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  • A Student’s Perspective on Biblical Languages

    GBTS, Pastoral - May 19, 2020
    Greek Lexicon
    By Zakariya King

    A small baby begins to crawl on the floor as he sees the object of desire across the room in sight. It’s a bottle. This baby is old enough to support his own head and now even to crawl at length. He sees the familiar object that satisfies his hunger and is even able to identify that it is actually the substance within that bottle he wants.

    Finally, he makes it to the bottle and tries to pick it up. But his cute chubby hand is too small to pick it up; he then brings around his other chubby hand for reinforcement. It is at this moment the baby is able to grasp what he had wanted more securely. However, as this baby fosters its bottle holding, his bottle handling becomes more developed. He eventually wields the bottle with one complete hand. Perhaps, later the baby would have the ability to point the bottle at others due to his, now proficient, handling of the bottle.

    The Pastor and Biblical Languages

    Hopefully, the above illustration does justice to paint graffiti on the walls of your mind when you think of a minister and his Greek New Testament (GNT). 

    The baby is the young minister, or student who has growing desires to continue “feasting” from the food the Bible (the bottle) provides. The student (baby) already holds the mental whereabouts to understanding what it is he wants (the bottle), but even more so it is all of the substance contained within that Bible (the bottle) the student wants more.

    The mental capacity (or the ability to keep his head up) has already been obtained and the student is able to pick up his Bible and read. However, in order for him to have more of a fully secured grasp on the Bible, reinforcement does not hurt. The minister’s second hand is the GNT to which aids in the minister—not only in feeding on the Word of God but also— in drinking deeply the profound nutrients rich substance contained with the Bible.

    The GNT itself is not the substance (understanding of the special revelation of God) but rather aids in obtaining more of that substance. And as the minister/student grows enhancements can be accessed in order that their understanding of the special revelation of God within the Bible in perceived more fully. 

    In turn, every person that begins the endeavor of learning Biblical Greek will also be obtaining a more well-versed understanding of the precise message the Apostles were making. Least to say, every person that begins this endeavor can be identified as the baby depicted previously but will grow up to a mature man. Moving forward, it is not only the learning of Biblical Greek that will occur, but inevitably at the same time the giving away of, or teaching of, the knowledge that was obtained.

    This is the ultimate sum of learning anything, including the biblical languages: to teach what was learned. This will take on various appearances. Some may be in a classroom setting, others within uplifting conversations and some others in the context of one-to-one studying, yet the exchange of knowledge will be at the core. This is to say, one more clearly understands the map to which tells of where the treasure is; hence in understanding their bible more this will produce an unction to share because they identify the stark awesomeness of God.  

    Lastly, along with the ultimate sum to teach, one must keep in mind the final end of all things: To know more of Christ and worship Him. Learning the biblical languages will deepen the minister’s understanding of how beautiful God is, thus producing in him the desire to worship God, thus the desire to share what he himself beholds; the beauty of God. 

    In closing, though it may be true that it is not necessary for one to learn a biblical language, why not learn how to more profoundly see the truth of God? Why not want to share and teach the profound and specific nuances of God’s words? And lastly, there may be other plausible ways the baby could obtain the milk from the bottle, but it never really hurts for the reinforcement of the other hand. 

    Zakariya King is a member of Grace Bible Church in Conway, AR and has recently completed his first year at GBTS.

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