Hebrew Bible Exam
The examination in Hebrew is in two parts, written
A. Written Exam
The exam is to be
proctored by a church officer convenient to the
candidate, and has a time limit of 5 hours.
Text: The exam will be a passage from the Biblia
Hebraica Stuttgartensia. The text is not
pre-announced to the candidate.
Resources allowed: The candidate may use a
lexicon, Hebrew grammar, personal notes, and
commentaries. However any tool that parses
the words in the text is not allowed. This
prohibition includes electronic devices such as
computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. If the
candidate wishes to use a commentary it should
not include parsings of the text.
The candidate will produce a provisional
translation of the text by:
Parsing a number of the verbs,
infinitives, and participles as required.
Resolving the syntax for all
participles, infinitives, and nouns in the
Writing out a provisional
translation which resolves questions of grammar
Developing a simple outline of
the passage. The candidate will show
understanding of the content of the passage, how
it flows, and where major breaks fall.
Stating the central thought of
the passage, following from the exegetical work.
The candidate will provide a basic short word
study, no more than a paragraph in length, of a
single word in the passage whose meaning is
crucial to understanding the whole.
Finally the candidate will make some
preliminary homiletical observations on the
passage as directed.
The completed exam is to be given to the
proctor, who will mail it to the examiner. The
examiner will forward the exam to the committee
with his recommendation on the scoring of the
B. Oral Exam
In the oral Hebrew Examination the candidate
will read and translate a short passage from the
Hebrew Bible. The text is not pre-announced to
the candidate. The candidate may use his own
copy of the Hebrew Bible or one may be provided.
The exam is given in committee and normally the
exam may be expected to take about 45 minutes.
The candidate may be asked to parse the verbal
forms, nouns and adjectives. Depending on the
text selected, the candidate may be asked to
make observations on the grammar and syntax of
verbs, the verb paradigms (binyanim), or other
features of the text. The candidate may be asked
to give the dictionary form of words and to
discuss the major cantillations (te'amim) and
pronounciation of the text.
If there are ketiv/qere variants, the candidate
may be asked to explain and resolve textual
issues as appropriate.
Attention may be drawn to exegetical issues
presented by the passage, and to homiletical
possibilities which may appear.
This is not an exhaustive list. The purpose of
the oral examination is to see if the candidate
is familiar with the Hebrew Bible, and is
capable of sound exegesis.
See also the Greek
New Testament Exam
See also B. B.
Warfield on the Languages and Pastoral