The Discipline

The undergraduate Hebrew minor program develops appreciation for both the Hebrew Bible and Modern Hebrew.

Biblical Hebrew students develop appreciation for the Hebrew Bible and competence to read prose and poetry. The program is designed to provide students with habits of study that they may enjoy a life-long exploration of the Hebrew Bible. The program is calculated (together with the Ancient Near Eastern Studies major) to prepare students for further study in graduate programs and other career options. Biblical Hebrew students gain a heightened sensitivity of their own scriptural tradition, and an awareness of the contributions of ancient prophets, and the formation and transmission of the Hebrew Bible.

Students of Modern Hebrew gain access to the spoken language of the State of Israel and many Jews throughout the world. Within Israel, Modern Hebrew is utilized in theaters, television and radio, schools, synagogues, business establishments, government offices, and in everyday street conversation. Written Modern Hebrew is featured on signs, stamps, coins, newspapers, journals, books, magazines and elsewhere. It is through a community’s language that one gains a better understanding of that community’s culture, customs, and overall way of life. When conditions permit, BYU offers an Intensive Hebrew Study program under the auspices of its Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem.