Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Theology and Biblical Languages

Correct me if I am wrong, but from my point of view and from the majority of my experiences, I have been hard struck to come by a theologian who has continued to keep up on their biblical languages. What's the deal? Look at the majority of theologians from history, they all knew Greek and some knew their Hebrew as well. Contemporary theologians have estranged themselves from Biblical Studies and I find this to be a problem. Theologians make sense of the doctrine and theology that we get out of scripture, but if theologians aren't doing their theology from scripture, then where are they getting it from? Karl Barth wrote a massive commentary on Romans, so did John Calvin, so did Augustine and many others before and after them. It is essential that theologians continue in their studies of Greek and Hebrew. If we are to be doing theology from scripture then we better be able to exegete scripture correctly. It becomes a problem when philosophy and culture define our theology rather than scripture. It is such a wonderful and spiritually rich experience to read God's word in the language it was written, it comes alive and it gives us the ability to understand scripture in a way that it cannot be fully understood after English translation. Exegesis of scripture should be the root of how our theology comes about, but if theologians are no longer exegeting I find no need to seek them for theological guidance.