Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Devotions on the Hebrew Bible

by Milton Eng and Lee M. Fields, Devotions on the Hebrew Bible: 54 Reflections to Inspire and Instruct

devotions on the hebrew bible coverWith contributions from more than two dozen writers, general editors Milton Eng and Lee M. Fields bring us not quite 200 pages of reflections on the textual possibilities and grammatical construction of at least one pericope from each book of the Hebrew bible (Christian canon count). I found no hugely overwhelming "aha!" moments in Devotions on the Hebrew Bible: 54 Reflections to Inspire & Instruct, yet the meditations of about two pages each from fairly conservative Christian scholars and professors in the broader evangelical tradition always are thoughtful, often inspiring. Some of the writers view the texts specifically through a Christological lens, others don't, so this is not quite Martin Luther discovering Jesus Christ in, with, and under every single sentence of the Hebrew scriptures.

I especially appreciate the emphasis on the grammatical intricacies of the Hebrew that many of us (most, probably) never became proficient enough in the language to discover on our own. Back of the book includes a Hebrew words index and an index of grammatical terms. Although a couple of Amazon reviewers commented / complained about the size of the Hebrew font, it appears to be the same size as the English text in the main body of the book, though the English translation alongside the Hebrew is set in slightly smaller type. For me, because discerning pointing at the relatively small size ("low zoom") is the tough part, in a future edition a concession to native readers and speakers of languages that write with the Roman alphabet would be considerate. For the devotional insights, the scholarship, and the grammar, this one's a keeper for sure.

By the way, some of the Hebrew language and Hebrew bible resources at the end of this book well might interest you. There's also an earlier companion, Devotions on the Greek New Testament.

my amazon review: Hebrew language help; thoughtful devotional resource

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