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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Studentís Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament
Pleins, J. David

Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017 pp. 176. $17.99


Description: Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories by J. David Pleins with Jonathan Homrighausen is an innovative study reference intended for both introductory and advanced students of the Hebrew language to help them understand and remember vocabulary based on logical categories of related words. Since our minds acquire and recall language by making associations between related words it is only natural that we would study language in this way. By organizing Hebrew vocabulary into logical categories, as opposed to frequency, students can quickly begin to familiarize themselves with entire groups of terms and more readily acquaint themselves with the ranges of meaning of particular Hebrew words. This reference tool focuses on nouns in the Old Testament, and includes over 175 word grouping categories including pottery, ships, birds, jewelry, seasons, and many more. For each Hebrew term a definition is given and a reference in the Hebrew Bible appears so readers can see the word in context. For many words additional lexical references are indicated where students can look for further study. Words that hapax legomena (words appearing only once in the Hebrew Bible) are marked with an "H" and words that are rare and appear less than 10 times are marked with an "R." Two helpful appendices equip students for further study, these include 1) a Guide for Further Reading where recommendations are given for helpful resources for studying the larger macro categories and 2) Lists of "cluster verses" where several words in a given category appear together, giving students the ability to see how these words function together in context. Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories is intended to move students beyond rote memorization to a more dynamic grasp of Hebrew vocabulary, ultimately equipping them to read with more fluidity and with a deeper and more intuitive grasp of the biblical text.

Subjects: Methods, Linguistics, Hebrew

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Review by Paul Overland
Published 12/6/2018
Citation: Paul Overland, review of J. David Pleins, Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Studentís Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


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