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Grammar of Biblical Hebrew


Wolfgang Schneider

Although Wolfgang Schneider’s Grammatik des biblischen Hebräisch: Ein Lehrbuch serves primarily as an introductory textbook to biblical Hebrew, it makes an invaluable contribution to the text-linguistic study of Hebrew Bible. Schneider’s understanding of narrative syntax and discourse linguistics continues to influence such grammarians as Niccacci and Talstra, through whom his work is validated. His discussion of clauses and text syntax remains pertinent to Hebrew students and professors alike. With this English translation, Schneider’s work may now make a worldwide contribution to biblical studies by clarifying for the student the contribution of text grammar to the reading of the biblical text.
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Hebrew is nothing special. Even though an amazing and miraculous history was told by it, Hebrew is a normal language of normal humans. To study and describe their grammar means to get on the trail of the regularity upon which humans have settled when they communicate with one another in their native tongue. And in Hebrew these are hardly different than in other languages.

I have studied this for many years as a Hebrew teacher, and I have tried to orient my textbook from 1973 logically with a view to this.

The morphology has thus been adjusted for only those things that serve for instructions regarding the independent shape of forms. Features of form and syntax, which help with analysis, stand in the foreground. Likewise, the grammar now contains more detailed tables of forms, but not for learning by heart, rather as visual aids and material for comparison. Many “exceptions” remain unmentioned or are marked (in footnotes) as rarities.

I have preserved the text-grammatical approach in the syntax. It should not fall victim to the polemic. On the contrary, I have only been confirmed through a serious discussion that started approximately 10 years after the writing of the grammar. Above all, Alviero Niccacci, as well as Eep Talstra and members of the Societas Hebraica Amstelodamensis, have picked up and continued my proposals so that I can present this today much better, simpler, and clearer.

In principle (ignoring minor details) it...

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