Click the cartoon below to read a humorous blog post about the use of Greek in the pulpit…
For related blog posts of my own along the same lines, see:
- How Much Grammar Does a Man Need?
- How’s Your Greek?
- Where Are All the Word Studies?
- The Value of Greek
Also, see this useful post from A Pilgrim’s Progress by Eric Carpenter:
…to which I commented…
I lean toward less Greek in the pulpit as much of the Greek references used tend to give an artificial authority over the text (as many here have commented) and much is just plain wrong. The hidden secret that seminarians don’t want you to know is that they don’t actually ‘know’ Greek at all. They only learn just enough grammatical jargon to parrott what they read in commentaries (and Bible software). Ask your pastor if he were able to order a pizza in Greek or translate a section of the local newspaper into the Greek language -he will not be able to.
Besides, the language scholars have far wider disagreements about the meanings of seemingly simple Bible texts than English Bible readers do. It seems that presuppositions have a greater influence on interpretation than learning!
For those of you that don’t know the original languages, I’ll let you in on another insider secret – the Greek is VERY ambiguous. Where an English translation is ambiguous, the Greek may be more so. Many times you hear folks appeal to the original language as being more clear – this is a sure sign of someone who is an amateur in the language he is expounding.
A major error of original language sermon references is the ‘word study’ – not an inductive study of how a particular word is used by a particular writer or in a particular genre, mind you, but rather the packing of a tremendous amount of baggage into a word. How it is that we can pack a paragraph worth of information into a single word? Remember, a sentence completes a thought – not a word. Paul and Peter didn’t resort to word studies and original language references in their references to the Old Testament, we don’t need to either.
By the way, the Bible student would be MUCH better served by studying the historical context of a given Bible passage and making a thorough comparison of Scripture with Scripture, if he were to really gain a good grasp on scripture.