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Learn Biblical Hebrew

and

Learn New Testament Greek

by John H. Dobson

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Learn Biblical Hebrew, 2nd edition, and Learn New Testament Greek, 3d edition, by John H. Dobson. Hardcovers, $29.99 list price each. Published by Baker Academic. Please support HomeschoolChristian.com by buying this program from our Christian Book Distributors link or Amazon affiliate link.

British linguist and teacher, the Rev. John Dobson wrote Learn Biblical Hebrew and Learn New Testament Greek to allow the student to begin reading Scripture passages with just an hour or two of study. The books offer a quick start to promote enthusiasm for reading the Bible in the original tongues, rather than providing an in-depth study of complete language concepts.

Homeschooling families may wonder why they would wish to study both Hebrew and Greek. In the foreword, a British scholar says that a comparison of modern translations reveals that "no translation can ever convey the full meaning of the text in a different language." The Rev. Dobson later points out that there is evidence that some of the books of the New Testament were translated from Hebrew to Greek, so if one knows both languages, one can gain deeper insight into passages. Additionally, many Old Testament books were written in poetic form that is much better appreciated in the original language.

Learn Biblical Hebrew

This book offers twenty-five lessons that may be completed in as little as two months, doing three lessons per week. The author recommends listening frequently to the audio CD of the first thirteen lessons, included with the book, because "the act of listening attentively will help your brain to begin to gather information that will make the lesson easier when you begin to study it." The audio has excellent recording quality with British speakers.

The Rev. Dobson uses creative methods to teach. For example, he has Hebrew word searches to help familiarize the student with words in the Hebrew alphabet. His tips are easy to understand, and the exercises, such as conversation, readings, and dictionary work, are straightforward and helpful. A special section on poetry reveals the author's particular interest in this topic.

Learn New Testament Greek

The Rev. Dobson begins with an explanation of the changes for the third edition: additional translations, more information about the influence of Hebrew language on the New Testament, and increased audio lessons on the CD. Written in a format similar to those in Learn Biblical Hebrew, the fifty-two lessons begin with the Greek alphabet and move through reading large passages of the Gospels. Throughout the text, the author provides fascinating historical tidbits that help in better understanding the Word. He finishes the book by recommending daily reading in the Greek New Testament and points out many benefits of being able to do so, including refuting false theologies, continuing with modern Greek studies, and assisting with preaching.

Recommendation: These outstanding books are sure to ignite interest in reading Scripture in the original languages. They would be best suited for high school-aged to adult, and prior study of a basic Greek program like Hey Andrew! or Basic Greek in 30 Minutes Per Day would be helpful.

HomeschoolChristian.com resources related to this review:

HomeschoolChristian.com's Classical Languages Resource Section
Review of A Greek Alphabetarion
Review of Greek Hupogrammon
Review of Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!
Review of Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day
Review of Mastering New Testament Greek
Review of At Home with Hebrew

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