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A Hebrew Old Testament is shown.
Photo provided by Steve Cloer

Harding Old Testament professor offers chance to hear Bible stories in Hebrew

In his Hebrew Story Hour, professor Lance Hawley reads Old Testament stories in their original language and translates along the way.

Once a week, Lance Hawley gets on Zoom to read Bible stories, but he’s not reading to children — or even in English.

Instead, the Old Testament professor at Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tenn., is reading biblical Hebrew and translating in real time for those who have an interest in learning or brushing up on the original language of the Old Testament.

It’s a low-stakes — and free — chance to experience the ancient language, with no obligation but plenty of opportunity to participate and ask questions. And keeping things casual, the professor “puts on a sweater, like Mr. Rogers, since it is a story time,” fellow HST professor Steve Cloer said.

Hawley began this Hebrew Story Hour in early October with stories of Abraham from Genesis 12, initially inviting HST alumni but welcoming anyone with any — or no — level of Hebrew experience who wanted to join in.


A Hebrew Old Testament is shown.

A Hebrew Old Testament is shown.

He wrote on Facebook, “Looking for a reentry point to the Hebrew Bible, come and hear biblical Hebrew stories read and translated. Did you ever attend the library as a child for story hour or have someone read to you as you were learning to read? If so, you have the idea of what Hebrew Story Hour is all about.”

Hebrew Story Hour meets at 9 a.m. every Wednesday. As of Oct. 27, Hawley had read through Genesis 17.

Filed under: Features Harding School of Theology Hebrew Lance Hawley Old Testament Partners Steve Cloer Top Stories

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