BH502 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew 1b – Robin Van Riper

Instructor: Robin Van Riper

Location: Orbund (

Dates: Dec. 23, 2018–Feb. 24, 2019 (Winter Quarter, 2018-2019)


BH502 is the second of three segments of MJTI’s comprehensive one-year graduate level introduction to the grammar of biblical Hebrew. Building upon the skills taught in BH501 the student is introduced to finite verbs in three of the seven major verb groups. Students learn to parse verbs for their form and function. Distinct from English verbs that indicate tense (i.e. past, present, future), biblical Hebrew verbs are best understood to indicate aspect. Aspect refers to the perspective being presented by the speaker/writer. Is the perspective that of an outsider looking in at a situation that has already occurred (“perfect”), or is he living through an event as it develops (“imperfect”). Students also become acquainted with the basic syntax (the arrangement of words and phrases that create well-formed sentences) of the verbal clause. Students begin to learn to apply their grammatical knowledge to the translation and interpretation of segments of narrative and poetic texts of the Tanakh.

This course is offered to equip students in the Rabbinic Studies and Jewish Studies programs to take required and elective Tanakh and Rabbinic Writings courses.

The nuanced and in-depth meanings of biblical and rabbinic texts are expressed in their original languages (Hebrew, with a small amount of Aramaic). The Biblical Hebrew Series lays a foundation for students to grapple with these meanings and acquire first-hand knowledge of these writings rather than rely fully on translations which often fail, or are not able, to convey these nuances and depths. Students who complete the series will be positioned to establish a lifelong pattern of Hebrew text study for personal illumination and, where appropriate, to prepare more nuanced and in-depth public talks.

BH501 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew 1a or permission of instructor

Students must have a computer and Internet access.

The course is offered by live, online video conference meeting weekly. Each session is 2 hours in duration.

Study assigned materials prior to each session; participate actively in the live sessions; complete and submit quizzes and tests by its deadline.

REQUIRED TEXTS (The publication dates indicate the required edition of each text)

  • Brown, Francis, D.D., D. Litt., S. R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1994.
  • Green, Jennifer S., G. Brooke Lester and Joseph F. Scrivner. Handbook to A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, Revised Edition., Nashville: Abingdom Press, 2005.
  • Seow, C. L. A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, Revised Edition. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.
Not yet an MJTI Student?

Apply Today

Get started with our hassle-free application process.


Scholarships are available for students.


Accepted students may register for all classes currently offered.

Academic Forms

Access MJTI Catalog and All Forms.

Pin It on Pinterest