BA Ancient History

Year of entry: 2021

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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

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

  • Manage your own academic development, including reflecting on progress and taking appropriate action
  • Demonstrate your ability to analyse an ancient text grammatically

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

¿ Demonstrate your ability to comprehend an ancient language ¿ Demonstrate your ability to carry out independent study ¿ Demonstrate your ability to participate in group activities ¿ Demonstrate your ability to engage in time-management ¿ 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

Weekly translation and grammatical exercises 0%
2 x class tests 40%
Exam 60%


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
Practical classes & workshops 44
Independent study hours
Independent study 156

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Todd Klutz Unit coordinator

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