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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Tool for Beginning-Intermediate Biblical Hebrew Students
Summary: A Reader's Hebrew Bible is an indispensable tool for learning to read biblical Hebrew. Seminarians and ministers will love this attractive and handy reader for use in the classroom and in personal study. There is no better Hebrew tool on the market for growing the beginner's skill in reading and meditating upon God's Torah.

Why A Hebrew Reader...
Published on December 6, 2008 by In Thy Light

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars poor quality
This review focuses mainly on two things: the quality of the binding and the paper. Positively, this volume follows the same idea in the UBS reader's GNT. The font is acceptable, the lemmas are adeqate. The paper quality is OK at best, and the corners are square cut, which is odd, to say the least. Rounded corners would not only be better aesthetically, but less prone to...
Published 10 months ago by tippy


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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Tool for Beginning-Intermediate Biblical Hebrew Students, December 6, 2008
This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
Summary: A Reader's Hebrew Bible is an indispensable tool for learning to read biblical Hebrew. Seminarians and ministers will love this attractive and handy reader for use in the classroom and in personal study. There is no better Hebrew tool on the market for growing the beginner's skill in reading and meditating upon God's Torah.

Why A Hebrew Reader?

Seminary is not designed to teach you all you need to know about biblical Hebrew. Rather, seminary equips you with the tools necessary to begin the long journey of reading right to left, thinking in parallelisms, observing inclusio's, and following word plays throughout the three quarters of the Holy Scriptures known as the Old Testament. Seminary, then, is simply the beginning of a lifetime of reading and meditating upon the Tanakh "day and night" (Psa. 1).

Once you have begun the arduous journey you are then confronted at every point with a stiff either/or: Either regularly use and grow your Hebrew, or lose it. Inductive study (i.e. reading) is the only possible path for maintaining and growing your Hebrew. Learning a language means using a language. There are no shortcuts.

How, then, can the seminarian or minister navigate this either/or fork in the road? You guessed it ... by reading the Hebrew Bible!

"But wait!" You cry. "I've just about lost all my Hebrew skill! It's been years since I was flipping flashcards and parsing qal paradigms!" Or, perhaps you are staring at your next semester's class schedule pondering whether to start this Hebrew journey in the first place. Fret not on either account; The Reader's Hebrew Bible was written just for you. In the words of the editors:

A Reader's Hebrew Bible (RHB) is designed to facilitate the regular reading of the Scriptures in Hebrew and Aramaic. . . . We especially hope that ministers and former seminarians whose ability in Hebrew and Aramaic has deteriorated will find that RHB helps them recover their skill" (xii-xiii).

Whether you are just beginning the Hebrew journey or are seeking to "recover your skill," the RHB is a sure and steady guide for the trek.
Why This Hebrew Reader?

Amidst the slew of Hebrew Bibles on the market, why should you purchase Zondervan's Reader's Hebrew Bible? Consider the following:
A Singular Goal

Zondervan's RHB has one goal: to help you learn Biblical Hebrew by reading Biblical Hebrew. In a word, this is the only reader's Hebrew Bible on the market.

Other more technical, academic Hebrew Bibles (like BHS) have scholarly aims and thus include scholarly materials (i.e. a detailed text-critical apparatus, complicated multi-lingual scholarly introductions, etc.). Such scholarly tools are wonderful and needed. However, if your goal is to read Biblical Hebrew, to meditate upon the text as you prepare sermons, etc., you need a tool designed for reading.

RHB facilitates reading skills by helping readers overcome the most common obstacles, such as wading through lexicons to learn new vocabulary and marking hard-to-recognize proper nouns.

