Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study

I've been trying to compile a list of resources that I think my seminary students--but it would apply to anyone serious about Bible study--need most if they want to study the Bible using the original languages but whose native language is English.

My assumptions here are that people need a variety of resources to conduct Bible study for preaching, teaching, self-edification, reflection, and devotion. At the seminary where I teach (LTSG), about a year's worth of Greek is required. Hebrew is not required but is encouraged as an elective. I am assuming some facility with Greek, therefore, but I am not assuming that people will be 'fluent' in Hebrew or even Greek. I do assume that with the proper resources they will be able to make use of both. I am also assuming here that English is the primary, native language, and so the secondary resources and translations I highlight are English ones.

Interested in seeing my list? Well, I'm interested in hearing what you think of it. Please note that I am not angling for a theological fight here. You can probably guess from my list that I am some flavor of moderate Protestant (ELCA Lutheran to be precise with a Missouri Synod Lutheran background). That is, I don't think that any of the primary resources I list have any theological bias, but my inclinations are probably indicated by my preference for the NRSV as the 'neutral' English translation with which I make comparisons. Okay, so I am open to suggestions, and I am also hoping for a show of charitableness. (BTW, anyone is welcome to take my list and adapt it to their particular interests. Just give some acknowledgement.)

Here it is: Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study

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