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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Online Scheduled




THEL100 Biblical Hebrew A

Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, language seminars and online learning. The remaining hours typically involve revising grammatical paradigms and vocabulary, translation exercises, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is a vital tool for reading and interpreting the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. This unit introduces students to Biblical Hebrew so that they can begin to develop the foundational knowledge required to engage with the Hebrew texts of the Bible in their original language. The aim of this unit is to equip students with the basic grammar, vocabulary, and translation skills necessary to begin translating and exegeting simple Biblical Hebrew passages.

Students will be given the opportunity to read passages from the Hebrew/Bible Old Testament in Biblical Hebrew from the very outset. Students begin by learning how to read and write the Biblical Hebrew script and then proceed to learning foundational grammar and vocabulary. Each week students will be introduced to progressively more complex features of Biblical Hebrew grammar, syntax, and vocabulary demonstrated through genuine texts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Upon completion of the unit students will be able to begin engaging with simple narrative texts in Biblical Hebrew. This unit provides students with the foundations of Biblical Hebrew grammar, vocabulary, and translation so they are prepared for the more complex biblical texts that will be introduced in Biblical Hebrew B.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Demonstrate an ability to read and write the Hebrew script
LO2Identify and explain features of basic Biblical Hebrew grammar, vocabulary, and syntax
LO3Translate simple Hebrew sentences into English


Topics will include:

  • The Biblical Hebrew alphabet and vowel system
  • Foundational features of Biblical Hebrew grammar
  • Foundational Biblical Hebrew vocabulary
  • Grammatical analysis and translation of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is normally offered in Online Scheduled mode. Students learn through formally structured and sequenced learning activities that support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Every week students are given opportunities to practice their reading and translation skills, to complete activities collaboratively with their peers, and to receive feedback on their progress from the lecturer. Regular quizzes provide students with the incentive to progressively learn vocabulary and to apply key grammar and translation skills learned each week. These quizzes allow students to effectively identify their strengths and to address areas for improvement.

THEL110 emphasises students as active, adult learners. Students are recognised as adult learners who engage best when what they are learning is relevant to them and gives them the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning. In many ways, the student is the one who drives the learning forward. Active participation in this unit is essential and is at the core of its learning strategy. Learning is designed to be an engaging and supportive experience, which helps students to develop critical thinking and reflection skills.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to attempt all assessment tasks and achieve an overall mark of 50% or higher.  

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to progressively demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.  

Assessment task 1 requires students to demonstrate an understanding of basic Biblical Hebrew grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax by completing regular quizzes throughout the semester. This task is designed to allow students to progressively demonstrate their fulfilment of Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3. 

Assessment task 2 requires students to build on the skills assessed in the previous task by applying these skills to genuine Biblical texts. This assessment requires students to translate short excerpts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and to identify and explain key grammatical features of these texts. This allows students to demonstrate the fulfillment of Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 3.  

Assessment task 3 is designed to allow students to demonstrate the cumulative knowledge relating to Biblical Hebrew grammar, vocabulary, and translation they have attained throughout the unit and by completing Assessment Task 1 and 2. The final assessment task requires students to demonstrate an understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar, placing a greater emphasis on the more complex grammatical concepts covered during the semester (e.g. the Biblical Hebrew verbal system). It also enables students to demonstrate ability in exegesis and translation and to identify and communicate features of the texts they are translating.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Regular quizzes: Requires students to demonstrate an understanding of basic Hebrew grammar, vocabulary, and syntax


LO1, LO2, LO3

Textual analysis: Requires students to translate short excerpts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and to identify and explain key grammatical features of these texts.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Final examination: The final assessment is a summative task that requires students to demonstrate their understanding of the grammatical and syntactical concepts learned over the course of the semester, and their ability to apply them to the exegesis and translation of basic Biblical Hebrew texts


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Athas, G. and I. M. Young, Elementary Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar: Fifth Edition. Sydney: Ancient Vessel Press, 2016. 

Brown, F. S., R. Driver, R. and C. A. Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Corrected Impression. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952. 

Holladay, W. L., A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Leiden: Brill, 1989.

Kittel, Bonnie Pedrotti et al. Biblical Hebrew: A Text and Workbook. London:, Yale University Press, 1989. 

Practico, G.D. and M. V. Van Pelt. Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007. 

Practico, G.D. and M. V. Van Pelt. Basics of Biblical Hebrew Workbook: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007. 

Joüon, Paul. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Translated and revised by T. Muraoka, Subsidia biblica 27, 2nd ed. (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 2006). 

Waltke, Bruce K. and M. O’Connor. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1990).

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