The Medium Matches the Goal

The physical features of the RHB match its design to facilitate reading and meditating upon the text. For example:

* The large font size facilitates easy reading, especially for students newly learning the Hebrew alphabet. (When I was taking my Hebrew classes I found the cheaper versions of BHS to have a very difficult-to-read, small font sizes. So, I ended up purchasing a large, expensive large-print BHS.)
* The relatively small size of the book (a tad slimmer and lighter than an average hardback study Bible) and its attractive Italian Duo-Tone(tm) binding make the RHB suitable to carry with you both to class and to church. (Contrast the somewhat unwieldy, heavy, large-print BHS hardcover. See the photo gallery below for visual comparisons.)
* Further regarding the weight, RHB is light enough that it does not break your wrists while you are holding it. (Again, contrast the weighty large-print BHS hardcover).
* The book medium (vs. a laptop with Bibleworks or Logos software) is more conducive to meditation and extended periods of reading. (And books don't require batteries or produce eye strain.)
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource, August 9, 2008
By 
W. Klock (Courtenay, British Columbia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
I've got both the first and second editions of the Reader's GNT companion volume. Either is a great value for the money, but neither comes close to the quality and usefulness of the Reader's GNT published by UBS -- the real deal. So I was a bit hesitant to purchase Zondervan's Reader's Hebrew Bible.

My hesitation was overcome by the fact that I use my UBS RGNT on a daily basis for devotional use, but don't read the Hebrew text in the same way as frequently because of the need for a lexicon nearby. A reader's lexicon helps, but it's still a clunky way to read, and because Hebrew vocabulary is so much larger than NT Greek, there are few of us who will ever be able to simply read with no lexicon around. So seeing what a reader's GNT did for me, I ordered this.

I'm very pleased. It hast the same cheap binding and paper as the companion RGNT, but the fact that it's duo-tone (basically PVC plastic) does mean that despite being flimsy, it should hold up for a long time. They seem to have overcome the typeface problems present in both editions of the RGNT. This font is very easy to read. I have not found the proper names being in gray instead of black to be a problem -- they're not that light and the purpose is to make proper names used less than 100 times stand out so that the newbie doesn't waste time trying to parse them. That's the whole point: to gloss the words so the reader doesn't have to. The more you read, the more you learn, and the more often you read and learn the more Hebrew sticks in your mind.

The fact that this text is that of the Westminster edition of Leningradensis is great. They essentially cut and pasted from Bibleworks 4. There are minor variants between this and BHS/BHQ, but nothing significant and all differences are listed in the appendix. I also like the way they've dealt with Kethib-Qere readings -- something that should serve good training for the student just learning his way around the Hebrew Old Testament.

If Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft ever prints a readers edition of BHS or BHQ it will probably leave this in the dust just as the UBS RGNT leaves the Zondervan RGNT in the dust, but until then this is a great tool.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Work!, March 14, 2008
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This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
Zondervan has finally come out with a Hebrew equivalent to the Reader's Greek New Testament. For those that liked its Greek predecessor, this is a wonderful addition that will help students of the Hebrew Bible read in the original languages. Words used less than 100 times in the Hebrew Bible are listed in footnotes at the bottom of the page (except for proper nouns). This will require an intermediate knowledge of Hebrew Grammar and vocabulary, but that that's the point. It's not an interlinear, it's a reader! There is also a short list of all words used more than 100 times in the appendix, in case you forgot some of your more common Hebrew vocabulary. The only immediate downside I can find is that the binding is a bit stiff and not of the quality that one might expect for a Bible. But that's a minor issue for such a huge undertaking!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything but the cover..., March 19, 2008
By 
Jeffrey W. Brannen (Bella Vista, AR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
This is quite an amazing product. To my knowledge, nothing like it exists. If you are a Hebrew student who spends most of the time tracking down words in a lexicon, this is the tool you need to pick up. The font is very legible and the helps are appropriate for even beginning Hebrew students. My primary concern is that the structure of the Bible needs some attention.

The binding seems fairly solid, but because I just purchased it, I have no idea how it will hold up long term. My concern is more to do with the cover. The Italian leather is nice, but the cardboard underneath it is very flimsy. It is easy to crease and it will probably break before too long and need to be rebound.

