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.
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