Mars Hill Academy teacher is published author, has studied a dozen languages Q&A with Dr. Christopher Jero
Mars Hill Academy teacher Dr. Christopher Jero is a published author. His most recent work, “Tense, Mood, and Aspect in the Biblical Hebrew Verbal System,” is part of a collection Where Shall Wisdom Be Found: A Grammatical Tribute to Professor Stephen A. Kaufman.
This book honors Dr. Kaufman, Professor Emeritus of Bible and Cognate Literature at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and co-founder of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon project, for his contributions to the world of Semitic studies and for his influence on young scholars of Bible and ancient Near Eastern studies.
Dr. Jero also has written and lectured on the subject of interpreting biblical narrative. His desire is to serve the Church of Jesus Christ by assisting students to interpret Scripture and to recognize its clear call on the life of all people.
Dr. Jero recently was interviewed to find out more.
Q: What has been your educational journey?
A: I earned my B.M. in violin performance from the University of Northern Iowa, my M.A. in Old Testament from Columbia International University, and my Ph.D. in Hebrew and Cognate Languages from Hebrew Union College. I began teaching at MHA in the 2005-2006 school year.
This year, I teach seventh grade Old Testament, ninth grade Biblical Interpretation, ninth grade Advanced Latin, Greek I, II, and Hebrew I.
Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?
A: I decided to become a teacher, because I was encouraged that God gave me a gift to communicate clearly. God also gave me a love and passion for the Word of God. I couldn’t not impart that love of the Word of God to others without exploding.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A: I love most being able to share a love for what is truly good and beautiful with eager students.
Q: How do you hope your classes impact the lives of your students?
A: Any class I’m teaching, I’m teaching with a view toward reading Scripture. My first passion is Scripture. I want students to learn to look at Scripture freshly, as something speaking to them, and for them to be attuned to hear the voice of God.
Q: Just how many languages do you know?
A: That’s a difficult question, because when does one really know a language? I have studied various Akkadian Dialects (Assyrian, Babylonian), Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Ugaritic, French, German, Greek, Egyptian, Latin, and, of course, English.
Q: What is a favorite teaching memory?
A: My favorite moments are when students make a connection. For example, when Miss Esther Cunningham (MHA alumna and now MHA Latin teacher) was in seventh grade working through 1 Samuel, we got to chapter 8, and it suddenly clicked what the purpose of the Hannah narrative is. She just about popped out of her seat, as her eyes got big and her hand went up. It has happened many times – when a student sees it, when a student says, “That’s cool.”
Q: What is something most people may not know about you?
A: I am a three-time winner of the Graeter’s coloring contest in the 14+ category at our local store. Each year there is a theme for a coloring page, and I have tried to mimic classic art. This year was the Mona Lisa eating an ice cream cone. The other winners were Monet and Salvador Dali inspired.
Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: I enjoy reading, listening to music (opera is a favorite), keeping my language skills active, and spending time with my wife and four children.
Mars Hill Academy is Cincinnati’s only private, independent K-12 classical Christian school. One of only 42 schools nationwide accredited by the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), Mars Hill Academy offers a proven educational method used for millennia to build sharp minds and a love for learning. For more information, please call 513-770-3223 or visit www.marshill.edu.
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