Zondervan, if you read these reviews, please address the problem and put a good cover on a great product.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Work in Progress., July 17, 2009
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This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
Let me say first of all that I have not yet read all of this volume. Furthermore, I have not read any of it extremely carefully and critically. I have quickly and casually read Genesis and I Samuel and portions of other OT books. My comments here pertain to the 1st edition Copyright 2008. Generally I have found this volume to be well typeset, clear, and usable for long hours of reading. While I personally don't care for the practice of using a gray screening to indicate proper nouns in Hebrew and Aramaic "that occur, respectively, less [sic] than 100 and 25 times each," (p. xv) it is logical and generally consistent and therefore useful. The typeface is clear and the accents and cantillation marks are readable.

Let me say right at the outset that despite any critique which I or others may bring, these books are a much needed and the result of a great deal of hard work, generally well done, mostly accurate, and should be a part of every serious student's library. The authors/editors and publishers all deserve praise for their hard work.

The Hebrew And Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by L. Koehler & W. Baumgartner (HALOT) and especially Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon by Francis Brown, S. Driver, and C. Briggs (BDB) are tools and need to be taken with a grain of salt. One of the problems with the RHB is that the text of HALOT and of more concern BDB, and other 19th century lexical tools seem to be held as sacred. It has been over 100 years since the first publication of BDB (1907) and its definitions and textual readings have often been ameliorated by modern studies in textual criticism in light of new manuscripts and in lexicography in light of ancient languages discovered (e.g. Ugaritic or Eblaite) or deciphered in modern times (e.g. Akkadian or Sumerian).

Works such as "Biblical Hapax Legomena in the Light of Akkadian and Ugaritic" by Harold R. (Chaim) Cohen present a careful analysis of the modern evidence found since the 19th century and can be taken as proof that longstanding lexical difficulties have been solved and these modern works will cause redefinitions in all future scholarly dictionaries and should be reflected in works such as this.

For example a quick check of three passages where new evidence is available today clearly shows that the definitions proffered are still marked uncertain and some suggestions which are most definitely wrong are still printed in slavish reliance on BDB and HALOT. (It may be argued that this is not a lexical undertaking and therefore not the place to redefine words. It is my opinion that this just perpetuates incorrect scholarship/tradition and should be corrected at every opportunity

1 Sam. 9:7 the word ''''' (tshwrh)
marked with footnote 10 shows as possibly being translated with the words "Gift" or "Present" is marked as "uncertain." The words "gift" and "present" are repeated and marked uncertain in the unnecessary second instance as well. Modern scholarship (e.g. Cohen) and the context clearly identifies this as correct so the words "residue" etc. are unnecessary and confusing.

Hos 10:7 the word ''' (qtsph)
is translated as "splinter," "foam," or "broken twig" and marked uncertain when the context and the cognate evidence clearly show that the word here is to be translated "Foam."

Ps. 93:3,4 '''' (dkym)
is footnoted as 7 ''' (dmy) dashing, crushing. This is clearly an error. (Typo?) Assuming the text to be correct, the root is clearly ''' (dkh) and not ''' (dmy) as footnote 7 suggests.

Another clear error can be found in Isa 8:6 where the word '''' (msws) with two 'sins' is incorrectly identified as from the root ''' (mss) with two 'sameks.' This is the kind of error a first year Hebrew student would make when hearing the word spoken or read aloud. This kind of error is especially dangerous to students trying to learn Hebrew because it reinforces the idea that sin and samek are interchangeable in Hebrew because they sound alike.

The root with two 'sameks' (mss --To melt) is correctly identified and translated in Dt. 1:28.

Another error can be found in Gen 17:1 where the Hebrew words for ninety and nine are both footnoted as nine. Although they are based on the same roots the like the english nine and ninety they are not the same. A reader trusting RHB would translate the passage something like "Abram was 9 and 9 (=18?) when..." which would be incorrect. The RHB correctly differentiates ordinal numbers in I Chron 2:14-15.

Dt. 1:3 shows more numerical inconsistency. Here a word for 1 is used and that word followed by a makeph followed by the word for ten is noted in the footnote in combination as 11. This is helpful to students and exactly the same construction found in Gen 11:25 where the ten is not mentioned (because it is a word that occurs more than 100 times and therefore is left untranslated in the footnote) and the footnote that the word here means 9 is confusing and inconsistent with the way the same construction is handled in Deut. 1:3.

