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Intermediate Biblical Hebrew

An Illustrated Grammar

series: Learning Biblical Hebrew

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This full-color, intermediate textbook by two leading experts in Biblical Hebrew continues the innovative pedagogy found in their Beginning Biblical Hebrew. The book features integrated examples and lessons, pedagogical advancements that enhance student outcomes, and full-color illustrated readings from the Elijah narrative. The material has been field tested by the authors, who not only teach Hebrew but are actively engaged in scholarly discussions about Hebrew language and instruction. Additional resources for professors and students are available through Textbook eSources. Beginning Biblical Hebrew and Intermediate Biblical Hebrew are also available together as a two-volume set.


"Cook and Holmstedt have produced a true intermediate teaching grammar that presents challenging concepts in a clear and engaging format. The authors are working on the cutting edge of linguistic approaches to Biblical Hebrew, but they have also given careful thought to the classroom experience, effective strategies for retention, and making learning enjoyable. This text is a welcome and recommended sequel to the authors' successful Beginning Biblical Hebrew."

Eric J. Tully, associate professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Cook and Holmstedt's new intermediate grammar accomplishes a number of aims seamlessly: it makes second-year Hebrew immensely enjoyable at multiple levels, including the visual; it impels students toward a more modern, linguistically sophisticated approach to the language than classical grammars offer; it opens up resources in the Jewish tradition; and it readies students to plunge into the deeper intricacies of Hebrew linguistics. Instructors will welcome its breadth and inductive approach; students will recognize their holistic comprehension after working through the grammar. It will prove an excellent tool for the twenty-first century."

David Vanderhooft, Boston College

"The lively illustrated text of the Elijah narrative invites a focus on comprehension, and bonus full-color images of the Aleppo Codex add to the visual feast. Each lesson refreshes and expands understanding of grammatical issues arising from the text, with the option of using communicative pedagogy. A winner for an engaging intermediate class or for fruitful self-study."

Jill Firth, lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament, Ridley College, Melbourne

"Cook and Holmstedt's Intermediate Biblical Hebrew fills a real need. The authors delve into areas not frequently covered in grammar books, including syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The process of learning forms and paradigms is simply not enough to allow students to advance to a deeper appreciation of the biblical text. Cook and Holmstedt pave new ground with this book, which will serve intermediate students--and, I hasten to add, advanced students as well--as they pursue the delight of reading the Bible in the original."

Gary A. Rendsburg, Blanche and Irving Laurie Professor in Jewish History, Rutgers University

"Picking up where they left off in Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Cook and Holmstedt deliver an exciting intermediate grammar that engages the senses and proves that learning a dead language does not have to be a lifeless prerequisite to further studies. What students already know is helpfully reinforced, and what they need to know is presented in memorable ways. By focusing their attention on the Elijah story, Cook and Holmstedt allow students to see how the language serves the narrative. Vocabulary, grammatical concepts, and other insights such as geography are all correlated to this entertaining unit of biblical text. The linguistic approach to the instruction in Intermediate Biblical Hebrew results in more than additional vocabulary words and paradigms; students will come away with a genuine love of the language and an ability to use it effectively."

Julie C. Möller, professor of biblical studies, Grove City College

"John Cook and Robert Holmstedt are two of the most linguistically sophisticated scholars working in Biblical Hebrew today. In this book, a sequel to their earlier beginner's textbook, they show that they are also among the most pedagogically sophisticated. Their descriptions of the language are linguistically rich, and their presentation of the material applies the findings of research into second-language acquisition to make the task of learning as painless and fruitful as possible. With the vibrant illustrations of Philip Williams, students will enjoy the process of working through the Elijah narrative so much they may not even realize how much they are learning."

Aaron J. Koller, professor of Near Eastern studies, Yeshiva University

"Delightful and engaging, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew fills the need for a second-year or intermediate-level Hebrew textbook, a stage of Hebrew pedagogy that has been strangely neglected till now. Cook and Holmstedt move the student toward natural use and assimilation of the language, replacing Latinate grammatical and syntactical terms and concepts with ones natural to Hebrew itself. A joy to read and use, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew will be a favorite of instructors and students alike!"

John Bergsma, professor of theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville; coauthor of A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament

"I have used Cook and Holmstedt's Beginning Biblical Hebrew for several years now in a variety of contexts and with students who range from age seven to seventy. I am therefore delighted to see that Intermediate Biblical Hebrew extends the same program for more-advanced students. The approach continues to offer a singular combination of textually immersive pedagogy, first-rate linguistic scholarship, and dynamic reading exercises that help make study fun. This intermediate textbook will find a welcome place in my cycle of teaching."

Daniel R. Driver, associate professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, Nova Scotia

"By focusing students' attention on one extended reading from 1-2 Kings and emphasizing a communicative approach to pedagogy, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew offers an experience unmatched by other intermediate-level textbooks. It preserves the best aspects of the authors' Beginning Biblical Hebrew, while shifting to a model in which grammatical and syntactical instruction responds to features of the text being studied. It thus prepares students to continue their study of Biblical Hebrew beyond the intermediate course. Instructors who disagree with the authors' minority view on word order can easily supplement that discussion and still benefit from the book's many strengths."

Christopher Heard, professor of religion, Seaver College, Pepperdine University

The Authors

  1. John A. Cook

    John A. Cook

    John A. Cook (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages and director of Hebrew instruction at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is also a research fellow at the University of the Free State,...

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  2. Robert D. Holmstedt
    © Studio G Photography

    Robert D. Holmstedt

    Robert D. Holmstedt (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is professor of Near and Middle Eastern civilizations at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. His primary research interest is the linguistic study of Northwest Semitic languages.

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