Have you ever wondered if it is really worth it to teach the biblical languages in the local church? I’ve taught both Greek and Hebrew in my home church, and at the beginning of every new class, I ask myself that very question and worry that it not worth my effort and the discipline required of my students. But at the end of each class, the resounding answer is always, “Yes!”
While I could give you all of the benefits of teaching Greek in your local church (e.g., deeper knowledge of scripture, learning the language better yourself, instilling discipline in yourself and your students, serve the church and Christ), I will give you two concrete examples.
- The first time I taught Greek, I started with 15 students and only one continued with me through Greek Grammar II. That student also took Hebrew with me—though I functioned more like a tutor than a teacher as he taught himself the language. After he decided to go to seminary, he was able to test out of both Greek and Hebrew Grammar 1 & 2.
- The second time I taught Greek, I started with about 15 students and ended with about 5 through Greek Grammar I and II. I just got word today that one of my students was able to pass out of Greek 201 and 202, and will be looking to take Greek 303 in the future.
This doesn’t even include all the rest of my students who still use their Greek and Hebrew in their personal study of scripture.
All of this is to say, you have people in your churches that want to know God’s word better and some who might be interested in studying the OT and NT formally. Offering Greek and Hebrew provides those interested in formal study exposure to what that might look like in the academic setting and might possibly enable them to open up extra electives in degree programs that offer few opportunities to study something interesting or something in more depth.
Though I’ve used this post as an opportunity to encourage others to teach the languages in the local church, what I really want to say is …
I’m proud of you, S., for passing your Greek competency exam. Keep studying Greek. You have a real talent for it.