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Scripture Memorization etc.

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.

 

Mega Edition of the Dividing Line: Andy Stanley, 3 Mormons, and a Bit More

Spent nearly an hour and 20 minutes listening to and interacting with the discussion between Jonathan Merritt and Andy Stanley at the beginning of the program. Dr. Albert Mohler spent a solid ten minutes on the same exchange on this morning’s edition of The Briefing (recommended).  Then we moved over to playing some clips from a YouTube channel called 3Mormons, discussing the LDS doctrine of God. The last few minutes I addressed recent activity in social media.  Just over two hours in length today!

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.

Just Open Phones for 75 Minutes on the Dividing Line Today

Just opened the phones and covered all sorts of topics like the Trinity, eternal generation of the Son, prayer, Molinism, learning Greek, you name it!  Something for everyone!  Hope it is useful!

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.

The Danger of “Gay Christianity,” Islamicize Me Redux, a Bit More on the SBC

Well, surprise surprise, quite the amount of response to yesterday’s program, so we covered two topics we touched on yesterday, including further commentary on the Islamicize Me video series and on the Paige Patterson situation in the Southern Baptist Convention.  But first, we looked at the issues raised by the Revoice Conference and the idea of “gay Christianity,” and considered whether homosexual desire is morally neutral (unless acted upon).  Not an easy program, but necessary things to address!

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.

Vines/McDowell Dialogue, Encouraging Podcast, Calls on Today’s Jumbo Edition of the Dividing Line

Started off with a few miscellaneous items, including a brief review of the Matthew Vines/Sean McDowell dialogue from a few weeks ago, a little reading on Basilides the early church gnostic heretic and his views, and then I played some portions from the Ex Nihilo podcast that the Hardings posted as an encouragement to me (which was much appreciated).  Then we went to the phones for a wide variety of calls on numerous topics including one call from a former Mormon about the Garden of Gethsemane, one on “proportional atonement,” and one on Islam and the New Testament.  At the beginning and end of the program I mentioned my upcoming trip via London (or Scotland) to South Africa and Zambia, and our need to raise funds to cover the costs. You can help us by donating to the travel fund here.

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.