At the 2009 ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) meeting in New Orleans just prior to the SBL meeting, there was a session about how to choose a Biblical Hebrew textbook. I wasn’t at the session, but some friends did obtain a copy of the handout for me. As a result, I also contacted Dr. Hélène Dallaire and asked about the textbook reviews she had done previously (she presented some of her own material at SBL 2006 and the 2009 ETS handout included a completed chart that she had started with Jason DeRouchie). She graciously sent me some digital copies and gave me permission to post them here.
I think these are helpful for instructors trying to make informed choices about textbooks to use for classes. There is no one “best” textbook. Rather, a teacher must consider their students, the type of class, the goals for the class, and their own teaching style and skills in selecting a textbook. The summaries are also helpful for students who are looking for supplemental reading and reference. I have tried to track down a digital copy of the ETS handout, but have not been successful yet, so I am posting a (relatively poor) scanned copy. If someone knows who has the original, I would be grateful if you brought that to my attention.
- “Assessing Recently Published Biblical Hebrew Grammars” presented by Dr. Hélène Dallaire at SBL 2006 (PDF)
- PowerPoint slides (PDF format) of Assessing Recently Published Biblical Hebrew Grammars by Dr. Hélène Dallaire
- Recently Published Biblical Hebrew Grammars: Assessing What is New on the Market (Chart by Dr. Hélène Dallaire, 2006)
- ETS 2009 Handout: A Comparison of Five First-Year Hebrew Resources (Biblical Hebrew Language & Exegesis Study Group)
There are some additional textbooks due out which I hope to review. Most notably the Hendrickson textbook, A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew by Jo Ann Hackett and Fred Putnam‘s upcoming grammar to be published by Sheffield Phoenix.