We recently had an intensive Hebrew Week here at Redcliffe. There were two tracks: a group of beginners getting to grips with the language for the first time, and a group of intermediates who were wanting to consolidate and take on their prior learning.

I was struck once again as the week went on by the outrageous privilege we English speakers have when it comes to the resources we have at our disposal. If you don’t get on with one Hebrew Grammar book there are plenty of others to choose from. But it’s not just the abundance of textbooks that we enjoy.

Inevitably on a week like that the question comes up, ‘So why do we need so many versions of the Bible?’. My response of late is to say, ‘We don’t!!’ Of course I then qualify this by saying it is a wonderful privilege to have different versions appropriate for different types of reading (study, devotional, public reading, etc). It is really nice to have these but we don’t need them in the same way that a third of a billion people still need the Scriptures in their own languages.

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