Where I’ve Been
It’s been about a week since I wrote a post. I’ve been wrapping up the first phase of my book writing process. I am doing my best to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in putting this together. Phase One was a bit daunting. It entailed reading books on format and process. There are two books I mentioned in an earlier post that are guiding the process. One of those books is Turabian’s Manual for Writers, which is one the Chicago Style for writing research papers, theses and dissertations. My purpose is not to follow it to the letter and thereby make myself crazy in process, but as a guide for format and flow. The other book I have been using is Douglas Stuart’s book on Old Testament Exegesis. Not being a seminary trained scholar I thought it would help to give me guidance on how I progress with the scriptural aspect of the book.
Where I am at
I read Stuart’s book and came to the conclusion that I was already doing much of what is called for in the process of Biblical Exegesis, at least as much as I am able. Not being a seminary graduate I don’t have a degree in biblical studies. What I do have is a lifetime of studying the scriptures. I have never been satisfied with what was on the surface. I always wanted to know the original language so I could understand things better. My alternative to going to seminary was to invest in a really good bible software that contain Greek and Hebrew interlinears and lexicons. I have been using PC Study Bible for years. I have an extensive library with Hebrew and Greek add ons. I don’t know Greek. I never studied Greek but I have software that helps.
When it comes to the Hebrew I do have some background in Hebrew. I had the opportunity to learn what I termed Devotional Hebrew. The brother of a good friend is a Hebrew expert. He taught Hebrew at a Bible College and has since went on to earn His doctorate. While He was teaching Hebrew to Bible College students he came to the conclusion that most students didn’t have much interest in learning Hebrew. They took his class because it was a required course.
He came up with a method of using the Hebrew for devotional purposes for people who had never studied Hebrew. I jumped at the invitation in 2007 to learn his method of study. Once a week, for nine months I drank deeply from this fountain. I learned a lot from my Hebrew teacher. He has since gone on to write books and teach multiple others his method of study. My teacher was Chaim Bentorah. I was privileged to have participated with that early group to learn his method of study. The experience changed my devotional life in many ways. My entire approach to scripture was impacted and hasn’t been the same. I strongly encourage anyone who studies the word of God to dig deeper. Being able to go into the original language when approaching the scripture makes a huge difference in what I glean from it.
As I read through Stuart’s book on Old Testament Exegesis much of what he instructs concerning the Hebrew text is similar to what I was already implementing because of what I learned through my Hebrew teacher. The steps of what is called PaRDeS (an acronym for the Jewish approach to the Old Testament Scriptures) are very similar to biblical exegesis. After studying my heart out for the last three months I am pleased and relieved that I am already on the right track. The rest is just format.
Where I am Going from Here
I plan on taking a few more days off before I begin phase two of the process. This will be the long haul. It will include biblical studies, reading and researching other sources and compiling all the information that will ultimately go into the book. I know my topic and am quite familiar with the subject matter. I will share more on the subject matter when I get into the next phase. Since I am using this blog to share my progress I don’t expect feedback or comments. I’m sharing for the sake of sharing. I am writing for the sake of writing. I am practicing writing for an audience, even if that is an audience of one.
Since phase two is equally as labor intensive as phase one, and more so, I don’t know how often I am going to post. Today is a free day for me. All that means is that I get to clean and get some jobs done that have been waiting for me.
With that I will say goodbye for now. Blessings