Showing posts from August, 2021

Why study the biblical languages?

The two main languages in which the books of the Bible were originally written were ancient Hebrew and Koine (Common) Greek. Our English versions today are translations from these original texts. Learning these languages is not required for knowing and walking with the Lord, but there are several advantages to taking up their study. But there are two important caveats which I should mention. First, knowing Greek or Hebrew will not answer all your questions about the Bible. Many difficulties we face in studying the Scriptures are resolved on other levels, such as biblical theology, or the wider context of other passages. This is referred to as the analogy of Scripture, whereby other passages give us light on the more difficult ones.   Secondly, proficiency in the ancient languages will take time and discipline. This is true of gaining expertise in any language. We should beware of wanting to say, "the Greek means this," when we don't actually have that proficiency. We wou

Why study hermeneutics?

  Though the Bible was written for us , it was not written directly to us . What that means is, we study the Bible as readers once removed from the original audience. We must first understand what it meant to the original hearers (to whom it was written) before we can apply it to ourselves. Each book of the Bible has dual authorship -- the human author who wrote a message at a particular time and place, and the divine Author, God, who gives a message for all times and places.  When we read God's word we will be faced with questions like, what does this word or phrase mean? Is it literal or a figure of speech? Is this practice a cultural thing or meant to be universal? Is this teaching only for then, or for all time? The principles of interpretation, called hermeneutics , help us know how to correctly understand and apply the Scriptures. We want to know what it meant to the people at that time, what it means for all time, and from that, what it means for us today. Jim Krouscas will

Why study theology?

There is a popular misconception that the study of Christian theology is a heady and fruitless venture, reserved only for academics and wannabe theologians. But "theology" merely means the study (or knowledge) of God and of what he has revealed to us in the Scriptures. And it's in this sense that R. C. Sproul says, "Everyone's a theologian." We may be muddled about what we believe, but everybody believes something about God . The Bible speaks of having sound doctrine (Titus 1:9; 2:1) and of rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Connecting the truths of Scripture into a whole is what we call systematic theology .    Knowing God, therefore, involves first and foremost the use of our minds. It does not end with our thinking correctly, for truth must also be embraced, loved, and acted upon. But it must first be understood as clearly as possible. Many Christians feel it a waste of time to study theology, and so they rush ahead to feel and act upon