Monday, 10 July 2017

Toomas Karmo: Study Aids for Biblical Hebrew

Study aids for Biblical Hebrew - a philological topic discussed in my "Further to Mr Kaller: Three Theological Shocks" posting of 2017-07-03 or 2017-07-04. From the bottom of the stack upward: the popularizing 1975 Time-Life book on the pre-Exilic Israelites which I had found so helpful the day before I started that blog posting; my Pratico-and-Van Pelt Hebrew grammar, opened to a page rather dense in pencil annotations; a trusty pencil (with  "B" lead; "B" is perhaps more comfortable than the more usual "HB", both for philology and for mathematics-physics); a laminated four-page study aid, summarizing main grammar points (and therefore useful in raising morale: from glancing at the aid, one can not only recall tricky details in paradigms, but also can accurately gauge how much of the language is already learned, and how much of it remains terra incognita); a trusty evening cuppa. Not shown is a book which I hope to pick up this week from theology shop Crux, on the University of Toronto campus, and which I already last week asked Crux to set aside for me, awaiting pickup  -  W.L. Holladay's Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988). It appears from reader reviews that Holladay is an appropriate first lexicon. The Hebrew professionals (to whose ranks I perhaps can never aspire) will instead work from some such multi-volume reference as L.Köhler, W. Baumartner and J. Stamm, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, (translated and edited by M.E.J.Richardson; as of the year 2001, the Richardson version of Köhler-Bamgartner-Stamm is available for a gut-wrenching 300 USD or 400 USD or so, in an unabridged, and yet specially compact, two-volume "study edition" from Boston publisher Brill; the earlier, half-dozen-volume, publication of this lexicon was still more expensive). 

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