One of the topics that seems to have disappeared from seminary conversations is the need to study the original languages. This is more true of pastors than those training for PhD programs.

However, I do not believe the discussion should be a dead one just yet. I would like to know exactly what percentage of pastors who actually learned the original languages still use them in sermon preparations, and also what percentage of pastors learned them at all!

I personally have not gone to a church where the original languages are studied (excepting myself) and I am not sure I can even think of one in my area.

What are your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “Biblical Languages VS English

  1. I first became interested in the Greek and Hebrew words and their meanings when I started going to my current church. It seemed as if everyone and their brother had the Spirit filled Life Bible in the New King James version. So much so when the leaders would teach they would say page 887 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible, for example. I loved the word wealth portions with the definitions and the pronunciations. It was so exciting to me because it was if I had unearthed a buried treasure. And still I know that there are greater depths of wisdom to plumb. Not only words to know, but contexts in which those words are used.

  2. Tamara!
    Thanks for your beautiful comments. I can always count on you to have valuable input on any topic 🙂

    I personally think that anyone who teaches from the Bible as a pastor should be able to translate from the original languages. I do not think it is as “must have” but it would greatly benefit everyone in the church and the pastor as well. Plus, having solid language and exegesis skills will help pastors avoid silly trends like KJVO and anything from the Apostolic denominations haha.

    1. Thankyou Justin! Yes, a pastor who has a solid footing on the original languages will no doubt benefit himself but also those who listen as well. For excellent is the pastor who digs deep into the Word and leaves those he teaches thirsty for more.

  3. You used one of my favorite words: exegesis: drawing the truth out of something. That is what going back to the original language is all about. Such truth that lies beneath the surface is waiting to be extracted.

  4. Unfortunately it has become out of fashion to use biblical language in many ‘current’ churches. Even if you do use it you are to blend it on so seemlessly no one else knows. But I think there is great value to not only using in preaching/teaching but offering classes for members so they can further their study instead of relying on other translations which are in nature an interpretation as well. I think it is a grave error to not require it at the undergrad level for Bible and ministry majors…but that might just be a personal opinion.

    1. I agree with you completely Angela!
      If I remember correctly, Bethel had that as a requirement for undergrads right? It might not have been a requirement but I know the undergrads had full Hebrew and Greek classes offered to them.

      I think the gospel message and biblical message can be read in almost any language. But if someone is a “teacher” of the Bible they need to be able to use the languages it was written in. If major opera singers needs to learn the languages they are singing in, how much more should our biblical teachers learn the languages that the biblical authors wrote in.

  5. excellent argument, Justin! I remember the ABC Family movie, ‘A Brave New Girl’. The main character was from a small town and had big dreams of being a singer. She got into a prestigious school and was required to learn and sing in Italian.

    1. That is right Tam! Language is something that many professional have to learn and in some schools it is a requirement for all students. To think that someone could teach authoritatively on a document that was written in another language is silly.

      It is also one of the main reasons why those wishing to read the Quran seriously do it in Arabic. It was quite a time actually before it was produced in alternate languages. For the same reasons we have today. Languages are easy to learn and it keeps the message/symbols/words untainted.

      1. Yes, languages are easy to learn. And fun…so why do so many think learning languages has little or no benefit to them when quite the opposite is true?

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