Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Going further with Hebrew

So last year I did the introduction and intermediate course in Hebrew with Laidlaw College. I had previously self taught myself enough Hebrew to engage with commentaries, do word studies, etc, but it was good to go systematically through a course with the aim to actually read something off the page. So like many Hebrew students I am left with the question, "what next". What I wanted was a list of easy-ish Hebrew texts I could work my way through, to help me practice what I had learned without becoming hopelessly discouraged by coming across passages I had no chance with. I found this list on a blog copied from a book. All I wanted was the list but if you want more assistance I suggest you buy the book.

I'm going to be working my way through the list which will hopefully result in me not forgetting all I learnt last year! I'll let you know how I get on. Are there any other lists like this that you are aware of? Dan Wallace provides this list of how to read through the New Testament in order of difficulty (easiest first).

Law

1. Genesis 1:1-5 – In the Beginning
2. Genesis 2:1-3 – The Seventh Day
3. Genesis 26:1-6 – God’s Promises to Isaac
4. Genesis 35:9-15 – God’s Promises to Jacob
5. Genesis 43:1-8 – Jacob Sends Benjamin to Egypt
6. Exodus 3:1-12 – The Burning Bush
7. Exodus 6:1-8 – I am the LORD
8. Exodus 34:1-6 – The LORD Proclaims His Name
9. Leviticus 19:1-4 – The Demand for Holiness
10. Numbers 6:22-26 – Aaron’s Blessing
11. Deuteronomy 6:1-15 – The Shema
12. Deuteronomy 11:18-23 – Teach These Words to Your Children
13. Deuteronomy 31:1-8 – Be Strong and Courageous

Prophets

14. Joshua 24:14-18 – Joshua’s Challenge to Serve the LORD
15. Judges 3:7-11 – The LORD Delivers Israel with Othniel
16. Judges 10:10-15 – Cry to the Gods Whom You Have Chosen
17. 1 Samuel 15:10-24 – To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice
18. 2 Samuel 7:1-9 – David’s Desire to Build the Temple
19. 1 Kings 8:22-26 – Solomon’s Prayer
20. 2 Kings 17:34-40 – You Shall Fear the LORD
21. Isaiah 43:1-6 – You Are Precious in My Eyes
22. Jeremiah 31:31-34 – A New Covenant
23. Ezekiel 37:1-6 – The Valley of Dry Bones
24. Joel 3:1-5 (2:28-32) – I Will Pour Out My Spirit

Writings

25. Psalm 23:1-6 – The LORD is My Shepherd
26. Psalm 100:1-5 – Hymn of Praise
27. Psalm 121:1-8 – The LORD Will Keep You
28. Ezra 7:6-10 – A Model for Generations to Come
29. 2 Chronicles 1:7-10 – Solomon Asks for Wisdom
30. 2 Chronicles 7:1-4 – The Glory of the LORD Fills the Temple

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tanya Riches: A new (to me) blog!

A little while back on facebook I came across this gem of an article about citing people (even if they are female and/or Australian). I think Tanya is too soft on cheating scumbags who want to pass off other people's work as their own, but never mind, and otherwise she is spot on.

But the blog also includes theological music reviews and commentary on aboriginal rights among other things. So check Tanya out. I've added her to my feed reader.

Jospeh's Bones (Genesis 5:24-25)

I've been thinking this week about the bones of Joseph. There is a strange little bit at the end of the book of Genesis where Joseph tells his family that when the time comes for Israel to return to the land of Canaan he wants his bones taken with them (Gen 50:24-25). I've read it many times and not given it much thought. But this week I was struck by the fact that this is really strange.

Think about it for a second. Joseph has seen four generations of his children born in Egypt (50:23). He was given the highest non-hereditary office in the land of Egypt (41:41-3). He married into a high status family in Egypt (41:45). He became the saviour of Egypt and surrounding lands during a terrible famine (41:56-57). So in Egypt he has family, wealth, success, prestige and honour, everything that the world could offer. What better resting place could there be for his bones? Why would he want his bones taken back to Canaan, the land of his childhood where he was a spoilt brat hated by his brothers?

But it is not nostalgia that motivates Joseph. He does not call Canaan "the land of my childhood", but "the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Jacob's motivation is not in the past but in the future. Even after all he had in the land of Egypt his heart was in the promises of God for the future. What a challenge to us! How attached are we to this world and what it gives us? Is our heart really in the future promised by God or are we happy for our "bones" to rest for ever in the blessings of this world? For as Jesus said, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:21).