• Biblical Languages

    Martin Luther and the Original Languages

    Martin Luther is well known for his role in starting the Reformation. It has always been of particular interest to me how Luther viewed the importance of Greek and Hebrew in his daily ministry. Since I teach language courses in a seminary setting, I’m always looking for good quotes to motivate the students to put in the effort and learn the languages. A couple quotes from Luther are especially worth sharing. Read More

  • Old Testament

    What Color was Joseph’s “Coat of Many Colors”?

    I still remember learning the story of Joseph and his brothers in Sunday School growing up. I remember watching the story played out on a flannelgraph where the main character, Joseph, was displayed in his brightly colored “rainbow” coat. I also remember going to a local theater to watch the musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.” These were landmark times in my life. But, were these teachings mistaken? Read More

  • Biblical Languages,  Old Testament

    A Proposal for a New Translation of Deuteronomy 4:29

    This month an article that I have been working on for awhile was finally published in the journal The Bible Translator. The article is entitled, “Towards a New Proposal for Translating the Conjunction כי in Deuteronomy 4.29.” Although I am not allowed to post the published PDF, I have uploaded the prepublication version of the paper here. It is a fairly technical paper, discussing some of the intricacies of Hebrew grammar. The paper will likely not be very enjoyable for those who do not know Hebrew. However, in addition to drawing attention to it, I wanted to summarize the argument in layman’s terms. Read More

  • Biblical Languages,  Old Testament

    Development of the Hebrew Language from Past to Present

    The Hebrew language is beloved by many Christians because it is the original language of the Old Testament. Thus, the Hebrew language makes up the majority of God’s revelation! The Hebrew language is often viewed as a divine language to some. Others think Hebrew contains specialized codes from God. However, the history of the Hebrew language shows that it is a real language which has had real development over time. Read More

  • Hermeneutics

    What is the Root Word Fallacy Danger

    A fallacy is simply a mistaken idea. In biblical studies, a root word fallacy is a mistaken belief that a word inherently carries one meaning in all of its uses. It unfortunately happens frequently. For example, a preacher is preaching away and then gets to an important word in the text and says, “Now this word comes from the Greek root word which always means [fill in the blank], and so we can import that root meaning here.” Read More

  • Biblical Languages,  Review

    Book Review: A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible, 2nd ed. (Zondervan Academic)

    Because I am involved in teaching the biblical languages at the seminary level, I am regularly asked about Greek and Hebrew Reader Bibles. I have not had much experience with Reader Bibles so I asked Zondervan to let me review their 2nd edition of A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible. I hope this review will be helpful both to my students as well as the academically-inclined reader of the blog.   The Aesthetics, Bulk, Weight, etc. Read More

  • Biblical Languages,  Review

    Book Review: Dictionary of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Languages

    I love teaching the biblical languages. It is extremely rewarding to help students learn Greek and Hebrew in order to better understand God’s revelation. However, one of the difficulties of being a language teacher is the inability of many students to think and speak grammatically about English. The Dictionary of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Languages is a helpful little resource (140 pages) which aims to help with this kind of problem. Read More

  • Biblical Languages,  Misc,  Scripture

    Calvin and Luther on Greek and Hebrew

    Almost two weeks ago I had the privilege of being a part of our Far West Regional ETS conference. I presented a paper on the importance of Greek and Hebrew for Martin Luther and John Calvin. It was a lot of fun researching, and I hope it encourages those thinking about ministry. In essence, the paper proposes that without attention to the original languages of Greek and Hebrew, the Reformation would never have happened. It was the return to attention to detail in the original languages that prompted the break from the Church of Rome, which had drifted into stark heresy. Although not everyone has the opportunity to learn Greek…

  • Biblical Languages,  Old Testament,  Review

    Book Review: Learn Biblical Hebrew

    Given my interest in teaching Old Testament subjects, I am always on the lookout for books with which to teach Hebrew. When I saw that John H. Dobson’s Learn Biblical Hebrew had been positively reviewed by Dr. Barrick (one of my own Hebrew teachers), I looked forward to the chance to look it over. There are many positives in the book. First, it is about as close to immersion as you can get through a book. From lesson one, the student is immersed in reading words and phrases. The student is given helpful pronunciation helps along the way. Although this may seem daunting, another help is access to audio pronunciation…