intermediate students and even by Hebrew grammarians.   Consider Gen 22:3 ויקם וילך אל המקום אשר אמר לו האלהים and he [...]

We’ve Begun Biblical Hebrew Instructors Fluency Workshop July 2013 in Fresno

We've begun our Biblical Hebrew Instructors Fluency Workshop in Fresno.  We will be posting photos on our Facebook page as well as updates during the workshop. For a video from the first day, here.

Randall Buth on Peter Burton

I first met Peter at SBL's annual meeting in 1997. A true friendship was formed that has covered the past fifteen years but has now been sadly cut short.  Peter was interested in seeing students study Greek and Hebrew without going through a second or third language to their mothertongue.  I was interested in seeing [...]

Peter Burton

Just a quick note to inform our BLC friends that Peter Burton, Randall Buth's friend, colleague, and supporter of BLC, passed away peacefully on Thursday night (4 October 2012) of complications associated with ALS with which he had just recently been diagnosed. Peter's enthusiasm for the biblical languages and seeing them taught using Communicative Language [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:30-07:00October 10th, 2012|biblical language fluency, Blog|3 Comments

Word Order in the Verbless Clause: A Generative Functional Approach

An article by Randall Buth Introduction The basic premise of this paper is as follows: a generative-functional approach to the Biblical Hebrew (BH) nominal (or verbless) clause provides a simple, adequate, linguistic framework. It explains the discontinuities in the data and is able to unite and explain the Lists and ad hoc rules of many [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:31-07:00September 29th, 2012|Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew verb, Blog|0 Comments

Why fluency workshops?

The BLC/FPU workshops are providing the field of New Testament studies with a unique opportunities for professors of Koine Greek. The community and environment created at these workshops is literally the only place where the field can experience what spoken fluency in Koine Greek may offer to the field. As such, the testimonies of the professors present should not be dismissed off hand.

First Steps in CLT

At the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in San Francisco, CA, Brian Schultz presented a paper on "First Steps to get Started in Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)." In his paper, he presented three options as to how instructors of biblical languages can begin incorporating some aspects of CLT into their curriculum.

Language is Communication

A couple quick anecdotes. Last year I interviewed a few of my students to get their thoughts about my biblical Hebrew course taught using Communicative Language Teaching.  The one student had the following comment: Learning Hebrew has been easier, so far as to say that I don't translate it.  Like when I was learning French, [...]

Contrasting methodologies

Last week I had to give a talk to my colleagues, the faculty of the School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences at Fresno Pacific University.  I chose to speak on the importance of teaching the biblical languages and why I teach biblical Hebrew differently than the traditional way.  In order to help me, I [...]

לַעֲשׂוֹת as “to do” and “to make”

The video clip below is from the first year Hebrew class I am teaching at Fresno Pacific University.  It is from the 8th class period of 50 mns each (if one counts the first class period in which all I did was hand out syllabi and explain the dynamics of the class).  The point of [...]

Fluency and reading comprehension

A common objection to the communicative approach to teaching biblical languages is: "All we are aiming at is being able to read, not speak, the language." However, Frank Smith in his book "Reading without Nonsense" suggests that in order to truly read fluently, one has to depend less on deciphering the printed matter, and more on a background of already acquired knowledge. Though he does not highlight fluency as part of that body of "already acquired knowledge," it is presupposed throughout (indeed, it is unlikely that a non-fluent English speaker would be reading his work in the first place). It would seem, therefore, that without fluency, it is impossible to read effectively for meaning.

Teaching biblical languages for all learning styles

I've recently (re)read an article sent to me this past summer entitled "Preparing Latin Teachers for Second Language Acquisition," pp. 184-191 in Teaching Classical Languages (Spring 2010) by Robert Patrick, PhD.  This online peer-reviewed journal can be found here, and the article in question here. While the BLC does not at this point provide resources [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:39-07:00August 15th, 2011|ancient language acquisition, Blog|4 Comments

Why study biblical languages?

First Things, published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an inter-religious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society, just posted an article entitled "Why study biblical languages?" In the post, the author Nicholas Frankovich highlights the difference between savoir and [...]

10 Reasons for using “Communicative Language Teaching”

Biblical languages are usually taught using a Grammar-Translation approach, where one learns grammar rules and vocabulary in order to translate a text into one's mother tongue. The Biblical Language Center, however, purposely avoids GT in favor of the principles of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Here are 10 reasons why.

By |2011-03-10T22:55:24-08:00March 9th, 2011|ancient language acquisition, Blog|3 Comments

Biblical Hebrew at Fresno Pacific University

Wayne Steffen, editor-in-chief of Pacific Magazine, wrote an article for the March 2010 volume about my Biblical Hebrew course here at Fresno Pacific University. It has recently been put on FPU's website. He begins his article by describing language learning by immersion: "REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE A BABY?   Probably not, so here’s what happened: [...]

By |2011-09-14T23:16:26-07:00April 14th, 2010|Blog|2 Comments

The Hebrew Language Academy on lamed-yud pi“el: גִלִּיתִי and גִלֵּיתִי

Yesterday, 27 Jan 2010, the Hebrew Language Academy confirmed that alternative 1st and 2nd person suffix tense (‘past’) forms of pi``el lamed-yud roots will be officially acceptable in modern Hebrew. גִלֵּיתִי will be acceptable, and apparently even גִלֵּיתָ. The reason for the confirmation and acceptance is that forms with both [i] and [e] occur in [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:44-07:00January 28th, 2010|Biblical Hebrew verb, Hebrew Language Academy, Piel|2 Comments

Arabic and Aspect and Tense

In a discussion on another blog, www.AncientHebrewPoetry.typepad.com , John Hobbins asked me about tense and aspect in Arabic, with an implicit question on its relevance to biblical Hebrew tense-aspect, "Does [Östen] Dahl represent a consensus point of view when he interprets the classical Arabic verbal system as at root aspectual? Or is there a continuing [...]

By |2017-06-12T21:31:46-07:00February 10th, 2008|Blog|4 Comments