[b-hebrew] Ezek 3:26

Jerry Shepherd jshepherd53 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 18 00:40:30 EDT 2013

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your history with us.  You are certainly to be commended
for trying to learn these things on your own.  I remember when I first
tried to learn Hebrew on my own with an old grammar and no instructor; I
didn't get very far.  So I admire your "sticktoitiveness."

As far as the rest of your answers, I'll just say that what might appear to
be a really great, deep insight into the biblical text, may turn out to be
more of an exercise of the imagination than really finding what is present
in the text itself.  There's an old couplet about this: "Wonderful things
in the Bible I see, most of them put there by you and by me!"  So my
caution on this would be: insights are wonderful if they are in fact
insights; but if we are simply reading our own imagination into the
biblical text, then no matter how wonderful and clever it might sound, we
really aren't advancing our knowledge of the text; in the end they turn out
not to be insights.

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm.  Sometimes these imaginative
interpretations can be quite interesting and even entertaining and
stimulating. (If you have never read it before, get a copy of Chaim Potok's
novel, *The Chosen*, which has some very entertaining passages dealing with
gematria and other interpretive techniques).  But in the end, reading the
Bible like you would any other book is the way to go.  Reading the Bible as
if it was chocked full of hidden codes doesn't really result in credible
interpretation.  Sometimes the authors did some clever things with word
plays and puns; but for the most part the text can be understood by a
fairly commons sense application of the normal rules of grammar.

But again, I appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to learn.  Happy



Jerry Shepherd
Taylor Seminary
Edmonton, Alberta
jshepherd53 at gmail.com
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