Regardless of the method you choose, learning Biblical Hebrew is hard. A massive amount of memorization, diligence, and patience are required to learn it well, and the student is exposed to a positively foreign language system. While Greek has letters that look quite a bit like our English ones, Hebrew letters are completely different, often look similar to each other, and must be read “backwards.”
The two required semesters of Hebrew at Southern Seminary can feel grueling, and most students will probably not have that much facility with the language. Exegesis classes and further individual reading and translation are usually required before the student can start to read the Old Testament in Hebrew.
Building on his 2006 introductory textbook, Invitation to Biblical Hebrew: A Beginning Grammar, Russell T. Fuller, professor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary, provides the syntax students need to get into the Hebrew text for themselves.
— Andrew J.W. Smith
Zondervan’s Five Solas series continues to deliver powerful demonstrations of Reformation theology with its fourth book, SBTS theology professor Stephen J. Wellum’s Christ Alone. Wellum’s book, building off his magisterial God the Son Incarnate, offers a more broad and accessible treatment of Christ’s incarnation and atonement, followed by historical treatment of how the Reformers contended for these doctrines.
In the first part, Wellum explores the storyline of Scripture and how the covenantal development testifies to who Jesus is, in addition to Christ’s self-witness to his identity. He then examines how Christ’s divine-human identity necessitates his exclusivity as redeemer, which includes a focus on Christ’s threefold office as prophet-priest-king and a defense of penal substitutionary atonement.
With pluralistic secularism threatening the doctrine of Christ alone, Wellum’s insightful book can provide the blueprint for withstanding the storm of cultural opposition.
— S. Craig Sanders
Thomas R. Schreiner’s Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World is written to show that God’s redemptive plan, from Genesis to Revelation, can be seen in the way he has been covenanting with his people since the garden of Eden.
Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World is an accessible resource that manages to find a balance between scholastic commentary and pastoral devotion. He takes the time to explain historical background like suzerain-vassal parallels with Israel’s covenant, but then he also shares encouraging insights, like the fact that when David desired to build a house for the Lord, God responds by promising to build a house for David instead.
While each of the covenants share some basic characteristics, like being built on a relationship and involving binding promises, they also have unique circumstances and elements that set them apart. Schreiner demonstrates how these differences and similarities actually serve to highlight God’s purpose in ultimately fulfilling them in Jesus Christ.
— Miles Morrison
Among the most potentially confusing parts of the entire Bible is the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. The metaphors are complex, the precise intention of the author is often opaque, the there are lengthy oracles to foreign empires that were destroyed millennia ago — not to mention the repetition and some of the perplexing ways the prophets are cited in the New Testament.
Peter J. Gentry, Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Southern Seminary, offers his concise guide on reading this literature in How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets. Based on lecture material from his Old Testament II course, the book gives basic instructions and suggestions for interpreting and applying the prophetic literature. Most of Gentry’s writing has been academic and technical, but this book is a popular-level treatment intended for laypeople.
How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets is a helpful guide for reading this puzzling section of the Bible.
— Andrew J.W. Smith