Friday, May 24, 2024

Thankful for the Languages

You don't have to know Greek and Hebrew in order to really understand the Bible. It's astonishing how much we can learn just by reading the Scriptures in English again and again. But there are some advantages to having been exposed to the original languages. One is that we're able to make decisions. As you know, translators are also interpreters. As they work through a verse they have to make decisions. Does "the of love of Christ constrains us" refer to our love for Christ or Christ's love for us? Even more importantly, we might want to study the languages in order to become aware of how people in a different culture think. Language is not simply the way we communicate with each other. It's the way we communicate with ourselves. We both think and speak in language. That's why doctoral students will want to learn how to speak German and not only read it. 

So it helps to have an exposure to the biblical languages. Not a day goes by when I am not thankful for Greek and Hebrew.