Biblical Hebrew

Course Syllabus

Winter 2019


GS420 – Biblical Hebrew

Thursdays 6:00pm to 9:30pm

Instructor: JD Eldridge, M.A.

Phone: (858) 336-7598


Our Mission:

The Branch College of Ministry exists to develop, equip, and inspire Christian leaders for excellence in ministry to the church.


Course Description:

Biblical Hebrew introduces students to the fundamentals of Hebrew language. Students can expect to enrich their knowledge of Hebrew grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. This serves to help the student translate Hebrew into English and properly interpret authorial intent. A working knowledge of Hebrew will enhance the student’s skills in exegesis, will provide the critical skills necessary to evaluate various translations and will broaden access to advanced study tools and commentaries.


Student Outcomes:

After taking this course students will know or be able to do the following:

1. Pronounce, write, and transliterate the characters of the Hebrew alphabet.

2. Read the Hebrew text phonetically, with increased recognition of the most commonly occurring words and phrases.    

3. Apply basic principles of Hebrew grammar and syntax to further enhance both research and word studies in the Old Testament.

4. Properly use resources such as bible software programs, Hebrew-English Lexicons, and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS).


Program Learning Outcomes

This course, when combined with other courses, fulfills the Program Learning Outcome 1:

1. Successfully utilize various methods of Biblical Interpretation.


Institutional Learning Outcomes

This course, when combined with other courses, fulfills the Institutional Learning Outcome 4:

4. Possess the knowledge and skill required to succeed in leadership roles and in service to the community.


Required Textbooks:

1. Kelley, Page. “Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar.” Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.

(Please purchase a hard copy, as this textbook contains written exercises.)


2. A digital or hard copy of the Masoretic Text (MT). During the first class session the instructor will discuss purchase options and assist the students in selecting a Hebrew Bible.  


Course Requirements:

1. Weekly Quizzes (40%): There will be short quizzes each week to ensure that the student is memorizing the key elements of the language. See class schedule below. 


2. Class Participation/Verbal Readings (20%). Each week, students will read from the Hebrew text and do in-class verbal exercises.  


3. Workbook Assignments (30%). Each week, there will be workbook assignments done outside of class that will be handed in at the beginning of each class. See class schedule below.  


4. Attendance (10%):  You will be given credit for coming to class and penalized for missing class. You must attend at least ten of the twelve classes—in their entirety—to pass the course.   




Value of Assignments                                                    Grading Scale

    Quizzes                                            40%                       96-100        A           77-79    C+       60-62         D-

    Verbalizations                                20%                        92-95          A-          73-76    C         below 60    F

    Textbook Assignments                 30%                        88-91          B+         70-72    C-

    Attendance                                    10%                        84-87           B           67-69    D+

                                                                                             80-83          B-          63-66    D



Class Schedule:


Class #


Due at start of class


Class 1


Lecture: Introduction to Hebrew

Chapter I and II:

Hebrew Alphabet and Vowels


Bring Kelley Textbook, Syllabus, and Paper for writing exercises.  


Pronunciation and writing activities.

Class 2


Chapter III and IV:

Misc. foundational syntax and grammar, Accents, and Syllables

Review Chapter I and II.


Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter I and II Quiz


Chapter III and IV overview and exercises

Class 3


Chapter V and VI:

Gutturals, Definite Article, Preposition, and the Vav Conjunction



Review Chapter III and IV.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter III and IV Quiz


Chapter V and VI overview and exercises

Class 4


Chapter VII and VIII:

Nouns and Adjectives

Review Chapter V and VI.

Complete textbook exercises.



Chapter V and VI Quiz


Chapter VII and VIII overview and exercises

Class 5


Chapter IX and X:

Pronouns and the Construct


Review Chapter VII and VIII.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter VII and VIII Quiz


Chapter IX and X overview and exercises

Class 6


Chapter XI and XII:

Pronominal Suffixes and an Intro to Verbs

Review Chapter IX and X.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter IX and X Quiz


Chapter XI and XII overview and exercises

Class 7


Chapter XIII and XIV:

Interrogatives, Numerals, and Verb Stems


Review Chapter XI and XII.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter XI and XII Quiz


Chapter XIII and XIV overview and exercises

Class 8


Chapter XV and XVI:

Imperfects, Jussive, Cohortative, and He- Directive

Review Chapter XIII and XIV.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter XIII and XIV Quiz


Chapter XV and XVI overview and exercises

Class 9


Chapter XVII and XVIII:

Expansion on Pronominal Suffixes, Imperatives

Review Chapter XV and XVI.

Complete textbook exercises.



