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Didaktikon
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Date Posted:20/05/2012 4:03 AMCopy HTML

Good afternoon, all.

Every so often someone will suggest that we don't really need to bother ourselves with learning Hebrew and Greek; that we have a multititude of very good English translations, which will suffice.

In part this is true enough: we do have a good number of translations that do provide us with what we need to grow in faith and grace! Consequently, the Bible in readily available translation will suffice for most purposes. But it won't suffice for all of them. I thought I'd share a snippet from what Martin Luther had to say on the matter in his small tract, "To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany that they Establish and Maintain Christian Schools":

A simple preacher (it is true) has so many clear passages and texts available through translations that he can know and teach Christ, lead a holy life, and preach to others. But when it comes to interpreting Scripture, and working with it on your own, and disputing with those who cite it incorrectly, he is unequal to the task; that cannot be done without languages.

Therefore, although faith and the gospel may indeed be proclaimed by simple preachers without a knowledge of languages, such preaching is flat and tame; people finally become weary and bored with it, and it falls to the ground. But where the preacher is versed in the languages, there is a freshness and vigor in his preaching, Scripture is treated in its entirety, and faith finds itself constantly renewed by a continual variety of words and illustrations.

We will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held; they are the larder in which this food is stored; and, as the gospel itself points out, they are the baskets in which are kept these loaves and fishes and fragments. Hence, it is inevitable that unless the languages remain, the gospel must finally perish.

Clearly not every Christian either needs or desires to have a solid grasp of biblical Hebrew and koine Greek. But to those whose calling it is to preach God's Word to his Church, to those who are responsible for 'rightly divide the Word of truth', being able to work in the original remains an essential skill. Besides, each new generation needs Bibles that allows God to speak to them in their vernacular. That is, unless one thinks God stopped communicating in English after AD 1611 ;)

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:Learned lessons from Luther

Date Posted:20/05/2012 6:03 AMCopy HTML

 Afternoon Ian;

Have you ever noticed that the words "expository" and "pentecostal" don't seem to mix too well ??

שָׁלוֹם

Eric
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Re:Learned lessons from Luther

Date Posted:22/05/2012 9:31 AMCopy HTML

Ian, RE: above. If I may ask; The 'languages' Luther is referring to here, is it just the Hebrew, Greek, languages specifically he's talking about?
In the context of what I have been reading, Luther is referring to the languages of commentaries and translations, he accepts, of other translators. 
What is your source? Thanks.
Ralph.





I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C.S.Lewis.
Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #3
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Re:Learned lessons from Luther

Date Posted:22/05/2012 10:38 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Ralph.

I thought it was plain that by 'the languages', Luther meant Hebrew and Greek. If you chase down a copy of the 'Letter', you'll soon discover that he wrote:

"In proportion, then, as we prize the Gospel, let us guard the languages. For it was not in vain that God did have his Scriptures set down in these two languages alone — the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New in Greek. The languages, therefore, that God did not despise, but which he chose above all the others for his Word, we too should honor above all the others. For St. Paul declared it to be a peculiar glory and distinction of Hebrew that God gave his Word in that language, when he said in Romans 3:1, “What profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because unto them were committed the oracles of God.” King David also boasts in Psalm 147:19, “He showed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He has not dealt in this way with any nation, neither has he made known to them his judgments.” Hence Hebrew is called a sacred language, and St. Paul terms it in Romans 1:2 “the holy scriptures,” doubtless because of the holy Word of God contained therein. Similarly, the Greek language may be called sacred, because it was chosen above all others as the language in which the New Testament was to be written and from which, as from a fountain, it flowed by translation into other languages and made them also sacred."

I don't know what sources you've been using, so I can't comment.

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:Learned lessons from Luther

Date Posted:22/05/2012 1:18 PMCopy HTML

Ian, thanks.
Will head up to RTC library tomorrow see what I can find. 
I have been using  http://www.godrules.net/index.php. Couldn't find subject.smiley29

Ralph
I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C.S.Lewis.
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Re:Learned lessons from Luther

Date Posted:23/05/2012 2:14 PMCopy HTML

A little more on lessons from Luther

 

Much ignorance of scripture causes grave consequences in our relationship with the Lord and others.

In Revival, we were taught that after having received the Holy Spirit (…..tongues etc) we become ‘righteous’.

This has the effect that one believes one is better than anyone else, therefore it causes one to become ‘self-righteous’.

God gives righteousness. This divine righteousness was revealed in the work of Christ and received by faith.

We receive this righteousness of Christ surely enough, it is a free gift, but are we not righteous? No.

Righteousness is not infused by tongues etc but imputed because of our own failings.

We are justified and sinners at the same time.

 

(info sourced from RTC study notes ‘Luther and the Reformation in Germany’)

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C.S.Lewis.
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