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Michael Kruger on Whether It Is a Waste of Time to Learn Biblical Languages . . .

A few weeks ago, a new crop of seminary students began the grueling month-long experience of Summer Greek. And, like all seminary students before them, they will begin to ask the question of why studying these ancient languages even matters. After all, a few years after graduation all will be forgotten. In the midst of a busy pastoral life, who could possibly maintain proficiency in the languages? READ MORE...

I would like to add something to this topic. I am frequently asked which beginning Greek grammar should I begin with. I actually first recommend a primer on modern linguistics before they take biblical languages. Morphology and syntax are needed of course to learn Hebrew and Greek, but I would rather have a pastor or seminary student read this one book first before they study a written language such as Koine Greek:

God, Language, and Scripture: Reading the Bible in the Light of General Linguistics. by Moises Silva.

This book is an antidote for the most common interpretive biblical fallacy: maximalism. Silva’s book will reinforce that you should not interpret a morpheme, word, phrase, clause, sentence, or even a paragraph in isolation. Rather, one should interpret in light of a discourse. Most people know this, but most people do not do this. Fundamental modern linguistic principles is what every student and pastor needs to grasp in order to avoid omnipresent fallacies and thus capture God’s message in a deeper accurate way.

In a forthcoming volume, I contributed a chapter responding to the fallacy of linguistic maximalism entitled: “James Barr on the ‘Illegitimate Totality Transfer’ Word-Concept Fallacy.” I wrote:

Moisés Silva makes this point from his own experience:

“In my own preaching during the past twenty-five years, explicit references to Greek and Hebrew have become less and less frequent. But that hardly means I have paid less attention to the languages or that they have become less significant in my work of interpretation. Quite the contrary. It’s just that coming up with those rich ‘exegetical nuggets’ is not necessarily where the real, substantial payoff lies.”[1]

Here is a lesson for pastors, that seasoned language reflection is typically behind the scene in sermon prep, supporting the message. Scattered “golden nuggets” may preach well, but are not well preached.

[1] Silva, God, Language, and Scripture, 144.

The beginning Greek grammars I recommend are those that are not stuck in 19th century German philology (and they are still out there!); rather, I recommend those that have incorporated modern linguist theory into Koine Greek grammar.

 

Church Membership, Adding “P” to LGBT, Matt Chandler & Prophecy, Open Phones

Another Skype-based program from Evergreen, Colorado.  Looked briefly at the reaction to a church pruning its membership rolls, then read a portion of Douglas Wilson’s article on adding “P” to LGBT. Then considered the concept of “prophecy” in Matt Chandler’s recent sermon, and then took calls on various topics such as the resurrection of the saints in Matthew 27 and Jehovah’s Witnesses and the spirit of man.  Lord willing, will be home on Monday, so the schedule should return to something “normal” for August.

Here is the YouTube link:
Live Video Stream
The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.

A Short Reply to Brian Abasciano on John 3:16

James N. Anderson has replied to Abasciano here.

I want to briefly illustrate Abasciano’s co-text myopia.

Abasciano claims that πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων (pas ho pisteuōn, “whoever believes”) grammatically conveys indefiniteness. It actually does not, at least as it is realized in this particular discourse of John.

If Abasciano wants to be consistent then he must conclude that John is teaching that everyone believes in something, qua belief, regardless of what someone believes. So someone could believe in the tooth fairy, according to Abasciano’s insistence of disconnecting the notion of indefiniteness from its co-text delimiters.

Abasciano and Arminians isolate the phrase πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων. But the entire subject of the clause is not πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων; rather it is πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν. They conveniently leave out εἰς αὐτὸν.

Next time you listen to an Arminian, notice how they break up the subject of this clause by disconnecting and isolating πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων from εἰς αὐτὸν.

This rules out the tooth fairy since it refers to those (not indefinite) who believe in Jesus.

In short, this point in John 3:16 is teaching the object of belief, not the originator of belief.

 

Regards,
Alan E. Kurschner

 

 

California’s Totalitarianism, Then Calls on Racialism, JWs, OT Scholarship, and Much More

Started off discussing AB 2943 in California and the moral and ethical insanity consuming our society.  Then we went to calls with the first on the subject of racialism, then discussions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, OT scholarship, and many other topics.  80 minute program.

Here is the YouTube link:
Live Video Stream
The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.

Nearly Two Hours on Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, T4G, and More

Had to take the entire program today to cover developments since the MLK50 Conference and last weekend’s T4G Conference.  Nearly two hours on the entire Critical Race Theory/White Privilege/”Woke” Church movement.  Hope to take calls and get back to Ehrman, etc., on Thursday.

Here is the YouTube link:
Live Video Stream
The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.