It would seem given the nature and purpose of this work that it could omit some of the definitions which are clearly not correct in a given context. It would be more helpful to students to include basic Massoretic notations (the omission of the traditional calculations of chapters and verses at the end of books is especially noteworthy.). Though this point is clearly just my opinion and personal preference.

In summary, these excellent tools are the result of many hours of hard work and will be very helpful to anyone trying to build on a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic, or Greek. However, they should not be used for interpretation or translation of the Bible. The number of major and minor errors I found in a few days of reading suggest that this work is in need of some serious proofreading both for errors and internal consistency.

In order to understand the Bible one must read the Bible --not books about the Bible.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Simply Elegant and Attractive", September 12, 2008
This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
A Reader's Hebrew Bible is produced by A. Philip Brown II (PhD, Bob Jones University) and Bryan W. Smith (PhD, Bob Jones University) with Zondervan. Its designed purpose is "to facilitate the regular reading of the Scriptures in Hebrew and Aramaic." The reader assists students of the Bible by lessening invested time browsing through a lexicon, while improving and maximizing students' previous acquired skills in the target languages .RHB also "allows students to focus on learning Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary in its literary context rather than in isolated word lists." The reader is also useful for teachers of Hebrew and Aramaic intending to "remove the necessity of creating new gloss lists when one wants to have students read different sections of the OT" (xiii). RHB provides necessary help to students to become more familiar with the Hebrew and Aramaic Texts; as well as improving (their) reading proficiency respectively.

The Book includes the authors' prefaces, a quick user's guide on how to access the Text. An informative introduction recounting the genesis of this edition is included. A section summarizing the Hebrew and Aramaic Verb Stem Abbreviations (e.g. hif = hifil, nif = nifal, pal = palal; af = afel, hishtaf= hishtafel, itpa= itpael, shaf=shafel) & Sigla (`marks words where WLC and RHB read L differently than BHS) substantiates the usefulness of RHB.

The Quick User's Guide aims to provide a quick reference to readers on how to navigate through the texts of the Jewish Bible both in its original tongues (Hebrew and Aramaic respectively). The A Reader's Hebrew Bible uses the Westminster Leningrad Codex 4.4. All words, excluding proper nouns occurring less than 100 times, are footnoted. The Glossary includes all Hebrew words, excluding proper nouns, occurring 100 times or more; whereas Aramaic words, excluding proper nouns, and those that occur less than 25 times are also footnoted. An Aramaic glossary is not preserved.

The reader contains significant glosses which are taken primarily from HALOT (Koehler, Baumgartner and Stamm's The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament) and BDB (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon) . For example, Appendix A includes a glossary of all Hebrew words occurring 100 times or more; and all Aramaic vocabulary occurring less than 25 times.

RHB is similar to the text of Biblia Hebraicai Stuttgartensia (BHS) and Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) with minor changes. Textual criticism decision is not a priority of RHB.

What A Reader's Greek New Testament (Zondervan, 2007) does for students of NT and Greek is what A Reader's Hebrew Bible will do for students of the OT and Hebrew and Aramaic. Together students of the Bible have two enduring "twin resources" to study the Word of God in its original written texts.

A Reader's Hebrew Bible is a tool that will not disappoint you." Bible students and pastors cannot afford not to own a copy of A Reader's Hebrew Bible. RHB is user friendly, elegant, leather bound, convenient, and eye-catching.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Hebrew Tool for Intermediate Students, April 30, 2008
This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
This book is a must own for any intermediate Hebrew student. It removes the excessive crutches and dangers that you often face when using an interlinear bible, but provides enough vocabulary help to encourage the student toward proficiency. It is an ideal resource for Hebrew students striving to read the text, but possessing a limited to moderate Hebrew vocabulary.

