Biblical Ponies that You can Ride to Language Land

Biblical Ponies that You can Ride to Language Land April 4, 2022

In the use it or lose it world of Biblical Languages there are a few useful ponies, or tools, you can use to keep your Biblical languages at least semi-fresh.  Back B.C. (before cellphone) used to recommend Licht auf dem Weg—- Light on the Way, as it had daily small doses of Hebrew and Greek nicely matched up, and ready for easy consumption (with the occasional lexical help).  But today we have some new resources, and the first of these is the book depicted above provided by Eerdmans. As the cover says It’s giving you doses of Biblical passages in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and it includes the LXX of the OT with the Hebrew text as well.  You have one passage for each day of the year. Now you need to realize that Cerone and  Fischer are not following the OT versification in English translations, but rather from the Hebrew text itself.  This particular aid also gives quite a lot of lexical help in the margins, so if your Hebrew and Greek is not so extensive, you can still get a lot of benefit out of the volume.   This volume actually follows a thematic pattern beginning with Creation and various OT themes, ending with exile, and then the same with the NT beginning with John the Baptizer and finishing with God’s Reign on Earth in the End.  The book includes a brief bibliography of lexicons and dictionaries of use.

The second volume I would commend is entitled Biblical Greek, with a subtitle of in Two Minutes a Day.  Jonathan Kline and Hendrickson are the ones we can thank for this volume which first came out in 2017.  This volume is clearly for absolute beginners as it translates everything as well as breaking down the Greek structurally and otherwise.  Now the problem with saying that this will only take two minutes a day is that though each daily portion is brief, if you are an absolute beginner this is going to take longer than that. And frankly, you can’t learn much Greek only spending two minutes a day on it, unless the two minutes involves memorizing vocabulary and the like.  Actually understanding the grammar and syntax is another matter. I’d say spend at least 10-20 minutes a day and you will actually learn something you will remember and be able to use.  Still, in a church world of growing Biblical illiteracy, we need all the help we can get and this tool will help some gain a beginners knowledge of NT Greek.  Hooray!

 

 


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