Pastors and seminary students who desire to keep their biblical language skills well honed will find a unique and useful resource in More Light on the Path.
More Light on the Path consists of brief daily readings drawn from the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament that allow readers to develop skill in the original languages while at the same time fostering spiritual formation. Arranged thematically according to the church year, each daily reading is accompanied by a brief prayer or meditation. Grammatical notes and translation helps are also provided.
Following in the tradition of the well-received Light on the Path, which was published in the early 1980s, More Light on the Path provides a unique and useful resource for pastors and seminary students who desire to keep their biblical language skills well-honed. Like the earlier volume, this work consists of brief daily readings drawn from the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament. Grammatical notes and translation helps are provided with the text, and in most instances, the reader will be able to work through difficult sections without having to turn to lexicons or other reference works.
Several improvements have been made over the earlier work. To assist clergy who are working through the liturgical calendar and are concerned to integrate their study time with their sermon preparation, the texts are arranged thematically to reflect the church year. Furthermore, each daily reading is accompanied by a brief prayer or meditation for those who would like to utilize their reading of the biblical texts for a devotional time.
Clergy and seminarians, who are often pressed by ministerial duties and classes that do not require the use of biblical languages, will welcome this useful volume that provides them with the opportunity to maintain a daily schedule of study and prevent the erosion of their language skills.
This is an inspired, wonderful book. Prayers provoking devotional reflections winsomely and irresistibly beguile you into working out the Hebrew and Greek that follows. The most creative and painless way to keep up your Hebrew and Greek that I know.
—John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
The authors are to be congratulated for an excellent devotional guide based on the original languages of Scripture.
—David Alan Black, Professor of New Testament and Greek, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
More Light on the Path allows a prayerful digestion of scripture which nourishes both mind and soul. Those looking for a new and vital devotional experience will find a refreshing answer in this book.
—L. Daniel Hawk, Ashland Theological Journal
Learning the biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew is arduous work—long hours of disciplined and sometimes painful study. Many of the learners have done the work without any initial liking for it; it was a requirement set by school or church and was accepted as an act of obedience. Thousands upon thousands of pastors and teachers, plus a not inconsiderable number of others of God’s people in workplace and marketplace and home, have done it and continue to do it. Most of us, once having done it, do not regret the time or effort spent in the learning. We relish the experience of working with the actual languages in which God’s saving revelation was first written. We acquire a taste for first-handedness, the resonating sounds and radiating meanings released into our lives by these ancient, but now new, texts.
And yet, despite the long hours spent in learning these marvelous languages and the considerable benefits experienced, more often than not these same men and women, having acquired a modest stock of vocabulary and the ability to parse verb forms, gradually lose proficiency. Post-academic life is demanding and decidedly unsympathetic to anything that doesn’t provide quick and obvious returns. We are handed job descriptions in which our wonderful languages don’t even rate a footnote; we acquire families who plunge us into urgencies in which Hebrew radicals provide no shortcuts; we can’t keep up with all the stuff thrown at us in easy English—who has time for hard Greek? It isn’t long before the languages are, as we say, "lost."
Translators do their best to keep our Holy Scriptures available and accurate for us in our mother tongue. And their "best" is the very best—no age and language has been as blessed in devout and skilled translators as ours. But there is nothing quite like working with the original languages on their own unique terms. A translation is still a translation. I have a friend, a professor of these biblical languages, who tells his students that reading a translation is like being kissed through cellophane—however ardent and well-planted the kiss, it lacks a certain immediacy.
David Baker and Elaine Heath have provided a manual for keeping these precious languages, acquired at such high cost but in constant danger of slipping into oblivion, at hand, quite literally, "handy." By providing brief readings in Hebrew and Greek in a living and believing context of meditation and prayer, those of us who learned the languages are provided an accessible means for daily access to the languages on their own terms. Here is an admirable way to keep daily company with the words and rhythms and diction that keep us current with "the news that stays news."
Eugene H. Peterson
Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology
Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
David W. Baker is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary and the editor of the ETS Studies series. He received his Ph.D. from the University of London.
Elaine A. Heath is McCreless Assistant Professor of Evangelism at Southern Methodist University.