Matthew – Day 3 – Thinking Hebrew

 In Bible Studies, The Book of Matthew

lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.

“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”

Rich images and beautiful word pictures fill the pages of the Bible. These images come from a culture, time, and place that was much different from our own. The inspired writers of the Bible were Easterners (Hebrew) and they wrote to other Easterners.

Most Christians in our culture are Western (Greek) thinkers, who think about the world in a different way than Easterners. As a result, many of the text’s richest images puzzle or escape us. If we learn to “think Hebrew” the pages of  God’s Word will come alive in a whole new way.

The Greek seeks to prove the existence of God. The Hebrew assumes the existence of God.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God…”

The Greek focuses on individual. The Hebrew focuses on community in relationship with God.

The Greek describes God’s being – powerful, jealous, forgiving, creator. All of these things are true – but they are also all things that Satan can claim about God. The Hebrew describes his or her relationship with God – my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my comforter. Satan cannot claim these things.

Finally, the Greek wants his/her writing to be organized, in a logical order that is easy to read. The Hebrew speaks with pictures or stories to communicate ideas.

Read the first sentence of Mark 4:24. The meaning of this passage was changed from the Hebrew so that it would make sense in the Greek. Originally, the passage said, “Look carefully at what you hear.” Now to the average Greek person (like you and me) that makes no sense. How can you look at what you hear? But, to the average Hebrew, it makes perfect sense because you are used to listening to pictures or stories that you can visualize in your head.

Our goal as we read through the gospel of Matthew is to “look carefully” at what we hear.

Ray Vander Laan – That the World May Know

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matthew bible study series day 4The Gospel of Matthew Day 2