Back From The Mountains – Ezekiel Edition

Coming back from Banner Elk, NC this evening, I found the textbooks for my next class on my doorstep. Starting in April I am taking Hebrew Exegesis of Ezekiel at SBTS. It will be a continuation of the study in Hebrew I have done since last fall.

Texts for studying Ezekiel

Unfortunately, “on my doorstep” means it encountered some of today’s rain. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia was unscathed, wrapped in a layer of thin but protective plastic. Ezekiel was not so fortunate, and has a number of splotches of water damage, mostly confined to the back cover.

This post has been rather difficult, as my computer is giving me issues, stemming from a battery failure I think. So while I might write more, I think this is it for now, except for to post the following from Ezekiel, which we translated earlier this semester in Hebrew Syntax and Exegesis:

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

Ezekiel 36:22-32 (ESV)

– redbeard

Sabbatical Progress – Week 1

So, today was the first Sunday of my September sabbatical. It’s been a restful time so far, and that time has also been put to some good use! Thought I’d stop a moment each Sunday and consider the week. Primarily, this is a help to me, helping me remember what God is doing.

  • So, for starters, there has been a bunch of prayer. Prayer for my local church, prayer for my wife and kids, prayer for direction. Especially, I’ve been in prayer asking God to raise up leaders and servants, and to provide opportunities for purposeful discipleship.
  • I actually jump-started my sabbatical finishing one of my first reading goals. The book in question was Leeman’s Church Membership. I shared a couple quotes and thoughts here and here. Great book, if you are looking for something to help you think through meaningful membership.
  • I followed that up with another book in the same series, Dever’s Discipling. You can find some thoughts I posted here. Also a good read, with some great motivation for discipling with purpose, especially as it approached the final chapters.
  • I’m keeping up daily with 6 Ways the Old Testament Speaks Today. Last week, I commented on how he addressed worship. Today, I began the next “voice”, the voice of prophecy. I’m excited to get into the daily “devotional” portion, as last week bible readings were great reminders of how God calls us into worship.
  • I sprinted ahead in my Hebrew textbook, finally stopping at chapter 12. That basically got me through the Qal-stem forms (qatal, yiqtol, weqatal, and wayyiqtol, plus the infinitive construct). Now to go back and do some more systematic review. I’m still much further back in the workbook. I’ve also been busy loading up my Anki deck. Anki has really helped with memorization of vocabulary. Debating if I should put time into using SIL’s FLEx to begin capturing nominal/verbal system rules…debating if it is worth the time/effort. I haven’t done much with infixing in the tool, which would be critical.
  • I helped my father-in-law find a Bible translation that was good for reading. He specifically was looking for one that would be good for reading more for the fuller story, the flow. A nice, cheap HCSB arrived more quickly than I could have imagined.
  • The family spent the long weekend up in the North Carolina mountains visiting Kim’s parents, “camping” out in the front yard. Also a lot of hikes with the dogs. It’s been a blast, but tomorrow we will head back home.

Well, that is a lot! But it honestly has been quite restful. Getting some time set aside for determined reading means books are no longer building dust on the shelf, which is a weight off the shoulders! If you find the right moment, pray for me, that I might continue to use my time wisely.

In The Mail – Elementary Hebrew Texts

Woohoo! Hebrew textbooks and Old Testament hermeneutics in the mail. Can’t complain about that. This upcoming semester I’m taking 20400 WW, otherwise known as “Elementary Hebrew”, with Dr. Garrett. There are two textbooks (really a book and an associated workbook), two recommended texts, plus an extra credit book.

In The Mail Today

So, for text and workbook, and the extra credit, all pictured above, I’ll be working with:

The “recommended” texts are A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS). The first I recently picked up cheap at a used book store, in really good condition. Someone even did the much appreciated work of tabbing the book by initial letters! The other, I may go for in the future, but I have Zondervan’s Hebrew and Greek reader from a couple years back, which is the Leningrad Codex (L), and supposedly only slightly different from BHS. I’ll save a couple bucks for now sticking with it. Fairly readable font, too, and I hear the cheaper variations of BHS can be difficult on the eyes – all those tiny lines and dots!

