Last week I finished preparing my textbook list for Rapid Hebrew Reading. This is a class that I will teach in the Fall Semester of 2008 (to read about this, scroll down to course number 149 on this page). The reading in this class covers forty-five chapters from the Hebrew Old Testament dealing with pericopes in historical narrative, legal material, prophecy and poetry. Because of the demands of this type of class, I was glad to add a unique Hebrew Bible that I am confident will assist in covering our objectives in this class. The new tool is Zondervan‘s A Reader’s Hebrew Bible edited by A. Philip Brown II and Bryan W. Smith. In my estimation, this is a great source for stimulating reading the Hebrew Old Testament.
For those who are students of the Greek New Testament, you may be familiar with Zondervan’s A Reader’s Greek New Testament by Richard J. Goodrich and Albert L. Lukaszewski. A Reader’s Hebrew Bible follows this pattern. Zondervan’s release describes a number of the positive features of A Reader’s Hebrew Bible: “Ideal for Hebrew students and pastors, A Reader’s Hebrew Bible saves time and effort in studying the Hebrew Old Testament. By eliminating the need to look up definitions, the footnotes allow the user to read the Hebrew and Aramaic text more quickly, focusing on parsing and grammatical issues. A Reader’s Hebrew Bible offers the following features: • Complete text of the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible using the Leningrad Codex (minus critical apparatus) • Shaded Hebrew names that occur less than 100 times • Footnoted definitions of all Hebrew words occurring 100 times or less (twenty-five or less for Aramaic words) • Context-specific glosses • Stem-specific glossed definitions for verb forms (Qal, Piel, Hiphil, and so forth) • Ketib/Qere readings both noted in the text and differentiated appropriately • Marker ribbon.”
If you are concerned about keeping up with reading your Hebrew Old Testament, A Reader’s Hebrew Bible will be a great aid. And, if you are interested in getting a 43% discount, click here. When I think of the significance of this unique Hebrew Old Testament, I am reminded of a saying of my grandmother, “this is better than sliced bread.” Thanks to Philip Brown and Bryan Smith for providing something that is more eternally valuable than “sliced bread.”