Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
Lambdin (Thomas)
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Amazon Customer Reviews

  1. This is an excellent introduction to Biblical Hebrew: I have been using this learning grammar (in 1999) since I first learned Hebrew in 1976. It is an outstanding introduction to a language that is difficult for most "western"-language speakers. It covers the material quite systematically, but does not move too quickly and thereby lose the student along the way. It provides a useful introductory vocabulary. The readings are largely limited to biblical prose texts, which is a bit of a shortfall, but as an introductory text it is just about the only one I would use. I heartily recommend it. I plan to use the work for a class I am teaching in my small Anglican (Episcopal) Church. The fact that I am using this grammar for an introductory course at a parish level speaks, I believe, for its extremely great usefulness as a teaching tool.
  2. Don't believe the hype: This book is a slightly useful reference grammar, NOT a suitable introductory grammar. As is typical of scholarly works, Lambdin delights in doing things with his own brainy spin added in, yet the result is utter confusion and despair for the beginning student. Except for the verbs, Biblical Hebrew is a super easy subject. Anyone should be able to pick up the basics in a matter of days, yet what is needed is a teacher who can cut through all the confusion and relay the necessary information in an intelligent way; Page Kelley does this, as does the EKS publishers: Lambdin however does not. DO buy this book if you know Hebrew and want to pick up a few odd pointers but by all means DO NOT buy this book if you're just starting out. Lambdin's wild introductory phonetics-scheme is enough to make you quit before you even get to lesson one. Hebrew doesn't have to be this hard!
  3. Grammar focused but an excellent introduction: This is an excellent introductory work for anyone interested in learning Biblical Hebrew. It starts at a gentle pace before building to become a more comprehensive course than most other introductory level workbooks or Hebrew grammars. It was used as the core text on my degree and I feel that because we used this work my familiarity with Hebrew grammar is better than my contemporaries who used other works. I recommend that anyone working alone with it should also get the 'answer Key' so they can check there workings in the problems that end each chapter. I would also leave the introduction alone until after some study in the main the part of book; although it is highly interesting. When you are about two thirds of the way though this book you should already be starting to be able to read the easier narrative sections of Hebrew Bible. The vocab. is geared towards the book of Jonah at the start, but later the texts are not limited to that book. This is a really good choice; my one word of warning is that the binding of the paperback edition is not really up to being carried backwards and forward to classes and I had to bind and re-bind mine with brown paper.

Book Comment

Heythrop recommendation. See "Williamson (H.G.M.) - Annotated Key to Lambdin's Introduction to Biblical Hebrew" for the key to the exercises.

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