unfoldingWord® Hebrew Grammar¶
The unfoldingWord® Hebrew Grammar (UHG) is a Biblical Hebrew reference grammar based on the morphology codes that appear in the Open Scriptures Hebrew Bible (OSHB). It enables the global Church to gain the best possible understanding of the Hebrew grammar of the Old Testament.
The rationale behind creating the first version of the UHG was to provide an openly licensed and up to date reference grammar for direct use with the OSHB. Such a grammar may be used in software to provide students and translators of Scripture with up to date and accurate descriptions of Hebrew grammar on an as needed basis. Because the articles are directly patterned after the morphological categories of the OSHB, it is easy for software to link directly to them.
A team of scholars and technicians worked together to create and revise each of the articles in the UHG over the course of a year and a half. The creation process included individuals drafting glossary and article entries for each grammatical topic and then a series of peer reviews of each. Several meetings were held to help standardize the format of the articles and to discuss difficult issues as they arose.
The differentiation between the glossary entries and the articles is similar to the approach of many Wikipedia articles. The glossary entry is a one or two sentence summary of the grammatical topic, while the article goes into much more detail and includes several examples. This has the effect of being useful in a pop up or tooltip in software applications, which may provide immediate access to the glossary in the pop up and then link to the full article.
A unique design goal was to make the language of the grammar as simple as possible so that the resource can more easily be translated into the Gateway Languages of the world. This should also have the effect of rendering the grammar accessible to people of varied educational backgrounds and varied proficiency in the English language.
The work was completed using an online content creation and translation platform, the Door43 Content Service. Because of this, all the work is under revision control, you can go back and see the commit history if you’d like (it totals over 2700 commits at the time of writing).
We plan to extend the UHG, in conjunction with the unfoldingWord® Hebrew Bible, to cover higher level syntactic and semantic information. Rather than replacing the existing form-centric morphology of the OSHB, we would add another parsing layer on top of it that focuses on the function of the words and phrases. This will generate a new list of categories that will need explanations in the UHG. Some examples of new categories are discourse markers, specific uses of imperfect forms, context sensitive gender identification and the like.
A further extension may be to take the raw material from this work and augment and format it to be useful as a teaching grammar. Again, the idea here would be to provide a resource that could easily be translated and adapted into other Gateway Languages.
If either of these ideas intrigue you, let us know at https://www.unfoldingword.org/contact/, we’d love to have your involvement!
The latest version of the UHG may be downloaded in the following formats:
PDF is not currently offered due to complications with mixing RTL and LTR text.
- Bram van den Heuvel (BA Theology, Utrecht University; MA Biblical Studies, Utrecht University / University of Amsterdam; Ph.D. Candidate Old Testament, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit)
- Chapel Presson (BA Pre-Seminary Studies/Bible, Central Bible College; MDiv, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary)
- Daniel Bowman (BA Ancient Languages, Cornerstone University; MDiv, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary)
- Ethan Knapp
- Joel D. Ruark (M.A.Th. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Th.M. Stellenbosch University; Ph.D. Candidate in Old Testament Studies, Stellenbosch University)
- Jesse Griffin (BA Biblical Studies, Liberty University; MA Biblical Languages, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
- Kenny E. Hilliard III (BA Christian Studies, North Greenville University; MDiv Christian Ministry: Biblical Languages, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; PHD Candidate Biblical Studies: Old Testament, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary)
- Perry Oakes (BA Biblical Studies, Taylor University; MA Theology, Fuller Seminary; MA Linguistics, University of Texas at Arlington; PhD Old Testament, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)
- Stephen J. Andrews (BA Carson-Newman; M.Div. Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Th.M. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Hebrew Union College)
unfoldingWord® Hebrew Grammar
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