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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 BIBS 213 (or the equivalent) and advances students' abilities to read biblical texts in the original Hebrew and interpret them critically. We will immerse ourselves in particular biblical texts, becoming more familiar with the intricacies of Hebrew grammar, syntax, and style and deepening our acquaintance with the major grammars, lexica, and biblical commentaries. This paper is an excellent way to deepen one's knowledge of Hebrew, so as to have a lifelong resource for the study of the Bible in its original language and its ancient context. The specific texts covered change from year to year.

    About this paper

    Paper title Hebrew Old Testament Exegesis 3
    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.
    BIBS 213 or BIBX 213
    BIBX 313
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology

    Students must have a sound grasp of the grammar and syntax of Biblical Hebrew, as well as some experience of reading biblical texts in Hebrew, before the paper begins. This usually means that they must have successfully completed BIBS213 (or equivalent).


    Revd Dr James Harding:

    Teaching staff

    Revd 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 intermediate study of Hebrew to reading extended passages from the Tanakh/Old Testament with confidence in the original. Texts will be drawn from the narratives of the Torah and Former Prophets (Historical Books), Legal literature, Latter Prophets, “Wisdom” Literature, and Psalms. Classes and assignments will focus on developing the skills needed to use the major tools for research on the Hebrew text of the Bible.


    • 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, plus weekly one-hour tutorial. 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. Students of BIBS313 will join in the classes for BIBS213, but will also study additional biblical texts in Hebrew (weekly one-hour tutorial to be arranged).

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



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

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


    Paul Joüon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (2nd ed.; Subsidia Biblica, 27; Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2006).

    Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (2 vols.; trans. M. E. J. Richardson; Leiden: Brill, 2001).

    Course outline
    View the course outline for BIBS 313
    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, and be able to explain the difficulties with translating them
    • be able to use advanced grammatical and lexical tools with confidence


    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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