A clássica Gramática de Hebraico do Gesenius está, hoje, mais acessível do que nunca para consulta. Além de incluída no software BibleWorks 6.0, pode ser acessada gratuitamente online.
Sem nos esquecermos, é claro, da edição impressa: GESENIUS, W.; KAUTZSCH, E. (ed.) Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. New York: Dover Publications, 2006, 598 p. – ISBN 9780486443447.
Quem foi Gesenius?
Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius (February 3, 1786 – October 23, 1842), was a German orientalist and Biblical critic. He was born at Nordhausen, Thuringia. In 1803 he became a student of philosophy and theology at the University of Helmstädt, where Heinrich Henke was his most influential teacher; but the latter part of his university course was taken at the Göttingen, where J. G. Eichhorn and T.C. Tychsen were then at the height of their popularity. In 1806, shortly after graduation, he became Repetent and Privatdozent at Göttingen; and, as he was later proud to say, had August Neander for his first pupil in Hebrew language. In 1810 he became professor extraordinarius in theology, and in 1811 ordinarius, at the University of Halle, where, in spite of many offers of high preferment elsewhere, he spent the rest of his life.
He taught for over thirty years, the only interruptions being that of 1813-1814 (occasioned by the War of Liberation, during which the university was closed) and those occasioned by two prolonged literary tours, first in 1820 to Paris, London and Oxford with his colleague Johann Karl Thilo (1794-1853) for the examination of rare oriental manuscripts, and in 1835 to England and the Netherlands in connection with his Phoenician studies. He became the most popular teacher of Hebrew and of Old Testament introduction and exegesis in Germany; during his later years his lectures were attended by nearly five hundred students. Among his pupils the most eminent were Peter von Bohlen, A.G. Hoffmann, Hermann Hupfeld, Emil Rödiger, J.F. Tuch, Wilhelm Vatke and Theodor Benfey.
In 1827, after declining an invitation to take Eichhorn’s place at Göttingen, Gesenius was made a Consistorialrath; but, apart from the violent attacks to which he, along with his friend and colleague
Julius Wegscheider, was in 1830 subjected by E.W. Hengstenberg and his party in the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung, on account of his rationalism, his life was uneventful. He died at Halle.
Gesenius takes much of the credit for having freed Semitic philology from the trammels of Theological and religious prepossession, and for inaugurating the strictly scientific (and comparative) method which has since been so fruitful. As an exegete he exercised a powerful influence on theological investigation.
Of his many works, the earliest, published in 1810, entitled Versuch über die maltesische Sprache, was a successful refutation of the current opinion that the modern Maltese was of Punic origin. In the same year appeared the first volume of the Hebräisches u. Chaldäisches Handwörterbuch, completed in 1812. Revised editions of this appear periodically in Germany. The publication of a new English edition was started in 1892 under the editorship of Professors C.A. Briggs, S.R. Driver and F. Brown. The Hebräische Grammatik, published in 1813 (28th edition by E. Kautzsch; English translation by A.E. Cowley, 1910; 29th edition [incomplete] by G. Bergsträsser, 1918-29), was followed in 1815 by the Geschichte der hebräischen Sprache (now very rare), and in 1817 by the Ausführliches Lehrgebäude der hebräischen Sprache.