REXBURG, Idaho — Some Brigham Young University-Idaho students are learning about the Old Testament a little differently from their peers: they are studying it in Hebrew.
Bruce Satterfield is an instructor in the BYU–Idaho Religious Education Department who has taught Religion 301 and 302 since 1994. Despite the degree of intensity and difficulty, students are embracing the opportunity to increase their understanding of the Old Testament in a different way.
“This class is an inductive approach to learning a language,” said Satterfield. “It may seem difficult at first, but students catch on fairly quickly.”
Students are not required to have prior experience in Hebrew. In fact, the vast majority have not. Students translate Hebrew chapter by chapter, gaining an understanding of both the Hebrew language and the principles and stories of the Old Testament.
“The students who are more willing to push themselves are truly taking advantage of their college experience,” said Satterfield. “No matter what field you plan on going in, you need the scriptures to be a part of the foundation in your life.”
Satterfield is trained in the languages and cultures of the Ancient Middle East. In addition to Hebrew, he has also studied Greek and Aramaic. He has written many gospel doctrine lessons for Meridian Magazine during the past years.