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Basics of Biblical Aramaic: Complete Grammar, Lexicon, and Annotated Text Paperback – June 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Bilingual edition (June 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310493919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310493914
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Miles Van Pelt (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Alan Belcher Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, where he also serves as Academic Dean. Miles lives in Madison, Mississippi, with his wife, Laurie, and their four children.


More About the Author

Miles V. Van Pelt (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.) is the Alan Belcher Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi where he also serves as the Academic Dean and the Director of the Summer Institute for Biblical Languages. As you can see from the list of publications, Miles is passionate about teaching the biblical languages and providing resources to help students learn. Each summer he directs a series of eight-week intensive language courses which include Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. Graduate students from around the world show up each summer for this fully accredited program - the ultimate biblical language boot camp!

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this work for all Hebrew students.
Brendan Knox
Dr. Miles V. Van Pelt - co-author of <em>Basics of Biblical Hebrews</em> - has recently published a grammar of Aramaic.
Jacob Sweeney
This is merciful to the students who will work their way through BBA (and good pedagogy).
Abram Kielsmeier-Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Paavo Tucker on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very similar to the grammar by Greenspahn. It assumes a knowledge of Biblical Hebrew, follows the same basic structure, and has very similar exercises to G. G follows the German designations for verb stems (G, D, H etc) whereas van Pelt goes with Peal, Peil, Haphel etc, which I prefer as they are easier to remember as they sound like the verbs when pronounced. As an improvement to G, this book has the full text of every Aramaic verse in the bible accompanied with notes to help in translation (compared to G, which has dummied down and condensed snippets of the biblical materials at the end of each chapter as translation exercises). As it's title suggests, the book is limited to Biblical Aramaic, whereas G branches out into extra-biblical materials in Targum, Midrash, letters and inscriptions. If you are interested in learning Biblical Aramaic and nothing more, van Pelt is sufficient and preferable to G. If you want to learn Biblical Aramaic as a springboard into other Aramaic materials, G provides a better foundation for that.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Sweeney on June 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Learning Biblical Languages is rarely easy for anyone. It's a difficult subject that requires significant amount of practice and review. My own experience has taught me, however, that a good teacher makes all the difference. Besides the teacher the choice of textbook makes a great difference. I have used both the Greek and Hebrew textbooks published by Zondervan and have been helped tremendously by them all.

Zondervan has made another helpful addition to their growing number of language resources. Dr. Miles V. Van Pelt - co-author of <em>Basics of Biblical Hebrews</em> - has recently published a grammar of Aramaic. Those who are familiar with Hebrew and Old Testament are aware that there are a number of important OT passages that come to us in Aramaic.

Those who have used Van Pelt's Hebrew grammar will find a similar structure in this grammar. I find the layout helpful. I am a highly visual learner and the frequent charts and break-up of paragraphs prevented the all-to-frequent feeling of being overwhelmed by content. The grammar also comes with a lexicon of Aramaic vocabulary and a collection of OT texts that are in Aramaic.

Reviewing this text exposed my need to brush up on my knowledge of Hebrew grammar. Van Pelt's contribution is not for those who have not had training in Hebrew first. But, for those who do have training in Hebrew this will prove a very helpful text for Aramaic. I can't wait to have the time to dive into this grammar and benefit from Van Pelt's excellent ability to teach difficult subjects.

NOTE: In accordance with the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission I would like to state that I have received the aforementioned text as compensation for my review.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Abram Kielsmeier-Jones on August 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This textbook is a great one. I'm amazed at how much Aramaic it helped me pick up in just a long afternoon and evening. What follows is my review of Miles V. Van Pelt's stellar text, Basics of Biblical Aramaic. It's a winner!

Basics of Biblical Aramaic (BBA hereafter) is a "Complete Grammar, Lexicon, and Annotated Text." I'll review each of these components in turn.

SCOPE, AIM AND AUDIENCE

BBA seeks to include "everything you need to learn biblical Aramaic" and is "designed for those who already have a working knowledge of biblical Hebrew." This is a fair expectation, since most students of Aramaic only come to Aramaic having already had Hebrew (and often Greek, too). This allows Van Pelt to use Hebrew as a springboard for Aramaic throughout the book, which he does to great effect. He writes "for those students who desire to study, teach, and preach faithfully from those portions of the Bible that appear in Aramaic."

I write as a member of Van Pelt's target audience. I've had (more than) a year of Hebrew but no Aramaic to date.

GRAMMAR

Van Pelt divides the grammar into the following sections:

*Phonology, in which he introduces the Aramaic alphabet, vowels, and syllabification
*The Nominal System, in which he covers nouns (absolute, determined, and construct states), conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns and pronominal suffixes, adjectives, numerals, adverbs, and particles
*The Verbal system, in which he covers the simple Peal stem in all its conjugations (perfect, imperfect, imperative, etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Knox on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
The often forgotten biblical language of Aramaic does not share the same good variety of resources that can be found for Greek and Hebrew. Yet, as Van Pelt notes in the introduction of this grammar and workbook, Aramaic is part of the Bible, and constitutes a small, but significant portion of the Old Testament text. Consequently, it is important that the student be able to rightly interpret the Aramaic text of the Old Testament wherever it appears.

Van Pelt has provided this grammar, lexicon, and annotated text, to help the student in the interpretation of these portions of Scripture. Due to the small portion of the Old Testament that is in Aramaic, and this books limitation to only Biblical Aramaic, Van Pelt is able to cover all the basic ground necessary for the interpretation of Aramaic in the Old Testament in one volume.

First, this book assumes some knowledge of Hebrew, and the more Hebrew one knows, the easier this book will be to use. It first serves as a basic introduction and grammar for Aramaic and then provides exercises for each concept introducing concept after concept. The first chapters are dedicated to the alphabet, nouns, prepositions, adjectives, and so on. The latter portion of the grammar is dedicated to the Aramaic verbal system. The grammar shows the clear connections between Hebrew and Aramaic.

The second portion of the book (after the grammar) contains charts and paradigms along with a lexicon of all of the Aramaic words in the OT (derived from the HALOT lexicon). The third part of the book contains the entirety of the Aramaic text of the Old Testament fully annotated and designed as an "Aramaic reader" for the student who has completed the grammatical work in the book.
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