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Fields of Study

Fields of Study
Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel

Hebrew Bible Areas: Langauges

1. Hebrew

Introductory: Four-hour biblical Hebrew course combining two or three weeks of intensive study in August with a semester-long course in the Fall. Not available for Ph.D. credit.

Intermediate: Intermediate biblical Hebrew course, intended especially for those who have just completed the introductory course but available to others as well. Normally offered in alternate years to Advanced Hebrew.

Advanced: One- or two-semester biblical Hebrew course, dealing at an advanced level with grammatical, syntactical, text-critical, and text-historical problems. Normally offered in alternate years to Intermediate Hebrew.

Exegetical: Regularly offered courses on particular books or subjects, with a focus on exegesis of the Hebrew Bible.

Rabbinic: Hebrew readings in the Mishnah and in related texts are available on request, with approval of instructor.

2. Aramaic
A one-semester course in biblical Aramaic is offered every second or third year, as needed. Students work through all of the Aramaic materials of the Hebrew Bible, as well as some additional texts. Required of Ph.D. students in Hebrew Bible; strongly recommended for students in New Testament and early Christian literature.

Aramaic readings in Talmud and Midrash are available on request, with approval of instructor.

3. Other Ancient Languages
Akkadian will normally be offered every other year, with more advanced work available with Approval of instructor.

Ugaritic is offered every second or third year, normally as a one-semester course.

Other ancient languages (such as ancient Egyptian, Phoenician, Syriac) may be offered on demand.

4. Greek
Ph.D. students in Hebrew Bible are required to demonstrate a knowledge of Classical, Septuagintal, or Koiné Greek. This requirement may be fulfilled by the satisfactory completion of a course in the Septuagint, an intermediate- or advanced-level course in Classical or New Testament Greek, or a course requiring extensive Greek language exegesis. Confirmation of the student’s reading ability must be secured from the instructor.

5. Latin
While not required for Hebrew Bible graduate students, the study of Latin is strongly recommended, especially for those interested in textual criticism or medieval exegesis. The Vanderbilt Classics Department offers a full selection of elementary, intermediate, and advanced Latin courses.

6. Modern Hebrew

While not required for Hebrew Bible graduate students, the study of Modern Hebrew is strongly recommended, not only because it is the modern descendant of classical Hebrew but also because scholarly publications are increasingly appearing in Modern Hebrew. The Vanderbilt Department of Religious Studies offers courses at the elementary and intermediate levels.