Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

10/30 2020


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The “Inside the PTS Curriculum” series gives you an inside look at what students are learning in their courses at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Each article focuses on one class, its subject matter, what students can expect to learn, the required texts, and the kinds of assignments students can expect. We’ll let you know whether the course is required or available for the Master of Divinity (MDiv), the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), or Master of Theological Studies (MTS). Each article will include the professors’ bio.

This week’s course is: “Hebrew Grammar I.”

Steve Tuell teaching Hebrew

Dr. Tuell poses with a doll in his likeness made by his Hebrew students.

About Hebrew Grammar I

During this term, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary students will be learning about ancient Hebrew with the Rev. Dr. Steven S. Tuell in the class “Hebrew Grammar I.” This course fulfills a requirement for the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and is also open to students in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) and Master of Theology (MTS) degree programs.

This course will introduce students to the basics of biblical Hebrew and to the tools necessary for translating and interpreting Hebrew texts. Students will learn Hebrew consonants and vowel points and the rudiments of grammar and syntax. They will learn basic vocabulary and begin to translate and interpret simple sentences from the Hebrew Bible.

By the end of the course, students will be able to give a primary meaning for many vocabulary terms common in the Old Testament texts. They will be able to translate some simple sentences written in biblical Hebrew. Finally, they will use grammatical and syntactical terms to evaluate the elements of Hebrew narrative.

The required text for the course is the revised edition of C. L. Seow’s A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. Dr. Tuell also recommends two additional texts, and these will be available to students through provided software: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia by the German Bible Society, and The New Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Students should expect both quizzes and tests to be part of the course.


About the Instructor

The Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell is the James A. Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He received a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. Dr. Tuell’s particular research interests are biblical prophecy, particularly the book of Ezekiel and the Book of the Twelve, and the biblical literature of the early Persian Period. He has completed a textbook on the prophets (with Stephen Cook and John Strong) and his works in progress include a book on creation in Scripture. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, he has served churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia. Dr. Tuell preaches and teaches frequently throughout the area.

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