Pricked Exegetical Consciences

My birthday was last week, so I finally got my birthday present. I knew I wanted this when I heard it was coming out. Today I got it: A Reader’s Hebrew Bible. You can find out more about it by clicking here. But I read one of the author’s {Bryan Smith} preface and was struck by his words. He commented on hearing a sermon by John Piper about Martin Luther and the importance of keeping up on the study of the original biblical languages {Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek}. You can find Piper’s message here.

Smith quotes Piper as saying, “I find myself, by reading these kinds of things, pricked in my conscience and awakened to revive and renew my efforts with Hebrew. Greek is not a problem for me because I had a chance to teach it…I never taught Hebrew. And so I’ve struggled with it ever since seminary days…Knowing the languages can make any devoted preacher a better preacher…I want to make my Hebrew better in 1996 so that I will be more faithful in my exposition of the Old Testament.”

Smith, who majored in Old Testament Interpretation, goes on to recount that even he had lost some of the most common vocabulary he once knew so well. He began by working his way through the Psalms using a page of A Reader’s Hebrew Bible alongside his English Bible. By the time he finished working his way through the Psalms he could read Hebrew as fast as English.

Smith concludes by saying, “Because of this valuable experience, I can say with confidence to all those with pricked exegetical consciences, ‘If you want to make your Hebrew better in the coming year, A Reader’s Hebrew Bible is a tool that will not disappoint you.'”

If you took Hebrew in seminary and it has slowly drifted away, this might be the tool you need. I’m sure you spent too many dollars and too many hours trying to memorize paradigms and vocabulary to just let it go. Besides, it will make you a more faithful expositor of the Old Testament. And in the end, isn’t that what we all long to be, a faithful expositor?

Pick up a copy today, I’m glad I did.


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