Friday, January 24, 2014

Basic Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

I receive many inquiries asking about which Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible I would recommend. There are two interlinear Bibles that I have used in Bible studies and classes for many years:

(1) The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament by John R. Kohlenberger III 
(2) The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-English (4 Volume Set) by Jay Patrick, Sr. Green

The text of an interlinear Bible looks like this:

(Remember, Hebrew is read from right to left ß     ß     ß)

As you can see, the Hebrew text is written on the upper line and an English translation for each word is found below each Hebrew word. Studying with an interlinear Bible is a step up from just using an English translation, but unless you know how to find the root words for each of the Hebrew words in the interlinear text and look up their meanings in a lexicon you are still dependent on the choices translators made and will not know the other options for translating the words were.

Being able to look up the root words in a lexicon requires another tool – an analytical lexicon. In order to use it, you need to memorize the Hebrew alphabet or use the BHC Hebrew-English Transliterator.

(If you haven’t downloaded and learned how to use our FREE Hebrew-English Transliterator CLICK HERE for Part 1 & CLICK HERE for Part 2. These are very short exercises that teach you how to use the BHC Hebrew-English Transliterator.)


Below is a picture of what you see in an analytical lexicon and how it identifies the root word:


As you can see, the Hebrew text is written on the upper line and an English translation for each word is found below each Hebrew word. Studying with an interlinear Bible is a step up from just using an English translation, but unless you know how to find the root words for each of the Hebrew words in the interlinear text and look up their meanings in a lexicon you are still dependent on the choices translators made and will not know the other options for translating the words were.

Being able to look up the root words in a lexicon requires another tool – an analytical lexicon. In order to use it, you need to memorize the Hebrew alphabet or use the BHC Hebrew-English Transliterator.

(If you haven’t downloaded and learned how to use our FREE Hebrew-English Transliterator CLICK HERE for Part 1 & CLICK HERE for Part 2. These are very short exercises that teach you how to use the BHC Hebrew-English Transliterator.)

Below is a picture of what you see in an analytical lexicon and how it identifies the root word:


The Hebrew analytical lexicon I recommend is -- The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon
by Benjamin Davidson

I also recommend that students use A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by William Lee Holladay to find the meanings of root words. Most of the analytical lexicons were written over a century ago, long before the Dead Sea Scrolls and other important discoveries were made. Holladay’s lexicon includes the later information and is much more useful and relies less on theology. The BHC Hebrew-English Transliterator is also keyed to Holladay’s lexicon.

A comprehensive computer program that allows you to do in-depth Bible studies is BibleWorks 9. This a great computer program that includes a library of resources. I have been using it for many years. BibleWorks 9 is a large collection of software tools and database resources designed specifically to assist pastors, seminary students, professors and missionaries in their exegesis of the Biblical text. It contains more than 200 Bible translations in nearly 40 languages, 45 original language texts and morphology databases, 29 lexical-grammatical references, and a wealth of practical reference works. These include Greek and Hebrew sound files, Bible maps, Greek New Testament diagrams, Greek and Hebrew grammars, new transcriptions and image sets for seven of the most important Greek New Testament manuscripts, and the full CNTTS New Testament apparatus. 

For more information about the above Hebrew Bible Study Tools or to purchase them – CLICK HERE.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this amazing blog and the details about Hebrew Bible really awesome.
    Good work.


    Authentic Hebrew bible

    ReplyDelete