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BA Latin and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Biblical Hebrew

Unit code RELT20140
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Religions & Theology
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


After a few introductory classes in which you will learn how to pronounce and write Biblical Hebrew, we will proceed by studying the main aspects of Biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax and practising that knowledge through grammatical and translation exercises. By the end of the course you will be familiar with much of Lily Kahn’s The Routledge Introductory Course in Biblical Hebrew, which you will not need to learn by heart in its entirety. However, you will need to know how to use it in general in preparation of a possible follow on course on Biblical Hebrew Texts. You will also have read and understood the biblical passages from Genesis in Khan up to Unit 18.

Teaching and learning methods

There will be 22 weeks of 2 hour intensive language classes (i.e. 44 hours in total over the full academic year). You will be expected to attend all classes and to participate fully by being prepared to translate simple texts in Biblical Hebrew and to explain grammatical forms and syntactical constructions. It is recommended you set a weekly time apart to meet up with your peers to go through the materials together and assist one another’s learning. In case of problems, your course convenor will be available for consultation during office hours.

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

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative


Weighting within unit (if summative)

Weekly homework in the form of grammatical and translation exercises to be submitted to the course convenor




Two class tests


1 hour each




2 hours



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


Additional one-to-one feedback available (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)



Recommended reading

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

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 33
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 156

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Justin Daneshmand Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Please find a full discribtion of this course unit  in MyManchester.

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