Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hebrew? Japanese? Where should study stop?

My son and his friend are going to learn Japanese. As much fun as that will be learning a language so different in all ways from our own, I'm wondering now why I didn't push Hebrew a little harder. Maybe it's because I have a bit of experience with Japanese - a tiny little, meaningless bit - and I have plenty of material for them to work from.

But Hebrew might come in handy, I've wished to know it at times because I want to go back to original Hebrew for bible study. So far, I have to depend on what others claim things mean. This is quite difficult when people say the same word proves two opposite doctrines! Then the issue of modern vs. ancient comes up; languages evolve quite drastically over time. I can easily imagine myself getting so caught up in studying the nuances of every little detail and missing the main point. Prayer and communication with the Almighty is the most important thing. Even if I were able indulge in a life dedicated to studying - Hebrew, Bible, physics, ancient cultures as relevant to scriptural understanding, biology - where would that take me? Every new scrap of knowledge obtained leads to realizing how little it means without the whole picture. And I don't think one lifetime is enough to ever piece together the whole picture.

Guess I'll be studying Japanese, at least I know it's fun!

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