שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד
Lord knows that I’m not the biggest James White fan on the planet, and I disagree with a good ammount of what he says on any number of issues. I’ve found myself less than impressed with the two books of his that I own (Debating Calvinism & The Forgotten Trinity) but I do respect him as an apologist and Christian brother. Having said that, I have to tell you that I was appalled at his pronunciation of the Shema (Deut. 6:4) on a recent Dividing Line broadcast. I know that he can read Hebrew and on occasion teaches Hebrew — but he can’t speak Hebrew! Listen here (fast forward to 15:00 minutes into the broadcast).
I don’t take issue with him saying Yahweh instead of Adonai — Yahweh is in the text and I’m not one for substitutions, but c’mon — would it have been so hard to try and sound authentic? Now let me be very clear before a White disciple reads this and decides to take up for James — I do NOT read Hebrew fluently — I can read a little bit. I also do NOT speak Hebrew fluently — Aside from a few prayers that I have memorized and say when the time is right I rarely speak Hebrew at all. But I do attend church in a city that is home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish populations in the world, and the most prestigious Yeshiva in the country (Lakewood, NJ) — so rest assured that I have heard the Shema recited enough times to know what it should sound like.