Need Help Maintaining Your Hebrew?




Need Help Maintaining Your Hebrew?


You have taken the time, and put in the effort, to learn Biblical Hebrew.

However, without steady exercise you will lose this hard-earned and precious ability (access to the words of immediate inspiration, the very words of Christ speaking to us about Himself [1 Peter 1:10, 11]).  [You might already be experiencing this.]

So, let's get you some exercise!

In developing a maintenance method, I have two general goals:  1.  We need to maintain our Hebrew abilities, and even grow.  2.  This needs to be accomplished with a minimum time expenditure (hopefully just a few minutes per day).

I believe that it is possible to maintain, and even grow in, our Hebrew abilities, with just a few minutes of exercise per day.

I propose a graduated approach of three levels.  How far you go is up to you, depending on time and inclination.

Level 1:

At minimum, let's commit to reading a verse or two daily in the Hebrew text with Matthew Poole's Synopsis.


a.  I recommend a careful reading of the verses in Hebrew.  If you do not have a Hebrew Bible, the Hebrew of the verses is provided in the footnotes of the Synopsis.  If the Hebrew font is not to your liking (and, I must confess, it's not my favorite--I'm working on it), BibleHub provides a readable text.

This little bit of exercise should help to maintain your Hebrew skills.


b.  Poole's Synopsis is a verse-by-verse history of interpretation, focusing on a detailed exegetical treatment of the text.  [For more on Poole's Synopsis, see the Project page.]  Historically, Biblical interpreters have tended to spend the most time with the most difficult matters; so it is in the Synopsis in the treatment of the Hebrew text.

This detailed treatment of difficulties should provide matter for almost daily growth in your Hebrew abilities.

You can see an example of an ordinary daily post from Judges 14:18.

And most of the daily posts can be worked through in less than ten minutes per day.

You can receive notifications of new posts by visiting the blog page, signing-up, clicking on "Dr. Dilday", and following.

Level 2:

In the "Comments" section, I may make additional comments on the Hebrew narrative, and you are invited and encouraged to add your own questions and comments.  In this way we can form a community of learners, a fellowship of Hebrew devotees.

Level 3:

Also, for those that are interested, in the "Comments" section I have include practical comments on the text from some of the great pastors and theologians from the history of the Church.

Our Daily Exercise:  the Samson Narrative


I propose that we begin with the Samson narrative (Judges 13-16).  There are several reasons:


1.  As narrative, it will be a little easier for those of us whose skills have grown rusty.


2.  The narrative is rich from a literary perspective, abounding with word-play and allusion.


3.  There is an almost universal (and easy) interest in Samson, arising from the wonders of the narrative and the difficulties of his character.


Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.




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