I was going to create a new blog focusing on New Testament Greek for beginners, or even those who had not yet begun. But I ran out of steam after just a few posts ... so I'm going to bring those articles over here instead.
Why should I, the busy pastor or teacher, study Greek and Hebrew? I will start this blog with a series seeking to provide convincing answers to that question.
We'll look at several positive reasons, and try to remove several common misunderstandings. But the quick, summary answer is: to be sure! To be certain!
Study the original languages to be sure. To be sure in your exegesis. To be sure in your preaching. To be able to say, "Thus says the Lord" with great courage and conviction.
Knowing Greek and Hebrew is not about learning some hidden language, some secret gnostic meaning within Scripture. If you hear someone say, "In the original Greek this actually means..." they are generally wrong. But knowing those languages is about being able to follow the author's line of thought. To do away with English ambiguities (even though they may be replaced by Greek ambiguities).
How important is this? Well, how important was the Reformation? Martin Luther said:
If the languages had not made me positive as to the true meaning of the word, I might have still remained a chained monk, engaged in quietly preaching Romish errors in the obscurity of a cloister; the pope, the sophists, and their anti-Christian empire would have remained unshaken.Knowing the Greek made him positive, made him certain, made him sure! Your congregation or your class deserve no less than the certainty that what you preach and teach is indeed what God has said.
From John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.