Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

12/8 2011

The Love of God through Study of Biblical Languages

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One summer I worked at a Christian summer camp where we would teach our campers the Scripture passage that went with our theme. When we were ready to start practicing the verse out loud we would yell “SCRIPTURE!!!” I loved my experience as a counselor. I especially loved that we stressed God’s Word as a source for knowledge, wisdom, and encouragement.

As I began seminary, I realized that I was required to learn both biblical Greek and Hebrew with the purpose of delving more deeply into the Word. I trusted that my studies would enable me to accurately share the wisdom, hope, and love found within Scripture.

I just wrapped up my third and final term of biblical Hebrew! I took Greek during my first year in seminary and Hebrew this past summer. Once I began memorizing words and learning the nuances of the language, I remembered how much I love learning about another culture through language.

Since high school I have studied the German language. I even minored in German during college. I have always loved the aspects of interpersonal communication through other languages. What I didn’t expect in taking Hebrew was that I would grow to better understand my relationship with God the Creator. Through learning the meaning of different Hebrew words, as well as learning to recognize the intentions of the authors, I have come to understand more deeply the love that God has for me and the rest of humanity.

One purpose of a seminary language course is to help us preach the Word with boldness and accuracy. This alone is a great reason to study the language, but I was surprised to find how much closer I felt to the heart of God when I read Old Testament Scripture in Hebrew.

My interest in communications and language study has been enhanced by the Greek and Hebrew courses I’ve taken at PTS. I am confident that when I am called into a congregation, I will be prepared to analyze, explain, and clarify both Old and New Testament Scripture through the original languages. PTS has helped me to take what was just an interest in languages and turn it into a way to better proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and for that I am grateful.

Donna, Senior M.Div.