Classical Hebrew (including Biblical & Mishnaic)

Grammars: The standard reference grammars in English are:
  1. Gesenius, Kautzsch, Cowley (abbreviated GKC)
  2. Jouon/Muraoka
  3. A newer but not as detailed reference grammar is Van Der Merwe et. al.
  4. A very useful and important work is Waltke, Bruce & Michael O'Connor. 1990. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.
  5. For non-biblical inscriptions, a good grammar is Gogel, Sandra Luis. 1998. A Grammar of Epigraphic Hebrew.
  6. For Mishnaic Hebrew, Segal, M.H. 1927. A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew.
Some good pedagogical grammars of Biblical Hebrew are:
  1. Pratico & Van Pelt. 2001. Basics of Biblical Hebrew, which also has a useful workbook
  2. Lambdin, Thomas O. 1973. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
  3. Seow, C.L. 1995. A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew
  4. Blau, Joshua. 1993. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew


  1. A common lexicon for Biblical Hebrew is Brown Driver Briggs abbreviated BDB, although since the entries are listed by root, it can be difficult for beginners to use.
  2. A more accessible lexicon is Holladay, William L. 1971. A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament
  3. Another lexicon, more comprehensive and up to date than BDB, is Koehler & Buamgartner The Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, abbreviated HALOT, also available on CD-ROM.
  4. The most up to date, although not yet complete is The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (only vols 1-5 are available)

Texts: The standard scholarly edition of the Hebrew Bible is Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, abbreviated BHS, also available in Large and Paperback formats. A facsimile edition of the Leningrad Codex (the manuscript upon which BHS is largely based) is also available. If you prefer to have an English translation on the the facing page, JPS offers several versions of their translation of the Tanakh. For extra-biblical material, several excellent sources are Gogel's grammar and Inscriptifact, mentioned above. Photographs of The Great Isaiah Scroll from Qumran can be seen here. There are many Hebrew editions of the Mikraot Gedolot (Bible with medieval Hebrew commentaries), Mishnah and other ancient Jewish literature which can be purchased fairly inexpensively from online Jewish book dealers such as, and

Miscellaneous Resources: Here is a bibliography that lists almost every work on BH grammar and Ugaritic written in the last century: BH-Ugaritic.pdf For a discussion of the history of the text of the Bible, see Emanuel Tov's book Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. For books on the stylistics of Hebrew Poetry, see:

  1. Watson, W.G.E. 2005. Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to its Techniques
  2. Kugel, James L. 1998. The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and its History
  3. O'Connor, Michael. 1997. Hebrew Verse Structure
A good online forum for BH is found at

Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew: This is a list of books and articles that are useful to linguists interested in a certain aspect of Biblical Hebrew, or looking for data. See also my Linguistics page. The Journal of Semitic Studies (JSS) is an excellent academic journal that deals with the Semitic languages in detail. Many of its articles deal with the linguistics of Biblical Hebrew. The Journal of Biblical Literature (JBL) is dedicated to the Bible, and occasionally has a linguistics related article on Biblical Hebrew or Aramaic. It is published by the Society of Biblical Literature, of which I am a member. SBL also publishes many books that deal with Biblical Hebrew. Vetus Testamentum is another journal that has many articles on Biblical Hebrew. Here is an interesting article that has a new proposal (from Hetzron) for the etymology of the nota accusatvi. Against Unidirectionality.pdf. (see pp. 7-8).

Jeff Berry 2008-04-29