Grubbs, Norris and Francis Kimmitt. Word Studies Made Simple: How to Study the Bible in the Original Languages. Mountain Home: BorderStone Press, LLC, 2012. 150 pp. $24.95. Purchase at Amazon for less.
From the website, In Word Studies Made Simple: How to Study the Bible in the Original Languages, Grubbs and Kimmitt teach you the basics of Greek and Hebrew so you can have access to the finest in biblical studies resources. Then, they lay out a clear, concise method for performing word studies with Greek and Hebrew tools. Whether you already have a foundation in the biblical languages or don’t know alpha from aleph, if you have an interest in studying the Bible in more depth, this book is for you.
Divided into seven sections, fourteen chapters, and four appendices, the authors take the reader on a journey from no knowledge of biblical languages to a solid foundation in both Greek and Hebrew from which to build on for future study. The first three sections deal with the Greek, that is, the New Testament. They offer brief chapters on the Greek alphabet, nouns, verbs, and other elements of Greek grammar. The fifth chapter offers tips on using an interlinear Bible (where the Greek and the English translation are side by side on the same page). The final chapter of these first three sections get down to the actual process of performing a word study in the original language.
The next three sections bring the reader through the exact same process in the Hebrew language. The final section, comprised of two chapters, offers practical advice and guidance on using word studies. The appendices further the education by offering a sample word study on the word “faithful” found in Titus 1:6 and “He possessed me” in Proverbs 8:22.
I must confess that I was skeptical in reading this book. I am not a huge fan of word studies because of their abuse and the many fallacious doctrines and theology that finds their root in word studies. After reading Word Studies Made Simple I am willing to give them another shot in limited doses. I greatly appreciated the approach the authors took in setting up the process by which we should engage in word studies. Rather than starting with the English, they argue that we are to start with the original languages (hence, the subtitle of the book!) and give credence to the context of each particular passage where the word is used.
They argue that you begin with the original language because various translations use different words for the same original Greek or Hebrew word. Furthermore, they argue quite effectively that you need not be a Greek or Hebrew scholar to perform these in depth studies. The tools they recommend are second to none and will provide much information into the “deeper meaning” found in many passages.
Also, their examples offered at the back of the book in the appendices help to illustrate in great detail how this really looks in the private study. In essence, Grubbs and Kimmitt offer a seminary class that will equip the student of Scripture to plumb the depths of the Word of God for the cost of the text book only.
I highly recommend Word Studies Made Simple to anyone wanting to understand how to do word studies properly and faithfully. Reading this work may lead to much more than just a better equipped student of the Bible. It may be the foundation for someone becoming the next scholar.