Kline, Jonathan G., Keep Up Your Biblical Hebrew in Two Minutes a Day: Vol. 1. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2017. 384 pp.; Hb. $39.95. Link to Hendrickson
Kline, Jonathan G., Keep Up Your Biblical Hebrew in Two Minutes a Day: Vol. 2. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2017. 384 pp.; Hb. $39.95. Link to Hendrickson
Talk to anyone who studied Biblical languages during their education and I guarantee they will attest to the difficulty of retention post-schooling. Whether at Bible College or Seminary, past or present, it is nigh-impossible to maintain the fundamentals and vocabulary without daily engagement. This becomes more difficult as time grows in scarcity, feeling like you have to relearn the language all over again. In the midst of this challenge comes a reasonable, affordable, and beneficial solution from editor/compiler Dr. Jonathan G. Kline and Hendrickson Publishing— Keep Up Your Biblical Hebrew in Two Minutes a Day: vols. 1&2. A daily tool specifically designed to aid individuals in renewing the Hebrew vocabulary in just minutes a day!
I’ve been immersed in the languages for the majority of my undergrad and seminary career. I’ve had four years of Greek, two years of Hebrew, and am preparing for Aramaic in the fall. Between the paradigms, fundamentals of grammar, and vocabulary, maintaining the skills outside of the classroom is more than challenging. These two volumes for Biblical Hebrew were specifically designed to help students of the language with vocabulary and reading, making the proposed two minutes an easy commitment for all. Kline is very clear in the preface that the books do not do away with the need for a grammar; they are exclusively for vocabulary review.
Both books are identically structured in that they contain a word a day for each volume. The selections are organized by number of times used in the BHS. Volume 1 contains every word used more than 120 times, and volume 2 builds off of this by containing every word used between 49 and 120 times. Each day includes a verse from the BHS in which there is one new word to learn and two words to review that appear earlier. The verse is displayed in both English and Hebrew, accompanied by the transliteration, meaning, number of occurrences, and Strong’s number. Additionally, each day includes the definition of each word in the verse for the day if one wanted to devote more than two minutes a day. The pages are dated and numbered with the week and day in case someone wants to start with January, like so:
This new series from Hendrickson gives language learners the upper hand in the challenge of retaining vocabulary previously acquired. In today’s day and age, the solution to vocabulary retention is provided by some kind of app, but staring at a screen has been (for me at least) another reason to stay on my phone. Incorporating two minutes of reading in a daily routine is very doable, making one less reliable on their phone. This small hardcover book is compact like a journal, making it easy to carry with you whatever your storage preference and calls for such a minute amount of time that it can be incorporated into any level of busyness. While this book is certainly not for everyone, those who have any interest in engaging Hebrew vocabulary will find much to gain from this book and the first volume and will likely find it to be a frequently consulted aid. I would definitely recommend this, and any of the other volumes for those looking to rekindle or maintain their Hebrew vocabulary, as well as the other volumes for Greek and Aramaic.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Hendrickson for generously providing me with review copies in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own and were not influenced by the gesture.