The Importance of Hebrew

I just picked up, Literary Construction of Identity in the Ancient World (Eisenbrauns, 2010).  This book is a series of conference essays on the Hebrew Bible as literature.  The first essay I am reading is Joachim Vette’s, “Narrative Poetics and Hebrew Narrative.” His work is a brief history of the study of the biblical narrative literature.  For those in interested in OT narrative it is worth the read.

One passing note Vette makes is the importance of the Hebrew. “The detailed analysis of Hebrew narrative syntax has long shown that no interpretation can neglect the Hebrew language without severe consequences for the quality of the interpretative endeavor” (p. 38, fn 85).

Since much of the OT is narrative and since narrative is the genre many pastors preach (when they do use the OT on a Sunday am), and since most preachers want to get the biblical text right, one wonders why more pastors are not taking Hebrew!