I have been encouraged in recent years to find a deep interest in biblical Greek, not only among preachers and students, but also among Christians who are not engaged in formal theological education. I have written about resources for learning Greek here.
A few hardy individuals have also asked about learning to read biblical Hebrew. There are also some excellent resources available for those who wish to learn Hebrew. I will mention just two here.
First, I recently saw an announcement for a new introductory grammar, Introduction to Hebrew, by William Fullilove of RTS New York, and published by P&R. This new book receives warm commendations from some top-rank Hebrew scholars, notably Bruce Waltke in his Foreword. You can read the front matter plus one sample chapter here. On first glance at the available sample, this book seems appealing for several reasons.
- It incorporates teaching material and exercises into a single volume of modest size.
- Along with fairly typical reading exercises, it includes ‘exegetical exercises’ that encourage the learner to note features of the biblical text that have some particular significance for interpretation. Some of these exercises appear to rely on the student already possessing a copy of the Hebrew Bible (BHS or BHQ).
- A set of video lectures has been made available for the whole book. While watching videos is not the same experience as belonging to a class with a teacher, this resource will be of great help to students and preachers trying to learn on their own or as part of a small support group.
I look forward to examining this book in more detail in due course, but for now I encourage anyone who is eager to learn some Hebrew to consider watching the video lectures and, if keen to proceed with serious study, to purchase this book.
Second, for those who have already studied some Hebrew at an introductory level, I commend the Daily Dose of Hebrew videos to you. Building on the model of the excellent Daily Dose of Greek videos, these short videos encourage those who can already read Hebrew with a measure of confidence to build up their experience and confidence in reading biblical texts.
We are privileged to have access today to such a wide range of helpful resources to help careful study of the biblical texts. Whatever our abilities and responsibilities, let’s make the best use of them we can.