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Knowledge of Greek and Preaching

April 2009
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Some time ago, Robert I. Bradshaw, who runs the impressive site Biblical Studies.org.uk, published an article by the late F.F. Bruce that I found quite interesting. On the one hand, I found prof. Bruce writing in an easy style I have never seen from his pen before, on the other hand, prof. Bruce makes some statments about the need for pastors and pastors to be about their need to keep up, or to learn the Greek language, and to read not only the New Testament and the Septuagint, but other literature in Greek too.:

F.F. Bruce,
‘The Greek Language and the Christian Ministry,’ originallly printed in
Clifton Theological College Magazine (Trinity Term 1956):5-10.
The article is now available at http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/greek_bruce.pdf

Prof Bruce strongly argues for the need for a good knowledge of Greek by saying: ” The Minister who keeps up his study of Hebrew and Greek has an advantage over his collegue who lets them go, such as a man with normal vision has over one who is colour-blind.” (p. 6).
Our students of today struggle with the Greek and Hebrew languages, and quite a lot of them put the Biblical Hebraaica on the shelf as soon as they have graduated, and not a few also let their Greek go. I have also noticed, by being a listener to several sermons through the years by various pastors, that only rarely do I hear a sermon through which I can realize that this person has studied theology, not to say: he knows his or her Greek. Nuances in the texts are then missed, and all too often I hear personal opinions uttered where there should have been arguments based on Greek linguistics.

Prof. Bruce’s reminder is a relevant one; don’t be colour-blind! Check out this article, and brush up your Greek, and use it in your sermon preparations.


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