Friday, September 25, 2009

WTS and Biblical Languages

One of the reasons I specifically went to Westminster Theological Seminary was their commitment to the Biblical languages. I didn't want to waste my time repeating the bulk of my college curriculum, studying the Bible in only the English (aside from the wonderful Greek classes I had in college). If I was going to seriously study the Bible, I wanted to pour my efforts into doing it thoroughly and going deeper than previously done in my academic study. For me that clearly meant the knowing the original languages. I can remember chatting with LBC professor Dr. Steve Nichols, a graduate of WTS, and being assured of the priority of languages at WTS.

The languages should be important for pastors.

One of my favorite professors at Westminster was the late Al Groves. I remember first meeting him at LBC when he came and gave a guest lecture to professors at LBC and I mention to weasel my when in to hear him. When I went to LBC I mentioned I had met him before and he was just the warmest and friendly person. I remember running into him just before graduation and he had been signing diplomas and he had mentioned praying for me and others by name as he went through them.

In one or two of my classes I remember sitting with Professor Groves' wife who was studying for her MAR. I chatted with her once or twice although I doubt she remembers me. I however remember how both Professor Al Groves and Elizabeth Groves were wonderful testimonies to the grace of God. It is delightful to see that she is now a lecturer in Old Testament.

Here is Elizabeth Groves lecturing on the importance of Biblical languages, particularly Hebrew, for pastors and serious students of God's Word.

If you're in seminary or looking to go to seminary be sure to spend your time in the Biblical languages. If you are a pastor like me, and we know the stress of the daily grind, be sure not the neglect the Biblical languages. I recognize the tyranny of the urgent often over takes us. There can be little immediate payoff of languages for counseling or that grieving family. But your goal is not only meeting those immediate needs. Your long term goal is mastery of God's Word so that you and your church can be mastered by it. This means do not neglect the languages of the Bible in your own study. I saw these things not as one who has mastered the original languages to the level that I would like but as one who has made it my goal to do so because I believe that it is vital for a long term success of preaching the Word of God.

(HT: Tim Challies)

1 comment:

Jared said...

Awesome post, Tim. Thanks for the encouragement.

"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...