Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why I won't flash the Greek

I'm currently learning biblical Greek for the second last subject of my Theology degree and I can assure you that there's one thing I won't be doing regularly.

Quoting Greek when I preach.

The reasons?

Primarily, flashing the Greek is often a veiled way to display the training the preacher has or the amount of preparation they've put in. Either way, it doesn't usually add to the sermon.

I say usually, because undoubtedly, sometimes it will make a difference. This just isn't as often as some ministers seem to mention it from the pulpit.

If anything, when I hear someone pontificating about the "original Greek" I tend to think of them as a wanker, not a scholar.

Second, and more importantly, I think a routine flash of Greek can sow more harm than good.

If the "professional" Christian must use subsequent texts or need a far higher level of training to decipher the message of the bible, then what message does that send to the congregation?
Will it breed assurance or uncertainty?
Will they trust in what they feel, a basic on-the-surface-level interpretation/application, is ACTUALLY the intended meaning or just another "misinterpretation" from the translators or "hidden nuance" of the language?

Finally, and more sceptically, if no one in the congregation is capable of reading or understanding Greek, then it provides no way for anyone to verify that what they're being told is accurate.

It would be reckless for me, having done a whole 12 WEEKS of Greek under my belt, to start quoting "original texts" when I could be, unknowingly, be leading others down a fruitless rabbit-trail.

If you're a Greek nerd, who can communicate APPLICABLE parts of the original language relevantly, then go ahead... Flash your Greek. But, for some ministers, they flash way more than what's needed.

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