The professor and OTA both highly encouraged going ahead and getting started on the text, even though there are still about 3 weeks until class starts. To that end, they provided the first couple chapters as pdfs, and I have already begun working on chapter 1, with lots of memorization. Starting to load and run through vocabulary with a custom ankiweb deck. Practicing handwriting, letter names, alphabet order, and some initial vocabulary on paper (here is just one sheet of example, of which there are numerous):

Getting Better, But Still Not There Yet

So, that’s what I am going to be working on for the near future. How about you?

G

Out with the New, In with the Old

Week 6 of 8 is almost complete for spring term 2 (Introduction to New Testament I). I’ve enjoyed Dr. Pennington quite a lot. Nevertheless, time to start planning and registering for summer and fall. To that end, I signed up to take Introduction to Old Testament I over the summer with Dr. Betts, and then in the fall, consuming both terms, will be Elementary Hebrew with Dr. Garrett.

I think they usually suggest Greek first, then Hebrew – and I can understand it at least on the fact that Greek is closer to English than Hebrew is. If it is a first or even second time doing another language, it pays to do one similar I suppose. Having studied a few languages at this point (my current, daily study is Spanish, German and Japanese) and having some Greek already under my belt (and maybe I can study on the side to eventually test out of it?) I thought I would jump to Hebrew. I’ve studied just a smidgen of Biblical Hebrew already. I’m prepared for it to be a doozy…

And my books for Old Testament I have arrived already, even!

Back to Luke and John!

Back to School

I’ve finally done it. Applied to go back to school, and today was accepted at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Am looking at getting an M.Div. of Christian Ministry. Now with the application and all that entails out of the way, can focus on registering (and paying) for classes.

I’ll be starting off slow. Still have my job and three kids in the house, one of whom is not far from college herself. And not sure how the “all online” will really work out. Not planning on moving to Kentucky any time soon. Guess that everyone is doing things online right now anyway, what with Covid and all. Anyway, if I’m going to be reading, might as well read for “credit”…

Thinking about starting with Elementary Hebrew and/or Elementary Greek, which are both remedial/prerequisites anyway. My self-taught Greek probably couldn’t get me excused from taking a formal class, my Hebrew even less likely.

As a working guy having been out of school for a while now, I found this post pretty thoughtful. Worked through most of those thoughts getting to this point.

In the Mail: William’s Hebrew Syntax

The fine people of Amazon dropped off this delightful package this morning. I’ve been focusing primarily on Classical Greek (and Latin, French, German and a smidge of Korean and Modern Greek) at the moment, but soon…

Williams’ Hebrew Syntax, 3rd Edition

Linguistics & Biblical Exegesis: Motivation

The final three chapters, chapters 6-8, were a nice bridge from the shortened specifics of linguistic study and history towards a sounder study of scripture. Six focused on issues directly relating to Hebrew, seven to Greek, with eight being a well-spoken defense, a resounding “yes” answer to the question, “Is it all worth it?”

Chapter 6 focused on issues with Hebrew linguistics, and my background and grasp of Hebrew is smaller than it is for Greek (itself not all that great). I’ll admit that as the author spoke on the troubles of understanding the verbal stems and their potential relations, I was intrigued. But I also felt like I was at the top of a fog-covered mountain trying to find my way back down, visibility at minimum.

The difficulty of a small amount of source material for determining meaning and truly taking advantage of modern linguistics, itself bent towards the study of living languages and their communities, was articulated perfectly, however.

This paucity of data led nicely into the next chapter on Greek, where the opposite was the case: too much data, especially recently, has made cohesive wholes difficult, resulting in a lot of published work being derivative as well as incomplete.

Greek, too, has received tons of attention regarding its verbal system, with arguments over the representation of tense and/or aspect, and how to understand the voice system (active/passive with a ton of deponency) or a middle system expressing subject affectedness with a coordinated, “default” active system. Aubrey covered this material well. Overall, the information was an easy read, and not incredibly argumentative. He even got to give a nice shout-out to his wife (I have a link to the sited work below).

The final chapter was the cherry on top of the whole effort. If one has gotten through to this point, they are hopefully on the same page already. But in case one has gotten that far, and is still wondering if linguistics is really worthwhile when doing biblical studies, the affirmative answer is laid out clearly. As another commentator before me has said, it would be perfectly reasonable to read this chapter first, and let the passion drive through to reading the rest. I actually preferred it being final, as it allowed for a dense center, a bit of sharp reality, and then an uplifting final note that should leave the reader ready to study some more.



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