Friday, March 13, 2009

Hebrew Mnemonics

As I've been learning Hebrew over the past semesters, the discouraging lack of cognates with English has made Hebrew vocabulary much more difficult to learn than Greek vocabulary. Most of the other students in my classes have experienced the same difficulty, and I suspect many others who weren't in my classes have, too. I was amused almost daily by the creativity of the students' methods of remembering these words.

In order to preserve some of the best mnemonics, I typed some of them up, using mostly the ones that worked best (or were the funniest) for me or for my friends. Since I began working on collecting as many as I can, I've found this site by Ghil'ad Zuckermann, an Associate Professor in the field at Cambridge, which contains a short but helpful list of nice, quirky mnemonics, but for apparently modern Hebrew.

My goal is to have a catchy mnemonic for every word that occurs in the Hebrew Bible 50 times or more, so, on to the reason for this post:
if you are taking or have taken Hebrew and have a great mnemonic for a vocabulary item, put it in the comments. I'll collect them and send all of the contributors a copy. I'm working through them in order of frequency, and I've got about 80 solid mnemonics. Send away!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free Bible

I'm really hoping I win this drawing from a great blog by David Porter called "A Boomer in the Pew", which I just found through Justin Taylor's blog and enjoyed looking over. Check it out!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Marriage Supper

Having recently just eaten a wedding supper and shared some great fellowship with believers I just met, I was reminded that the one-flesh union is not the only aspect of marriage that points to Christ and the church:

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why I'd Rather Watch the Masters Than the World Series, Any Day...

1. The Masters is actually a world tournament, without the pretentiousness of the title, unlike the World Series, in which only U.S. teams can play.
2. In the Masters, your team (or player) has a chance to win every year. Every Masters includes the entire field of the best players in the world, so every viewer has a player for whom to cheer. What will all those Braves or Yankees fans do when the Royals are playing the Phillies in the Series? They'll watch, but it won't be really interesting except for fans of those teams.
3. I'm still living in a dream world where no golfers use steroids, at least not that we hear about...
4. I'm from Georgia.
5. You're guaranteed Sunday afternoon drama; in the WS, it could be over in 4, 5, 6, or 7 games, you never know.
6. I don't care what they say, it's harder to putt at Augusta on Sunday with $1 million on the line than to hit a Major League fastball.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Biblical Theology at Easter

I was struck today by the end of Luke 24. The scene begins with two men walking down the street, discussing all of the wild events of the previous few days. It was Easter, but these two men didn't know it yet. Imagine getting a lesson in preaching Christ from the Old Testament from Christ! Jesus was walking with them and explaining himself from the Old Testament! Luke 24 goes on to record that, once they finally realized who they had been talking with, they remembered that “[their] hearts burned within [them]” when he “opened to [them] the Scriptures.” Not to mention the hermeneutical implications of this passage, which are many and powerful, at the very least, we can say that Jesus preached himself from the Old Testament to these men, and it made sens,e and it moved their emotions. When I read a proverb from the wisdom books, I pray that the Lord would make my heart “burn within” me at the majesty of the One Wise Man into whose image I am being conformed, and who exemplified all of the wisdom of Solomon. I pray that I will feel the weight of the law crushing me with its demands and that I will feel the lightness of the yolk of the One who became the curse of the law for me. May I eagerly anticipate the return of Him through whom everything was created, and who will recreate and redeem it. I pray the Lord would make me know and feel the depths of Biblical Theology.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

According to Mr. Lewis,

my grubby, happy hands in
mud, and my insistence
that the pies perpetually be
plopped on the grass,
sloppy and with no straw in them,
and especially my muddy smile there

(beyond the rocks
the tide rushes in
tickles a million multi-colored toes, laughing
just out of earshot)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Exodus 2:23-25

In these three verses, Israel “groans” under the heavy burden of slavery in Egypt and cries out to God. Having read Exodus before and knowing the story beforehand in some ways has blinded me to some of the force of some passages (like this one) in this very familiar section in a very familiar book. God hears the groans of the enslaved and oppressed Israelites and decides to act. However, his action is not motivated by his impression of their extraordinary piety or intense suffering while enslaved there, though he is compassionate to them. He acts because he “remembers his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” One of the most unbelievable parts of the story of redemption is that God has condescended to bind himself to a people in covenant. On what grounds did Israel approach God with their grievances about their situation? On the grounds of a possibly little-remembered (except by God) covenant that God had made with their distant ancestors about whom they heard wonderful stories. Ultimately, this covenant is the way that we too approach God. God still listens to the groans of his sinful, helpless people because of his covenant-faithfulness to the True Israel, the One who deserves God’s faithfulness, and in whom we gain access to the blessings of the covenant by which Israel (now and then) is redeemed from her slavery.