One of the greatest challenges after a few semesters of Biblical Hebrew is to maintain your skills. Even more critical is to improve your skills! The single most efficient way to maintain and increase your BH is to read! But too many folks never find a way to make that happen. While there are many suggestions I could make (and will in the future!), today I want to encourage you to use one tool that should be in your BH toolbox. What? You have misplaced your toolbox? Get another one started!
Zondervan’s A Reader’s Hebrew Bible is an easy way to read more. If you have learned vocabulary by frequency, then you probably have learned down to at least the 100+ level (in other words, all the vocabulary that occurs 100 times or more in the Hebrew Bible). This is only 328 words! All other vocabulary is footnoted on each page of this bible. Here are some of the features that Zondervan mentions:
- Complete text of the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible using the Leningrad Codex (minus critical apparatus)
- Shaded Hebrew names that occur less than 100 times
- Footnoted definitions of all Hebrew words occurring 100 times or less (twenty-five or less for Aramaic words)
- Context-specific glosses
- Stem-specific glossed definitions for verb forms (Qal, Piel, Hiphil, and so forth)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still want to encourage you to study your BHS, but this Reader’s Hebrew Bible is very helpful for reading larger passages. You can move more quickly through the text. You won’t waste time trying to parse names you are unfamiliar with. If you take my advice and start reading more, you will soon begin to pick up vocabulary from context clues.
Want to try it? Zondervan provides sample chapters of Genesis!
The Rock On! section of this blog will feature recommended reading, so check back as I begin to add to the list.