First of all, welcome to the new look site. Of course, it’s just another theme from WordPress. I like ’em.
Secondly, I have a final exam tomorrow for New Testament Greek, which I have been learning for a year. It is incredible, fascinating, illuminating, to even discover some of the basics of the language and understand what they spoke. For me I get a lot from discovering the links between language then and now, knowing that our vernacular today has roots way back into ancient history. So ‘ballo’ means ‘I throw’ – because you would throw a ball! And about a trillion other examples (many of them much more meaningful, too).
I have learnt about the behaviour of language in general as well as New Testament Greek in particular. Our class has been shown a great many ‘gems’ that are uncovered in the New Testament when the original language is investigated. (Conversely we have learned how some of them are covered in most modern translations!)
But the thing that has most struck me is that my journey of discovery isn’t over yet.
I mean, in several senses, of course it isn’t, it would be arrogant for me to suggest that it is over already. As a believer in such a magnificent, awesome, holy God, I should expect that only eternity presents sufficient bounds for understanding and knowing Him. Secondly, I’ve only been studying Greek since September – I’m not an expert yet (much as I might like to pretend that I am!).
But that intriguing and wise character that is the ‘Original Greek’, it turns out, doesn’t stand at the end of the road in terms of discovering God and His nature through the New Testament (nevermind his distinctly older and more shadowy companion, Ancient Hebrew). If you thought that once you could argue from the New Testament using perfect koine Greek, you’d be the best theologian in the world, you’d have another think coming. No amount of scholarship can save us, can it? It’s the message behind the words that we’re after, not the words themselves, however helpful they may sometimes be. Mr Greek is a thoroughly useful guide on the journey, but if we really use our understanding correctly, we will continue to seek Jesus, and our understanding of God through Him. That is the believer’s journey. I suppose the journey of many scholars ends with Mr Greek, but for those knowing God and trusting Him, this is just a tool, albeit a useful one, for continuing our pursuit of Him.
Our journey is relational, not formulaic, and it’s important we remember to keep it that way. I’m going to continue to use what I’ve learnt this year (and hopefully continue to learn over the coming months and years) to pursue the One who captured my heart long before I even knew so many words in English. If you too are entertaining the idea of engaging this language, I would encourage you to do so! It’s just worth bearing in mind that you can be a Greek scholar and still be biased in one theological direction or another. Our anchor, Jesus, will help us to keep the right focus as we journey through life.
Trigg over and out.