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    Detailed study of Hebrew language and syntax, with weekly language exercises. The translation and exegesis of selected passages.

    This paper builds on the introductory study of Hebrew done in HEBR 131/132 (or the equivalent), and is an excellent way to deepen your knowledge of Hebrew, so as to have a lifelong resource for the study of the Bible in its original language. The paper introduces students to the detailed study of specific biblical texts in the original Hebrew. We will become familiar with Hebrew grammar, syntax, and style, and learn how to use not only the standard editions of the biblical texts, but also the major grammars, lexica, and biblical commentaries. The texts studied change from year to year.

    About this paper

    Paper title Hebrew Old Testament Exegesis 2
    Subject Biblical Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period(s) Full Year (Distance learning)
    Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    HEBR 103 or (HEBR 131 and HEBR 132)
    Pre or Corequisite
    BIBS 112
    BIBX 213
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology

    Students must have studied enough Hebrew to read simple biblical texts in the original before the paper begins. This usually means that they must have completed HEBR132 (or equivalent).


    Dr James Harding:

    Teaching staff

    Dr James Harding

    Paper Structure

    This paper involves studying a selection of Hebrew texts from the Tanakh/Old Testament in order to make the transition from elementary study of Hebrew to reading the Tanakh/Old Testament with confidence in the original. Texts will be drawn from the Former Prophets (Historical Books), Legal literature, Latter Prophets, “Wisdom” Literature, and Psalms. Classes and assignments will focus on understanding the grammar, syntax, idioms of the selected texts, and on the challenges of translation.


    • Five assignments worth 5% each (25%)
    • Comments on grammar and syntax (15%)
    • Final examination (60%)
    Teaching Arrangements

    Two one-hour classes per week for the full year. Distance students join in the classes remotely via Zoom. Attendance at all classes is expected, but students who are unable to join a class can watch recordings of the classes they have missed.

    Note: Students are expected to do a significant amount of work outside class.



    Ehud Ben Zvi, Maxine Hancock, and Richard Beinert, Readings in Biblical Hebrew: An Intermediate Textbook (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).


    Bill T. Arnold and John H. Choi, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) (eReserve).

    H. H. Hardy II, Exegetical Gems from Biblical Hebrew: A Refreshing Guide to Grammar and Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2019) (eReserve).

    H. P. Rüger (ed.), Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (4th ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1990).

    Course outline
    View the course outline for BIBS 213
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this paper, students will:

    • be able to translate the set texts from the Torah, the Former and Latter Prophets, the “Wisdom” Literature, and the Psalms
    • understand the grammar, syntax, idioms, accents, and literary forms of these texts
    • be able to explain the difficulties with translating these texts


    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system

    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22, 29-35, 37-42
    Tuesday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22, 29-35, 37-42
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