Ross, Allen P. Introducing Biblical Hebrew. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2001.
Nota bene: I have worked with this text from both sides — student and instructor — and have found it to be one of the better Biblical Hebrew textbooks available. I have great respect for Dr. Ross and the product he provides to the study of Biblical Hebrew. It does, admittedly, have a few drawbacks, but these are easily compensated for via the application of a Hebrew Language lab which inductively engages a text of Scripture from early on in the learning process.
- Very thorough in its explanations of why Hebrew operates as it does.
- Supplementary material (mostly video) available at http://www.animatedhebrew.com — very helpful to students.
- Exercises work both Hebrew-to-English and English-to-Hebrew so that students are learning at a deeper level than just recognition value.
- Uses regular verb paqad as paradigm verb rather than traditional pa’al (II-guttural).
- The Introduction chapter is of great value in understanding Biblical Hebrew within the greater context of Semitic language development.
- The “Lessons at a Glance” section is a great benefit for students as a quick review tool.
- The bi-directional glossary in the back is a huge value-added feature for quick look-ups.
- An answer key is available to professors from the publisher.
- This grammar does not really engage the Biblical text until chapter 41, but as addressed in the opening paragraph, this is easily compensated for and should not be seen as a deterrent from using this textbook.
- Numbers are not introduced until chapter 25 (of 54). This content could appear quite a bit earlier… but the chapter is “stand-alone” enough that it could be maneuvered to an earlier point in the course rather easily, e.g. as a vocabulary supplement.
- Sometimes Ross has sentences in the exercises which rely on constructs not yet covered in the grammar.