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Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Devotions on the Hebrew Bible" Ed. Milton Eng and Lee Fields. A Review

Devotions on the Hebrew Bible: 54 Reflections to Inspire and InstructDevotions on the Hebrew Bible: 54 Reflections to Inspire and Instruct by Milton Eng
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After spending several years at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson Mississippi, I walked away with some good tools. One of them was the ability to use and read the Biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek. But I noticed over the years, in all of the hurry and hustle of sermon and Bible study preparations, counseling, and pastoral ministry that my use of the Biblical languages began slipping. To remedy this I have looked around for various devotional tools that draw heavily on the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek New Testament.I have found a few in the passing of time, though not many. Therefore I was delighted to see that Zondervan has published two small devotional volumes that revolve around the original texts [See my review of the first volume "Devotions on the Greek New Testament."]. The newest installment is "Devotions on the Hebrew Bible" edited by Milton Eng and Lee Fields. This short 186 page paperback has 54 readings and reflections from each of the 39 books of the Old Testament sequentially.

The devotions print a specific verse, or set of verses, from the Hebrew Scriptures; and then the same verse or serves from one of the major English translations. After this, one of the 38 authors pens a reflective analysis of the passage, looking at grammar, linguistic features and lexical particularities, and wraps up the meditation in a devotional way - all in 600 words or less. Some of the insights are reminders from Seminary days, and others bring an "Aha!" moment. But all of them are intended to draw the reader deeper into the original text, and closer to the God of the text.

"Devotions on the Hebrew Bible" is a delightful, easy-to-use work fit for the busy pastor, as well as the seminarian who wants to move beyond technicalities of texts to the God who has revealed himself by way of the passage. I would hope that Zondervan continues to pursue this trend of publishing original language devotions. I highly recommend this volume!


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