It may at first strike you as odd but the idea of devotional study of the Hebrew text really should not surprise us. Indeed, as Warfield famously reminded us, if even our most academic study of the Scriptures is not “devotional” also, then something is very amiss. And if, as Luther said, the original languages are the sheath of the sword of the Spirit, then we should expect that our study of the Hebrew text of Scripture will inevitably serve to instruct, reprove, correct, and instruct in righteousness.
This seems to be the conviction underlying this new book, Devotions on the Hebrew Bible. Following the general pattern of Zondervan’s earlier title, Devotions on the Greek New Testament, editors Milton Eng and Lee Fields aim
- To encourage students and pastors to continue (or to resume!) using their Hebrew knowledge in their devotions and sermon preparation and
- To demonstrate that a knowledge of the original languages can and should be a spiritually rewarding exercise.
Consequently, each devotion is designed to bring out some grammatical or lexical insight which cannot be gained in English translation alone along with some point of spiritual application…. Bible study is never complete until it results in worship.
Eng and Fields have pulled together a wide variety of contributors, but all hold doctorates and are evangelical. Some of the names may be new, but some are long-familiar to students of the Old Testament. Devotional contributions are provided from scholars such as Bruce Waltke, Karen Jobes, Jason DeRouchie, Miles Van Pelt, Verlyn Verbrugge, Tremper Longman III, Frederic Clarke Putnam, Mark Boda, Robert Chisolm, Daniel Block, and many others, including editors Lee Fields and Milton Eng.
Each devotional reading begins with the biblical text, Hebrew and English in parallel, and in the following paragraphs the contributors of course frequently provide their own translations also. Readings focus on issues of translation, wordplays, word studies, and/or literary and grammatical analysis. Each is approximately 600 words – brief enough to be easily manageable yet substantive enough to make genuine contribution.
Like the previous volume (Devotions on the Greek New Testament) this was a great idea. A wonderful resource for your devotional reading and sermon preparation … and to help you keep up with your Hebrew. Very useful and enjoyable.
With permission of the publisher we provide for you here a sample of one of the devotionals, this from the well-known Old Testament scholar, Daniel Block.
Preview or buy it here on Amazon.
Buy the books
Devotions on the Hebrew Bible: 54 Reflections to Inspire and Instruct