Dan Wallace writes, in part,
Genuine study of the biblical languages is being replaced by “Greek/Hebrew appreciation” courses—a euphemism for anything but deep appreciation, or nothing at all. Bible software, which can be an absolutely amazing tool for profound study of the original languages, has too often become a crutch. Rely on it enough and it becomes a wheelchair. One really needs to get immersed in Greek for a couple of years before being able to profit fully from Bible software that deals with the Greek.
Evangelical churches are frequently seeking pastors who have amazing speaking abilities, but who can’t exegete their way out of a paper bag. This is hardly what the Reformers had in mind. Listen to Luther:
In proportion as we value the gospel, let us zealously hold to the languages. For it was not without purpose that God caused his Scriptures to be set down in these two languages alone—the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New in Greek. Now if God did not despise them but chose them above all others for his word, then we too ought to honor them above all others.
And let us be sure of this: we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages.
It is inevitable that unless the languages remain, the gospel must finally perish.
Melanchthon was more to the point:
Those who advise inexperienced young students, training for ministry, not to study the languages ought to have their tongues cut off.
More positively stated, Erasmus said this in the preface to his Novum Instrumentum—the Greek New Testament published in 1516:
These holy pages will… give you Christ… they will give him to you in an intimacy so close that he would be less visible to you if he stood before your eyes.
In a role reversal from the 16th century, Roman Catholic graduate schools are doing incredible work in the biblical languages. I applaud this endeavor at these institutes, but grieve for what is happening in the conservative Protestant tradition. MDiv and ThM programs are shrinking at an alarming rate. And those that are remaining strong have often sacrificed the biblical languages on the altar of student enrollment.
The Reformation deserves better than this. Our churches deserve better than this. And, above all, Jesus Christ deserves better than this.
READ IT ALL. HE’S RIGHT! I’ll add my own view- if you aren’t at home in the Biblical languages, you have no business being in a pulpit.
Go read the rest of Dan’s post. And get the languages back in your curriculum. Or just shut down.