Travis “Moshe” West never expected to be teaching Biblical Hebrew in a seminary. When he enrolled in Western’s M.Div. program in 2004, he had a commitment to studying the Scriptures and a desire to help people but no real clarity on God’s particular call on his life.
The clarity came the first day of his Introduction to Biblical Hebrew class in the fall of 2005. After a riveting lecture covering the nuances of the syllabus, Travis knew he would spend the rest of his life studying and teaching Hebrew and the Old Testament. He spent the next two summers studying Hebrew in Israel and began teaching Hebrew at Western as a T.A. Upon graduation he returned to earn a Master of Theology degree and to continue teaching Hebrew in a more official capacity, first as an adjunct professor, then as an instructor, and now as an assistant professor.
Travis’ research interests include: OT narratives, using performance to teach the Bible, formational pedagogy, the use of play in the classroom, the importance and significance of Sabbath today. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he is close to completing his dissertation, preliminarily titled: The Art of Biblical Performance: Performance Criticism and the Genre of the Biblical Narratives.
In 2010 Travis was ordained as a Specialized Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. One of his vocational passions is the attempt to bend the trajectory of the academy toward the flourishing of the Church. He is passionate about making the Hebrew Scriptures accessible to people who have never studied the language before.
“Learning Biblical Hebrew doesn’t need to give you an ulcer. Rather, I see it as an opportunity to discover more fully the depth, beauty, and nuance of the Church’s first Testament. I believe that the character of a Hebrew classroom ought to reflect the character of the Hebrew Scriptures. In other words, learning Hebrew should be a dynamic, interactive, image-rich experience that is thoroughly theo-centric and often surprisingly playful. My hope for graduates is that they will not fear their Bible, but will love it deeply, read it carefully, and interpret it faithfully.”