Biblical Hebrew I A

lglor1631  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Biblical Hebrew I A
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
5 credits
45.0 h
Q1 and Q2

This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2020-2021
Haelewyck Jean-Claude;
Main themes

An initiation into biblical masoretic Hebrew.
Alternately with LGLOR1632, this course, if the occasion arises, is given to two distinct groups of students according to their level.
- For the level I.1 (beginners) it deals with writing, basic vocabulary, nominal morphology and regular verbs, as well as reading biblical texts of an elementary level.
'- For the level I.2, it deals with morphology of weak verbs and the reading of biblical texts of average difficulty.
Students in Theology and in Biblical Studies follow the level I.1 (value 6 credits in their program).
The students following the course for 9 credits add some additional exercises (value 3 credits).

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 At the end of this course, the student will be capable to translate a prose text of elementary level from the Hebrew bible. In order to achieve this goal, he will have acquired the writing and the basic vocabulary, and he will be able to recognise the principal characteristics of the morphology (noun and regular verb), and to recognise the principle structures of the phrases.
 If the student has already followed LGLOR1632, he will be capable of translating a prose text of average difficulty from the Hebrew bible, using the basic tools (dictionary, grammar). He will be able to explain the principal characteristics of the morphology of weak verbs.
Biblical masoretic Hebrew is a Canaan dialect (western Semitic), attested in the Jewish bible and in several old inscriptions. Comparatively simple, it nevertheless requires an effort of adaptation for someone confronted with a Semitic language for the first time.
The course permits an initiation to the writing, to the basic vocabulary and to the grammar (morphology of the noun and verb). The course very quickly turns to the reading of biblical texts (stories in Hebrew drawn from Genesis, the Book of judges, or Samuel; the choice will be made with the students).
Such reading allows  the student to consolidate his grammatical knowledge and to discover the principal characteristics of Hebrew syntax.
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

The lectures on the grammar are based on the manual of J Weingreen, with exercises to be prepared individually and corrected in class (examples illustrating the grammar points).
Reading in class biblical texts prepared beforehand by the students.
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

1st session : (January)
Written exam: translation of extracts of the exercises from the textbook (A) or of a biblical texts explained during the lessons (B).
2d and 3rd sessions : (June / September)
Oral exam (20 minutes + 90 minutes preparation): translation of 1 or 2 texts explained during the lessons (textbook or Bible) and 1 unknown biblical text. Explanation of some morphological forms.
The use of working tools (textbook, dictionary, grammar) is allowed.
NB.: The exam of the 1st session matters for 30 % of the final note.
Other information
  • For level I.1, fixed by the Faculty.
  • For level I.2, fixed by the lecturer at a first lecture
Online resources
Bible Works (available only at one computer in BTEC).

Ouvrages fondamentaux :
  • J. Weingreen, L'hébreu biblique : méthode élémentaire, Paris, Beauchesne, 2004 (2e éd. revue et corrigée par J.-C. Haelewyck).
  • Ph. Reymond, Dictionnaire d'hébreu et d'araméen bibliques, Paris, Cerf, 1991.
Ouvrages complémentaires :
  • P. Joüon, Grammaire de l'hébreu biblique, Rome, P.I.B., 1965.
  • F. Brown, S.R. Driver, C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1975.
  • F. Zorell, Lexicon hebraicum et aramaicum Veteris Testamenti, Rome, P.I.B., 1968.
Faculty or entity
Force majeure
Evaluation methods
Continuous evaluation

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Sciences of Religions

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Minor in Antiquity: Egypt, Eastern World, Greece, Rome

Bachelor in religious studies

Certificat universitaire en études bibliques

Master [120] in Theology