Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Languages, Priesthood, and Much Discussion

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post entitled Original Languages and the Priesthood of Believers. In this post I was trying to stress a few things. First, all believers with the opportunity should learn as much Hebrew and Greek as they can. Second, anyone with knowledge of Hebrew and Greek needs to be humble about it. Third, use of the original languages can actually harm the priesthood of believers if those with this knowledge set themselves up (intentionally or not) as having some sort of special knowledge. The harm comes when those who do not know Hebrew and Greek feel like they cannot interpret scripture themselves and thus stop doing so.

Apparently this topic is one of interest to others as well. Several bloggers have linked to this post. I'm guessing this issue is one that is of concern to many people, especially those who humbly teach the original languages.

Here are some bloggers I have found who have linked to the above post (or linked to a link to the post):

I'm glad to see that others are concerned about this issue. It is clearly not one that has an easy, black-and-white type of answer. On the one hand, we certainly don't want to ignore the original languages. On the other hand, we don't want to create another divide in the church between those who know the languages and those who don't.

Here's my suggestion for how to best deal with this issue: Encourage the original languages to be taught in the local church free of charge to all who want to learn them. Once enough people are familiar with them, encourage them to be taught at home from a young age as part of family devotions. The more people who are familiar with the Hebrew and Greek, the less opportunity there is for a small minority to feel like they hold "special knowledge."

In addition to this, let us all show humility in this area as in all areas of life.

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