Hebrew for Reading Comprehension


Hebrew for Reading Comprehension is a first year Biblical Hebrew grammar which is designed to promote reading comprehension and translation precision while reducing the confusion of traditional grammars. Two major features which distinguish this from other grammars are a tremendous reduction of emphasis on vowel pointing  and a paradigm-less approach to teaching verbs.

This Grammar’s Differences

  • The end goal is always kept in mind: reading comprehension and translation precision.
  • Vowel pointing is not emphasized. Students learn to read unpointed and pointed Hebrew from the beginning. Exercises have both pointed and unpointed Hebrew.
  • Verbs and verbless clauses (i.e., sentences) are introduced at the very beginning so that the student feels like they are learning language as language, not as lists.
  • There is an almost complete lack of verb paradigms. Rather, verbs are introduced in the third person (all tenses/aspects), then the second person, then the first.
  • Students do not have to be trained linguists in order to utilize the textbook. Instead, the book includes reviews of basic grammatical terminology and explanations of other important terms.
  • Some traditional (confusing) linguistic terminology is avoided.
  • Here is a chart which compares this grammar with others. Click here to download a .pdf file.

Philosophy of the Grammar

The following essays describe the philosophy underlying the grammar.These were both presented at Central States Society of Biblical Literature meetings.
William P. Griffin, “Killing a Dead Language: A Case against Emphasizing Vowel Pointing when Teaching Biblical Hebrew,” SBL Forum , n.p. [cited May 2007]
William P. Griffin, “Breaking Old Paradigms: Further Reflections on Hebrew Pedagogy,” paper presented at the Central States Society of Biblical Literature meeting, March, 2010.

theWord Features

  • Verse popups
  • Terms explained popups
  • Fully searchable text
  • Easy navigation via topics tree display.
  • Normal text
  • Hebrew text
  • Footnotes
  • ◌ represents any unspecified Hebrew character.
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William P. “Bill” Griffin



I have been a full time professor at Evangel University since 1995. The main classes I teach concern Hebrew, Biblical interpretation, and the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). I have a particular interest in the Minor Prophets and the Psalms.

My first experience teaching Biblical Hebrew was as a graduate student at Emory University. Since then I have taught elementary, intermediate, and advanced Biblical Hebrew many times at Evangel University. I also regularly lead a Hebrew reading group which has been attended by people from Evangel University, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and Missouri State University.


  • Ph.D., Emory University (Old Testament) 1995
    Dissertation: The Image of God in Joel and Other Selected Prophecies, published as The God of the Prophets: An Analysis of Divine Action (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997).
  • M.Div., Harvard University (OT emphasis) 1988
    Masters Thesis: Shall a Human Rob God? A Study on the Purpose of the Tithe.
  • B.A., Evangel University (Biblical Studies) 1985
    Major: Biblical Studies; Concentration: Biblical Languages



  • Regular presentations at the Central States Society of Biblical Literature meeting, Hebrew Bible section.
  • Greater Springfield Professors of Bible, Hebrew Bible section. Frequent presenter and site organizer when the meeting has been at Evangel University.
  • Sunday School teacher, Evangel Temple, Springfield, MO.


My wife (Terry) and I have been married since 1978, and we have three sons. My wife and I are avid bicyclists, riding thousands of miles every year. We both are into photography (nature, basketball, countryside). I also enjoy writing humorous and satirical songs about many subjects.