Book Reviews

A Hebrew Reader for Ruth

Donald R. Vance Peabody, MA 2002-04-01

The Book of Ruth is ideal for use in Hebrew courses that review elementary grammar and introduce syntax. Vance, associate professor of biblical languages and literature at Oral Roberts University, provides a translational aid to the Book of Ruth that will serve as a useful supplement in such courses. For each verse Vance includes the Hebrew text, a translation, an analytical key of all forms in the verse, and several notes on the text, primarily of a morphological and syntactical nature. The value of providing an analytical key may be debated.

Vance’s key duplicates information that is readily available in other tools, such as John Joseph Owens’s Analytical Key to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989) or the electronic Accordance program. Furthermore some professors will prefer that students not use an analytical key, which can easily become a crutch in the early stages of learning Hebrew and may actually inhibit and retard a student’s facility in the language. However, the great value of Vance’s work is the inclusion of links to standard reference grammars and other well-known tools. In many cases these links include a summary or quotation from the source cited. By conveniently collecting these references in one place Vance’s work will save busy students a great deal of time.

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