Chapter XV and XVI Quiz


Chapter XVII and XVIII overview and exercises

Class 10


Chapter XIX and XX:

Infinitives and Participles

Review Chapter XVII and XVIII.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter XVII and XVIII.  Quiz


Chapter XIX and XX overview and exercises

Class 11


Chapter XXI and XXII:

Coordinate and Conjunction with verbs, and synopsis of Weak Verbs

Review Chapter XIX and XX.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter XIX and XX Quiz


Chapter XXI and XXII overview and exercises

Class 12


Final Review

Review Chapter XXI and XXII.

Complete textbook exercises.


Chapter XXI and XXII Quiz


Course Overview


Library Policy and Procedures


1. Library Hours

·         Monday – Friday: 8:30am–4:30pm

·         During Classroom Times (6pm-9:30pm)


2. Students/patrons may not check out reference books, dictionaries, or commentaries that come in complete sets. Please ask a Branch College faculty or staff member when in doubt.


3. Students/patrons must check out books with a Branch College faculty or staff member using the Library computer.  Do not remove books from the library without checking them out with a Branch College staff or faculty member. 


4. Students/patrons will be allowed 5 weeks from the date they check out a book to return it.  Failure to return the book or books on time will result in a loss of privilege to use the library and a withholding of grades until books are returned or paid for by the college’s determined value of the book.  Damaged books may be fined as determined and assessed by the college up to the full value of the book.


5. Students/patrons must return all books to the designated book return area in the library rather than returning them to their shelves. This will enable the college to track the extent to which the library is being used by its students/patrons.


* Students must use the Branch College library for at least two (2) of their sources for their final paper.  



The Branch College Academic Policy:


Attendance:  A student who misses 3 classes will be automatically dropped from the course unless arrangements have been made previously with the instructor due to emergency or extreme circumstances. A student who misses class is responsible for all class notes, assignments and any exams that occurred during their absence. It may or may not be possible to make up these assignments, at the discretion of the instructor. Excused absences (that do not fall under the definition of emergency or extreme circumstances) will not count against the “automatic drop” policy, but the grade will reflect a reduction for such absences for each class period missed.


Readings: Assigned readings are mandatory and should be completed in advance of the classes for which they are scheduled in the syllabus. Knowledge of the readings will be critical for understanding the lectures and subsequent discussions, and for preparing for the final examination. 


Quality of Writing: Written assignments should be undertaken as though you were preparing them for publication, even if only for publication in your church or denomination. This discipline should help to improve the quality of your writing. Emphasis in this class will always be placed on the quality rather than the quantity of your work. I appreciate and reward good and lucid writing, and I depreciate and downgrade poor and obscure writing. It is a matter of communication. Clarity and precision of language make communication easier and understanding more pleasurable.

Formal Style of Writing: All assignments should be typed and written in a formal style of language, with no use of contractions or slang. Papers should include notations (footnotes, or parenthetical notations), and a Bibliography or Works Cited that follow the correct formatting found in the eighth edition of A Manual for Writers, by Turabian.

Plagiarism: Anyone who plagiarizes (i.e., presents as one’s own work something which has been taken from someone else) may receive an automatic failure on that piece of work and a warning.  (Plagiarism can involve the taking of an idea or structure of a written work as well as the actual copying of what is written.)  For a first-time offense, the student will receive a 0% grade for the paper with a 1-week grace period to rectify and correct the paper. If such corrections are made on time and to the standards of the course outline the result will be a grade maximum grade of 60%. A second offense of plagiarism will result in failure (“F”) for the final course grade.


Late Papers: All papers are due at the prescribed dates specifically listed in this syllabus. Each paper is due prior to the start of the class period. (Example, if it is an evening class, then the paper shall be due by 6pm. If an afternoon class, then the paper shall be due by 1pm.)  Each day the paper is late will be a 10% reduction in the overall grade.  Extenuating circumstances will be the sole reason that a paper can be turned in late, but prior written approval or communication to the instructor is needed. With extenuating circumstances, the professor has the discretion to deduct as he/she sees fit.  


Completion of Work: All assignments must be completed to pass the course. Extended due dates will be granted only in cases of hardship such as hospitalization or emergency absence from class. Unless such a situation arises immediately before a deadline, arrangements cannot be made after the fact without receiving a reduction in your grade. A similar policy applies regarding course incompletes. 

Incomplete: If the student finds they will be unable to complete the course within the allotted time -period they may request an Incomplete from the instructor. To request an Incomplete the student must obtain an Incomplete Form either from the website or the Branch College office. They are to complete this form and submit it to the instructor for approval by the last class session. Students are ineligible to request an Incomplete for a class after the last class session. The instructor will then file the Incomplete Form with the Administrations office. The student has a maximum of 4-weeks from the last class to complete all course work. If the course work is not completed within the allotted time- period, the student will receive the grade earned as a result of not completing the course work.

© Copyright 2019 Branch College. All Rights Reserved.
Site by RisenAbove

Login »