Saturday, August 18, 2012

Things I (think I might have) learned (maybe) in summer Hebrew

Perhaps this is a little premature; the exam isn't until Wednesday.  But the next two days after that will not be conducive to writing, and the following week will involve I'm just getting this out of my brain now so I can get back to studying.

First, things I did not learn well enough:

1. Hebrew verb roots.
2. Hebrew nouns.
3. Hebrew adjectives.
4. Etc.
5. You get the idea.

Things I learned (or confirmed):

1. I don't memorize well.  (See above.)  If I could memorize I'd probably have spent my life doing something else.
2. Familiarity with the biblical language and its nuances makes a world of difference in reading scripture.
3. The fourth chapter of Jonah may well be the most horrifying bit of scripture in the whole of Judeo-Christian tradition, whatever testament you may prefer.
4. That chapter also feels far too contemporary in some ways.
5. The Joseph narrative in Genesis has its moments as well.
6. As much as I know intellectually that, as one friend put it, no one will ever ask in a church what grade I made in Hebrew...I don't enjoy getting humbled, let's put it that way.
7. The OT is going to be tough to preach.
8. That doesn't mean it should not be preached.
9. I'm clearly crazy to be going through this whole endeavor.  But then, the title of this blog has been insisting that all along.

There are some things in this life you experience as triumph, as joy, as epiphany, as revelation.  There are some things you count yourself lucky to survive, and then simply move on from there.  This has, for me, been one of the latter.

Now back to those pestilent verb roots.

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