Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, ed. and rev. by E. Kautzsch and A.E. Cowley

| Updated: Tue, 4 May 2021 | Tagged: ot, hebrew, hebrew grammar, hebrew language, language.

This landmark edition of a fundamental work in the study of classical Hebrew is just about to reach its centenary, but still it is an essential work of reference for students of the Hebrew Bible. It went through many German editions, as well as many in English, until this edition and translation by A.E. Cowley. It would be interesting to know how much of the Rev. G.W. Collins’s work persisted into Cowley’s edition.

Cowley himself was impressively widely read in ancient languages, whether Semitic or not. His knowledge of Hebrew extended well beyond the Bible, however, as he “came to be regarded as the world’s leading non-Jewish authority” on Rabbinic Hebrew.1 And that is aside from his studies in Aramaic, Sanskrit, and Hittite!

So this work remains a standard in the field. A search on yields nine hits, but only one is actually “GKC”, the copy from the University of Toronto, and it has been very well scanned. It is from the 1956 printing. The 1982 OUP edition is the definitive print edition, but its improvements primarily came in the shape of new indices by Dr. John Job, as well as further corrigenda. Meanwhile, this PDF is well worth the download.

It should also be noted that GKC can also be consulted online as a Wikisource document, nicely formatted and convenient. It also incorporates the corrigenda.

  1. J. Bullard, “Cowley, Arthur Ernest (1861-1931)”, in J.H. Hayes (ed), Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1999), vol. 1, p. 229.