Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text
Stock No: WW792911
Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text  -     By: Robert D. Holmstedt

Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text

Baylor University Press / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

Students of biblical Hebrew will often remember Ruth as one of the first books they translated as a Hebrew student. They will also remember the sheer beauty and mastery of its literary design. Yet, most of this is lost in translation and it is for this purpose that Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text is necessary.

Merging the traditional understanding of Hebrew grammar and newly discovered linguistic elements that help us understand how Hebrew "works" Holmstedt has produced a study that is accessible to first year students, but is ideal for professional researchers and will prove to be a huge asset to intermediate Hebrew and exegesis students who are focusing on Ruth. To this end, Ruth like all of the Baylor Handbooks on the Bible serves as a grammatical and textual commentary, and fills a much needed specialization gap on particular Hebrew texts in contemporary commentary. Yet, the goal of this commentary on Ruth extends beyond technical details and seeks to demonstrate how grammatical matters such as syntax enhance and illuminate the meaning of the book in light of its original linguistic conventions.

Furthermore, Holmstedt explores how the language and grammar of Ruth contribute to our understanding of the books date of composition, and how grammatical features and language are used to "color" characters speech.

Thus, what Holmstedt and other contributing writers in the Baylor Handbooks series create is a new type of commentary that focuses primarily on linguistic details, but never in a mere vacuum. Language is employed to communicate meaning, not simply words and this commentary seeks to bring this reality front and center.

As stated above, this series will be a boon for students who are participating in exegetical courses and in course in intermediate Hebrew. This series, and others like it are the future of Hebrew pedagogy.

Product Information

Title: Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text
By: Robert D. Holmstedt
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 180
Vendor: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 7.50 X 5.5 (inches)
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN: 1932792910
ISBN-13: 9781932792911
Series: Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible
Stock No: WW792911
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Publisher's Description

Rather than devote space to the type of theological and exegetical comments found in most commentaries, this series focuses on the Hebrew text and its related issues, syntactic and otherwise. The volumes serve as prequels to commentary proper, providing guides to understanding the linguistic characteristics of the texts from which the messages of the texts may then be derived. In addition to this, Ruth, the newest volume in the series, handbooks on Amos, Genesis 1-11, and Jonah are also now available.

Author Bio

Robert D. Holmstedt is Assistant Professor in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto, where he teaches ancient Hebrew and West Semitic languages.

Editorial Reviews

This commentary on Ruth from the Hebrew text (phrase by phrase) is written with the awareness that Ruth or/and Jonah are usually the first Hebrew texts learners of biblical Hebrew read. Pages 1–50 summarize relevant aspects of Hebrew grammar, semantics, and pragmatics (how syntactic and semantic options are manipulated) that the student should be familiar with. Linguistic features show no clear needbased borrowing from Aramaic, so one thinks of the early Persian period as the time of writing. Holmstedt is attentive to nuances. For example, "due to the famine in Israel, someone from the town named ‘House of Bread’ [Bethlehem] had to leave to find provision as an alien in a foreign land" (p. 55). The comments in places explain the use of accents and the grammatical changes they induce in words/phrases.In short, the author has given students a valuable step-by-step introduction to reading the text of the Hebrew Bible.


Holmstedt's volume is a mine of information and insight... certainly a book that will repay investment.


This volume will benefit both students and scholars with an in-depth discussion of Hebrew grammar and syntax as well as some lexicography and etymology of obscure words. Overall, Holmstedt provides students of Biblical Hebrew with a technical, but accessible study of the text of the book of Ruth.

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