I never thought I’d say this. I miss school.
The urge actually overwhelmed me this morning as I was browsing iTunesU looking for random things when I stumbled on an introductory class for Hebrew. Can you say, “Heaven!”
Actually, this idea has been brewing for a while. In middle school, my youth minister talked about how Muslims highly regarded the Quran. It was a holy book and they treated it as such. It was a charge for us in the Bible Belt to not treat our Bibles as accessories, but as the Word of God… Yeah, I listened. Ten years later! Then in my studies of other cultures, I realized that not only is the Quran holy, but a translation of it is not the Quran, but an interpretation. The Arabic culture realizes that any translation takes away from the meaning of the Arabic words first scribed by their great prophet. Whoa. *Stab in the heart* Am I so naïve that I think I know what the Bible says when I can only remember a few key words in Greek? I can tell you the root of modern English words, but I can’t tell you all the New Testament says, or what Christ meant when He said… *insert Christ saying here* There are so many nuances I miss out on because I didn’t retain any of the Greek I learned. Really, I attribute this to two things. 1) My professor didn’t use a teaching style I could really get behind. (He may have actually not been a good teacher…) and 2) I was worn out from being in school for so many years… (5.5 years undergrad is a reaaaaally long time to be in school!)
This morning, I was reading one of my favorite stories from the Old Testament… Elijah. I giggled as I realized that Obadiah was legitimately fearful of his life when Elijah told him he wanted to see King Ahab (random aside: I haven’t read moby dick, nor do I really plan to, but who in their right mind names their kid Ahab? he wasn’t a good king. In fact, his prophets got SLAUGHTERED because they worshipped the wrong God and Elijah went on a killing spree…. ) but then I realized I don’t know the nuances. I don’t know what the importance of the Asherah poles are. I don’t know the culture. I want to know! As I’ve studied other languages (spanish and greek, really) I’ve had to learn some of culture so that I can understand what is meant when someone says agape as opposed to phileo, or when someone says “Me encanta” or “Me gusta…” some of it is subtle, some of it is quite literal. but I want to know more.
So I’ve added to my bucket list seminary courses in biblical languages and studies in general. I want to know…. Oh how I want to know.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a desire this strong… *oooouch*