Mounce Archive 22 - Using Biblical Languages
Everyone needs a break once in a while, and Bill Mounce is taking one from his weekly column on biblical Greek until September. Meanwhile, we’ve hand-picked some classic, popular posts from the “Mondays with Mounce” archive for your summer reading and Greek-studying pleasure.
In today's post, Mounce explains how to use the Biblical languages well, since knowing the original languages is useful in study and preparation. Yet, he argues, mentioning Greek or Hebrew in sermons should be done carefully, for the sake of the listener.
You can read the whole post here.
In response to last week’s post, several people have asked this question. I find it interesting that I never thought of it; it is easy to criticize others, but harder to build up. A general principle of life. So how do you use Greek (and Hebrew) properly?
It starts with your homework. The most important place to use biblical languages is behind the scenes in doing your research, whether it be sermon preparation or getting ready for a Bible study. The languages give you access to tools that are far beyond the reach of English. The ICC commentaries are inaccessible without Greek and Hebrew. It is hard for me to imagine preparing a talk on Romans without checking Cranfield carefully.
But even a series like Eerdmans’ New International Commentary on the New Testament really requires a working knowledge of Greek.
Even though the Greek is relegated to the footnotes, I can’t imagine being able to follow the commentator’s line of reasoning without having a working knowledge of Greek. When a writer argues that argument “A” is stronger than argument “B,” behind those decisions almost always lies not just a working knowledge of Greek but a feel for the language and how it works.
William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics at Koinonia. He is the author of numerous works including the recent Basics of Biblical Greek Video Lectures and the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek. He is the general editor of Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV.
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