Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Knowledge of Hebrew and Greek

Looking at reasons the Christians give for not studying the Bible, some may say that it is best left to those who know Hebrew and Greek. Over and over during this series, I have referred to the perspicuity, or clarity of scripture. You can get the basic message by picking up and reading, even though some concepts may be complicated.

To do in depth study, other resources are needed. A good Bible Commentary and Bible Dictionary will make a a world of difference when trying to study in depth. I don't personally have a hard copy of either of these, but make use of the online tools that are available. If you create a free account with ebible, you will have access to a variety of commentaries. I like Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary of the Whole Bible. You will also have Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary available. More resources are available for a monthly fee. Here is a link to another free Bible Dictionary that I use.

For whatever reason, I have a hard time reading the Bible online. There is something about having a hard copy in front of me, and trying to study online is not the same. Although I don't own a fancy commentary set or Bible Dictionary, I think if I did it would add a lot to my study.

Since I have an issue reading the Bible online, I would also recommend a good Study Bible. If you have a Bible that does not have footnotes, study will be more difficult. If you have a Bible that has footnotes and cross references, it aids a lot to your study. I currently own and use the Reformation Study Bible. The notes are new, but are the type of doctrine that was taught during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century.

If you make use of the tools that other scholars have put together and provided, you can get by without knowing any other languages. But you do need to other resources to help interpret the Bible properly.

Be aware, however, that any other tools that you acquire to study can be biased towards a particular philosophy or type of theology. It is beyond the scope of this post, but if you remember that only the Bible is truly inspired and without errors, you will be on the right track.

Don't use lack of knowledge as an excuse to not learn!

2 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
    do u know hebrew and greek? You make it all sound simple.
    Brett said...
    I don't know the first thing about Hebrew and Greek languages. Maybe someday, though. Bible study is not simple, it requires a lot of work to do it right. However, it should not be so intimidating the Christians are afraid or have no desire to start.

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