Let’s cut to the chase: no, Christians do not have to study and learn Hebrew. Your salvation absolutely does not depend on studying and knowing Hebrew. Those who were not good students can relax because there is no test in Heaven besides: Do you love My Son?
Many of us choose to study Hebrew anyway. For me, I’ve already gone into some of that in my post Why am I Studying Hebrew? I guess for me the question is why wouldn’t you?
Before moving to Italy, I studied Italian and learned everything I could about my new home, its culture, its customs, its language, etc. And in learning Italian, the language gave me clues to culture that explained eloquently and succinctly what the Italians believe is important. It was like digging for rocks and finding diamonds. I didn’t move to Italy, expecting it to conform to my American ideas of how to live. Instead I embraced Italian culture. I guess that’s why I suffered very little culture shock, and have found myself happily at home here.
I’m going to be in Heaven a whole lot longer than I will be in Italy, so I am studying everything I can about Heaven: its culture, its customs, its language, etc. The vast majority of information about Heaven can be found in the Bible (although it’s comforting, don’t hang too much of your theology on Heaven is For Real and other anecdotal evidences for Heaven). But again, the language gives clues to the culture that are amazing. Don’t you want to know the culture of Heaven?
Hebrew is the language of Heaven, the language in which God spoke the whole universe into existence, and the language in which God dictated the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) to Moses. And imbedded into the Bible are hidden codes, multiple layers, prophecies within prophecies, and numerical secrets. I want to learn as much as I can about all this now because there are answers hidden beneath the surface.
More than that, God’s hidden face lies beneath the surface. Having looked into those eyes, I only find myself hungry for more of Him. The Bible is the most romantic and true love story that ever has been told. The King laid aside His divinity, clothed Himself in dust (that’s what the Bible says human flesh is), and came to search for His Bride. He suffered unimaginable things for the love of her and died in her place. But the story doesn’t end there. The grave couldn’t hold onto His glory, so He rose again and returned home to prepare the Bridal chamber and the wedding feast. Soon He will return to whisk His Bride away and take her home to marry her.
Now, if I would study hard to learn everything I can about my new home country, what about my husband-to-be? Wouldn’t I want to know everything I can about Him? Yes! I want to learn His culture, His customs, His language, etc. Much of that can be learned by reading the Bible. Much more by spending time with Him. I am a woman deeply in love with my Savior, my Maker, my Bridegroom, my Best Friend, my King. He is a mystery that invites, yes even welcomes investigation.
Here is His invitation: “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know,” (Jeremiah 33:3). Learning the Hebrew language is the super-powerful search engine to search Him out. And the more I know Him, the more I love Him. He never disappoints. God is good!