MA Religions and Theology

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Biblical Hebrew: Beginners

Course unit fact file
Unit code RELT70140
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course is designed to train you in reading Biblical Hebrew fluently and to familiarise you with the ins and outs of Biblical Hebrew grammar. During our weekly classes you will be taught aspects of that grammar systematically. In class and through self-study, you will have the opportunity (1) to practise your knowledge through grammatical and translation exercises and (2) to apply it through reading, translating and grammatically analysing simple texts written in Biblical Hebrew style as well as some easy (and to some extent simplified) portions from the Hebrew Bible, such as narrative ones from Genesis. The basic book for the course is Lily Kahn’s excellent and attractive The Routledge Introductory Course in Biblical Hebrew (London, 2014). By the end of the course you will be ready for an advanced course in Biblical Hebrew in which you will be trained to read the Hebrew Bible independently, applying and deepening your knowledge of its syntax and grammar.


To provide a basic coverage of the grammar and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew

To teach you how to translate and comment on simple, mostly narrative passages of the Hebrew Bible

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate knowledge of the vocabulary most commonly found in the Hebrew Bible

Demonstrate a basic understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax

Demonstrate an awareness of the value of interpreting primary sources in their original language 

Intellectual skills

Demonstrate your ability to analyse an ancient text grammatically.

Manage your own academic development, including reflecting on progress and taking appropriate action.

Practical skills

Read and write Biblical Hebrew

Identify and parse both regular and irregular word-forms

Translate and comment on easy texts in Biblical Hebrew

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Manage time and resources

·      Understand the value of learning languages to access a different culture

·      Demonstrate an enhanced aptitude for independent work

·      Demonstrate an enhanced aptitude for self-motivation

       Demonstrate a broad interest in language, history and culture

Employability skills

Group/team working
Demonstrate your ability to comprehend an ancient language/study independently/manage your time. ¿ Demonstrate your ability to carry out independent study ¿ Demonstrate your ability to participate in group activities ¿ Demonstrate your ability to engage in time-management

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 30%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

2 x class tests 10% each

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Oral feedback in class on a continuous basis


Written feedback on homework


Written feedback on class tests


Written feedback on exam


Lily Kahn, The Routledge Introductory Course in Biblical Hebrew (London: Routledge, 2014)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 44
Independent study hours
Independent study 256

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Todd Klutz Unit coordinator

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