The aesthetics of the book are excellent. Like A Reader's Greek Bible before it, the book is made of beautiful Italian Duo-Tone. The Hebrew font for the book is a slightly modified, yet highly readable, version of the BibleWorks Hebrew font. The Hebrew text follows the Westminster Leningrad Codex. When minor differences between WTC and Biblia Hebraica Struttgartensia occur they are marked and can examined in Appendix B.
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The book is a reader, meant to enable students with a working knowledge of Biblical Hebrew but a limited vocabulary to increase their proficiency with the language. To that end the book works marvelously. Every Hebrew word occurring 100 times or less and every Aramaic word occurring 25 times or less is footnoted in a gloss at the bottom of the page. The footnote/gloss system is intuitive and easy to use. The gloss utilizes The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT) and The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) as its primary lexical sources for the definition of the rare words.Each gloss contains the following pattern: (numerical footnote superscript) HOMONYM#, LEMMA, STEM: HALOT; BDB; ALTERNATE.

Another convenient function is that the massive amount of rare proper nouns (less than 100 and 25 again) are printed in gray but not footnoted. This helps the reader to identify that a strange word is a proper noun, while not clogging down the glosses with the severe number of proper nouns present in the Old Testament.

The RHB also has a convenient glossary containing all Hebrew lemmas with a frequency of 100 times or more in Appendix A. The definitions are again based on BDB and the Appendix is arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet.

The one negative is that the RHB does not contain a text critical apparatus. For this a student will need to consult a source like BHS.

In summary, the RHB is a great resource that should prove valuable for intermediate students in generations to come. It is an excellent companion to its Greek counterpart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but full of errors, August 22, 2012
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This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
Without a doubt, this is an excellent resource and probably the best method for really gaining a mastery of the Hebrew Bible. The notes are copious and easy to use. However, there are numerous typographical mistakes both in the spelling of the Hebrew within the text and especially in the trope marks (conjunctive and disjunctive accents). For example, munach is very frequently written as merekhah, etc. For the Christian reader, this may not present too much difficulty, unless he or she is involved in serious scholarly work, but for the Jewish reader who knows how to chant the text using these symbols it creates some extremely strange musical phrases to say the least!

It looks to me as if the text is the result of some sort of electronic scanner that occasionally confuses similar looking symbols. As I've read more and more from this text, I'd have to say that it's not at all uncommon to find five to ten misprints on a given page.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I hoped for!, April 10, 2008
By 
J. Morgan (Louisville, KY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
After owning the Reader's Greek NT and loving how helpful it was I desperatly wanted something like it for the Hebrew Bible. This is more than I expected, being doubtful as to how the editors would handle all the stems, variety in manuscripts, and other complications that Hebrew brings, while adding a gloss for each word appearing less than 100 times, I didn't want to lose too much. I was not let down at all, because although there is no textual apparatus, the authors were VERY thorough in how they handled the glosses and discrepencies between manuscripts. Just read the long introduction (if you can make it through!) to see just how careful they were. By the way, the faded words are proper nouns that appear less than 100 times. If they included these all in the gloss at the bottom of the page the book would be huge! Its there so you don't mistake it for another word, just figure it out by vocalization. The glossery in the back along with an appendix containing the differences between the BHS and WLC make this an incredible work. Concerning the cover, it is basically the same as the Reader's GNT, and that has withstood 2 years in my backback every day. I'm not too worried.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars poor quality, November 7, 2013
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This review is from: A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Leather Bound)
This review focuses mainly on two things: the quality of the binding and the paper. Positively, this volume follows the same idea in the UBS reader's GNT. The font is acceptable, the lemmas are adeqate. The paper quality is OK at best, and the corners are square cut, which is odd, to say the least. Rounded corners would not only be better aesthetically, but less prone to bending. The silver gilt edging is cheesy. The binding is sewn, but of a very poor quality. Since the volume is not only a reference but designed to be read daily, the publisher should have raised the bar quite a bit as to these issues so that the thing would last. Mine has already split at the top end of the spine near the back of the book.
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A Reader's Hebrew Bible
A Reader's Hebrew Bible by A. Philip Brown II (Leather Bound - January 29, 2008)
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