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Hebrew Texts - 20 credits (RT2304)

Module Tutor: Dr Daniel King

Summary of course content

The double module involves reading selected chapters of the Hebrew Bible in the original language as a means of improving language competence. Students are expected to be able to translate Hebrew into English for both prepared and unseen texts. They are required to study and comment upon the prepared texts in a scholarly fashion.

Credits: 20

Availability of module: Every year

Prerequisites: RT2105 or RT2202

Necessary for: N/A

Aims

  1. Deepen, broaden and develop your understanding of classical Hebrew and your ability to employ it in the reading of texts from the Hebrew Bible, both prose and verse
  2. Provide you with an understanding of the problems involved in interpreting an ancient text in an ancient language, and the way scholarship sets about dealing with these problems, including philological, textual, literary and historical methodologies
  3. Extend your knowledge and understanding of the Hebrew Bible and the society which gave rise to it (‘Ancient Israel’), specifically in those areas which are related to the texts to be studied.
  4. Improve your language skills such that you can translate (with assistance) unseen Hebrew prose.

Learning outcomes

  1. An ability to read with a fair degree of fluency the texts which have been studied in Hebrew, and as a consequence be in a position to tackle, with the standard scholarly lexical and grammatical aids, other texts from the Hebrew Bible
  2. An ability to comment on the various problems involved in interpreting the texts selected for study, and as a consequence be in a position also to approach other texts from the Hebrew Bible in a scholarly fashion
  3. An understanding of a number of key issues in Old Testament studies related to the interpretation of the selected texts, and thus be in a position also to approach other issues of Old Testament study in an appropriate scholarly manner.
  4. Transferable Skills:
    i. Interpreting and appreciating the message and significance of a difficult and initially obscure document
    ii. making it comprehensible in one’s own language and cultural context
    iii. evaluating its character, worth and importance in a variety of ways and against a variety of criteria
    iv. communicating the processes and results of one’s enquiries
    v. understanding the limitations of knowledge by the nature of the available evidence

Teaching methods

Language Classes

Assessment

3hr Examination (80%); Coursework (20%)

Suggested book purchases

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, or
The Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (ed. Clines)

Suggested preparatory reading

Philip Satterthwaite and Gordon McConville, Exploring the Old Testament. Vol. 2, The histories (London : SPCK, 2007)
E. Lucas, Exploring the Old Testament, vol.3 Psalms (SPCK, 2003)

Primary sources

2 Kings 2-10
Psalms 19,23,44, 46-48, 51