Nancy deClaisse-Walford

John Anderson interviews Nancy deClaisse-Walford over at his blog Hesed we ’emet. Definitely worth your time.
Nancy deClaisse-Walford Nancy deClaisse-Walford book

I’ve appreciated her Psalms scholarship, and it is nice to get a little context of her life.

I also really liked her answer to this question: What are some of your academic interests outside the Book of Psalms?

My other passion outside the book of Psalms is biblical Hebrew (and koine Greek). I am especially interested in how to present the language to and inculcate a love of it in seminary students. Many seminaries no longer require students to study biblical Hebrew and koine Greek. My lament–how can one be a student of a literature without being to examine it in its original language? No one could receive a degree in French literature if they could not read and understand French, so why should the study of biblical literature be any different.

The problem, however, lies in how theological faculty approach the study of Hebrew and Greek. In days past, students were required to complete a number of courses in each language. In our modern seminary environment, if students are required to take any Hebrew or Greek at all, it is usually for only one semester or, at best, one year. And yet, the pedigogical model has not altered. Students are still required to “stand up and recite” and memorize endless paradigms and vocabulary lists.

My desire is to provide for the students a system of learning how to use “tools” for language translation and analysis. I ask myself, “When a student arrives in a church setting and wants to REALLY KNOW what Gen 2:7 says, how will that student approach the text?” English Bible, Hebrew Bible, perhaps an Interlinear, Lexicon, Charts to figure out verbal tenses, and then Commentaries. Thus, why not train students in seminary to use the tools that they will need for preparing sermons, Bible studies, and lectures?

The Hebrew language program at McAfee reflects just such a philosophy–a tools-based approach to biblical Hebrew.

Hmm. A kindred spirit?

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