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The Vocabulary Guide to Biblical Hebrew Paperback – August 10, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

A guide for mastering basic Hebrew vocabulary This guide helps seminary and Christian college students learn Hebrew vocabulary. A special feature of the guide is that it groups thevocabulary in three basic consonants. * All words occurring ten times or more in the Hebrew Bible in descending order of frequency * Primary roots and all words derived from roots occurring ten times or more * Unusual and difficult word list, such as proper names, adjectives, prepositions, pronouns, particles, and verbs

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.



Gary D. Pratico (ThD, Harvard Divinity School) is senior professor of Old Testament and Hebrew language at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has been teaching Hebrew for more than thirty years and is coauthor with Miles V. Van Pelt of Basics of Basics of Biblical Hebrew (grammar and workbook) and The Vocabulary Guide to Biblical Hebrew.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310250722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310250722
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jaroslav Melgr on February 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book and a welcome addition for my library of Biblical Hebrew study aids. It will be beneficial to students (and teachers) of Biblical Hebrew at almost any level of proficiency. It's great for research and reference purposes as well as vocabulary building. As far as building my vocabulary, I think it also helps and is certainly useful, but I personally learn the best through reading. I can read a word in a passage once and remember it because of the context, while I will struggle to remember a word even after running numerous times through my word list. But obviously everyone learns differently and for me reading happens to be the best way to pick up new words and make them stick.

As for the book, the authors provide plenty of lists and ways to organize words to allow for multiple focused approaches to building up Biblical Hebrew vocabulary -- for example a frequency based word list for words appearing at least 10 times, a word list arranged by a common root, lists of nouns, lists of verbs (all verbs alphabetically and arranged by a verb type and stem...), statistical distributions of occurrences, etc.... Although I do wish it had even more list, such as a list of all hapax words for each section of the Tanakh for example, I do realize that it is beyond the scope of this book as intended by the authors. I highly recommend this book.
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Any student of biblical Hebrew knows that one of the most important tasks in mastering the language is mastery of vocabulary. This volume is a helpful guide in trying to do just that. The authors provide two ways of learning the vocabulary: by frequency and by similar roots. Both arrangements certainly make it easier to tackle the sheer number of words one must learn to master the Hebrew OT. While nothing can replace regular study and interaction with the Hebrew text, this volume is sure to be a dependable guide in that process. Much smaller than any standard Hebrew lexicon, it is much more accessible than, say, BDB and the aforementioned layout makes location of words very easy. I highly recommend this volume.
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Unlike other Hebrew dictionaries such as BDB(Brown Driver Briggs or Koehler and Baumgartner, which are arranged according to word roots(BDB) or according to how the words appear in the Bible(Koehler), this one has several separate lists, each one arranged differently, such as by frequency, common root, identical looking words that have different meanings, by part of speech, and others. It also has an index of Hebrew Words in the back to help locate Hebrew words faster. Serves as a good go-between when trying to locate things in other Hebrew reference books. very practical!
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I found this book to be exactly what I wanted. Studying Hebrew, I can know all the consonants, vowel marks, cantillation marks, structure, and so on. But if I don't know the vocabulary, I still can't read scripture. This book gives me the most frequently used vocabulary, so I can study, drill, practice those, and be that much quicker to being able to read on my own. Without knowing the vocabulary, Hebrew is just a lot of pretty squiggles. With the index in back, it also doubles as a quick lexicon. I recommend it for anyone beginning their study of Hebrew.
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This book is a must for anyone learning Biblical Hebrew. It lists Hebrew words by frequency so that you can learn the most common words first. It also lists verbs by their 3 letter root which is also very helpful. There are also other important vocabulary lists included. I highy recommend the book....you won't regret it!!!!!
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This is a great assistant in learning to understand Biblical Hebrew words. There are several lists .... one list is of the most commonly used words by the frequency that the word appears in the Tanach...with their meaning (or meanings depending on context). This list also provides information about grammar...is it a verb or noun, singular or plural, etc.

The second list is a grouping of words that have the same root so that you can begin to see relationships in meanings and contexts.

The rest of the lists are arranged by type of word (adverbs, verbs, weak verbs and many more categories and also includes lists of words that have the same meaning). Did you think it would be easy?

My 4 stars are quite personal.....I think the book becomes more helpful as I become more proficient in reading.

Usefullness depends on your own personal learning style eg. memorization or immersion, but a good addition to a learner's library.
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A must for studying Biblical Hebrew on your own. Word lists are given by frequency of use, by grammatical category, by word families, and alphabetically. Learning the first 50 words on the frequency list covers 55% of the total common words in the Hebrew Bible. The first 641 words brings the total to 80%, and 1903 words yields 90%, so this approach accelerates the ability to translate the text.
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This vocabulary guide directs the student to many useful aspects of the words that one encounters in reading Biblical Hebrew. The index in the back of the book lists the pages where the word is treated. The first page that is indexed corresponds to the list of Hebrew words ordered by the frequency in which they occur in the Bible. The second page indexed for a given word may direct the reader to the list of Hebrew roots, or the list of proper nouns. The index may also direct the reader to lists of verbs. Other interesting lists include those of words with similar spellings and verbal roots. Even to peruse the list of words organized as a function of frequency is interesting and helpful. Clearly, this is a book that is often more useful and interesting than a conventional lexicon.
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