Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why study Greek and Hebrew?


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.

From John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.
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.

3 comments:

CORNISH EVANGELIST BILLY BOLIITHO said...

I do hope this Gospel Letter will bless you, do be encourage, in Jesus name. {Evangelist Billy Bolitho} www.evangelistbillybolitho.blogspot.com Please feel free to photocopy. Encouraging the body of Christ.


Children of Promise

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise”.

{Galatians 4 v 28}.


When God looks at this old world, He no longer looks upon it like He did in the days before His only Son was crucified at Calvary. For Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary gave birth to the new covenant or testament, which He wrote on the hearts of men who accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour. No longer does He see tribes and races of people as such, for now because of Christ’s sacrifice He sees only the children of promise and the children of the bound. Let me explain, God states clearly in scripture that the children of God are those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, regardless of race or gender, they are the children of God, yes the children of promise. You see it is written, “And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to promise”, {Galatians 3 v 29}.

Abraham had two sons, one by a bondwoman called Agar, and another by a freewoman called Sarah, as it is written, now these two sons represents the two covenants. The first son Ishmael of the bondwoman represented Jerusalem, which is now in bondage, which also represents the old covenant, but the freewoman’s son Isaac represents the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the new covenant. All God’s people are one in Christ Jesus, who are under the new covenant. Under this covenant there is no longer Jew, Gentile, slave or free, men or women, for we are all one in Christ. “For ye are all the children of promise by faith in Christ Jesus”,
{Galatians 3 v 26}.
Now God’s plan for the people of Israel is the same plan which He is using for the whole world, and that is that we must all repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. There is no other plan for salvation, only through Jesus. Who was crucified for our sins and rose again for our justification, and who is alive forever more. Praise be the wonderful name of Jesus. As it is written, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”, {Acts 4 v 12}.

As Isaac was, so are we the children of promise, no matter what nation we are from, God considers us all equal and precious in His sight. So precious are we that He sacrificed His only Son for each and everyone of us. So, let us all stand together as, the children of promise. I would like to state that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and many more in Israel are likened unto an olive tree which also represents the children of promise. We who believe are grafted into that tree, and so we become one with them, and are known as the true Israel of today. Now today there are still people in Israel who are chosen by God according to election of grace who will be grafted back into the olive tree, which represents the children of promise.

We must pray for them, that they will see Jesus, for it is written, “ There shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins”, {Romans 11 v 26 & 27}
So dear saints, let us always pray and standby Israel, for I believe that there are many yet to come to know Jesus as their true Messiah. God bless Israel.

Nick Hill said...

Thanks for this post.

Nick

CORNISH EVANGELIST BILLY BOLIITHO said...

Glad you were blessed in Jesus.