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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO45230: Introductory Biblical Hebrew

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • May be taken with any one, but no more than one, of the following: THEO4XXX Introductory New Testament Greek; THEO4XXX Extended Study in Foreign Language; THEO43710 Extended Study in Theology and Religion.


  • To introduce students to grammar and basical vocabulary of biblical Hebrew and a knowledge of advanced issues of translation.
  • To equip students with skills and knowledge for further study of Hebrew at research level.
  • To equip students with skills and knowledge ancilliary to other modules which they are taking and to prepare them for further academic work in biblical studies.


  • Students are taught using a standard textbook of biblical Hebrew. They will be expected to learn vocabulary and grammar in a traditional way, at a pace which the majority of students find comfortable. By building up a strong vocabulary and grammar base, students will soon feel confident with that language and begin study a variety of short texts in the Epiphany term. They will further engage with textual and linguistic issues in selected passages of Hebrew prose.
  • Students will expand their understanding of the language, and of exegesis and translation, through more detailed work on one text with individual tutorial assistance.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Basic knowledge of biblical Hebrew grammar, syntax, and core vocabulary.
  • Competence in the reading of simple biblical Hebrew prose.
  • More advanced study of the grammar and other linguistic issues in regard to the study of one text in particular.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to identify grammatical forms.
  • The ability to translate simple Hebrew texts.
  • The ability to plan and write an exegetical essay on a text from the Hebrew Bible.
Key Skills:
  • Enhanced linguistic ability arising from engagement with a difficult and unfamiliar language.
  • Enhanced skills in problem-solving.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures convey information and exemplify an approach to the subject-matter, enabling students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and to improve their skills in listening and in evaluating information.
  • Language tests permit staff and students to assess progress in learning of the language, and to identify areas for remedial work.
  • Examinations assess subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and in this module especially assess subject skills.
  • Tutorials provide specific guidance in regard to the in-depth study of a single text , its exegesis, and opportunity to discuss progress.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 66 3 per week 1 hour 66
Tutorials 4 By arrangement. 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 230
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written unseen examination 3 hours 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Tests of an informal nature

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University