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    A paper for beginners covering the basics of Biblical Hebrew grammar and vocabulary, to enable students to read the Hebrew Bible in the original.

    This paper is an introduction to the main original language of the Hebrew Bible, spoken and written in ancient Israel and Judah in the first millennium BCE and almost certainly well known to Jesus Christ. We cover the Hebrew alefbet, the vowel signs and the basics of Hebrew grammar and syntax (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and the 'waw' conjunction). This paper is essential for anyone wanting to understand the Bible well. It also lays a sound basis for learning other languages that belong to the same language family as Hebrew, such as Aramaic, Akkadian, Ugaritic and Arabic.

    About this paper

    Paper title Introductory Biblical Hebrew 1
    Subject Hebrew
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    HEBX 131
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology
    Any student who would like to learn ancient Hebrew.

    Dr Katie Marcar - email:

    Teaching staff

    Dr Katie Marcar - email:

    Paper Structure
    This paper will be assessed by:
    • Four assignments (5% each)
    • Two tests (15% each)
    • One final examination (50%)
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    Campus and Distance: Three 1-hour lectures per week.

    Distance students participate in the class via a desktop videoconferencing programme called Zoom (available free of charge). Classes are recorded, and students who are unable to join classes can download the videos and watch them later.


    Required: Ethelyn Simon, Irene Resnikoff, & Linda Motzkin (1992). The First Hebrew Primer, Third Edition. EKS Publishing.

    Required: Biblical Hebrew: A Compact Guide, 2nd ed., by Miles V. Van Pelt (Zondervan, 2019).

    Highly Recommended: T J Murphy (2003) Pocket Dictionary For The Study Of Biblical Hebrew, IVP Academic.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Understand the main principles of the grammar of biblical Hebrew
    • Have acquired a broad core vocabulary of the most common words used in the Hebrew Bible
    • Have read and understood basic Hebrew texts from the Bible


    Semester 1

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

    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 9-13, 15-22
    Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 16:00-16:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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