Introducing Biblical Hebrew

Preparing to learn Biblical Hebrew

Any student of the Bible will be amply rewarded for learning biblical Hebrew. As with any language learning, however, it takes some effort. The resources gathered here should help you make a strong start.

What you will find here

It will help your start to Hebrew classes enormously to have learned the alphabet. On the Start page, you will find worksheets in PDF to help you start making Hebrew characters in “square script”, as well as an MP3 file of a native speaker pronouncing the alphabet (or “alephbet”!). There is also some text for you to read, and again an accompanying MP3 file to let you know what it should sound like. The Tools page gives you some pointers about software tools that will help you with the study of the Hebrew Bible. Other websites of interest are on the Links page. If you want to be in touch about the course, contact details are (surprise!) on the Contact page.

Some encouragement

The noted figure from the Reformation, Martin Luther (1483-1546), is widely quoted as saying:

The Hebrew language is the best language of all ... If I were younger I would want to learn this language, because no one can really understand the Scriptures without it. For although the New Testament is written in Greek, it is full of Hebraisms and Hebrew expressions. It has therefore been aptly said that the Hebrews drink from the spring, the Greeks from the stream that flows from it, and the Latins from a downstream pool.

(Table Talk, quoted in Pinchas E. Lapide, Hebrew in the Church: The Foundations of Jewish-Christian Dialogue, [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984], p. x.)