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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Resurrecting Skills

One driving characteristic of mine is that with all of my being I hate doing things twice.  If I find myself doing so I figure out a way to either do it faster, automate it, or else get someone else to do it.  But sometimes it is unavoidable.
Resurrecting Skills
While we were at Western Kentucky University, I took Greek and Hebrew, two semesters each.  I was good at Greek, when we got to the seminary I tested out of the first year.  Not so much with Hebrew.  It was always a struggle for me.  Since I spend most of my time in the New Testament, my Greek is much better than my Hebrew.  Since seminary though both are really rusty… Hebrew nearly rusted closed.

A couple of days ago I mentioned that I am investing time each day in Psalm 119.  In doing so I am working at resurrecting some level of proficiency in Hebrew.  It is frustrating because I worked so hard to learn what I did and it is nearly all gone.  But as I work through the Psalm with my grammar open, some is coming back, excruciatingly slow, but back it is coming.

The value in the languages is how much quicker you can make observations.  Plus the nuances of the verbal forms adds depth to one’s understanding of what one is observing.  It is hard work, but it is worth the effort.  Even, if I am having to learn it again…

With the tools available now either for purchase or on the web you can get a lot of what I struggled to learn without paying the hundreds of dollars per academic hour which I did.  The Blue Letter Bible gives you a quick look at both Greek and Hebrew with links to Strong’s numbers.  It does not parse the verbs for you but it is a good starting place.  Bible Hub will give you the part of speech, they call that parsing, but it is not.  It does not tell you what form the verb takesif you use their Hebrew study Bible, you can get closer for each word is linked to Brown Driver Briggs which is the standard Hebrew Lexicon.  It has the different verb stems but does not tell you what they mean…but that moves the ball further down the path…

This kind of sounds like work, huh?  It is.  But it is well worth whatever effort you choose to invest.  If enough people ask I will walk you through how to do this and get the verbs identified, parsed, and some basic understanding of the verb forms in a video blog…The only hang up may be finding a site that identifies the verb form for you…

Let me know.

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