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Issues Relating to the Text of the Bible

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.

 

Open Borders Means Anarchy and Lawlessness, Then Open Phones on Deep Theological Topics

While we were getting folks in line for open phones I commented for about ten minutes on the simple reality that “open borders” equals anarchy and the end of law, a concept that should not be attractive to any Christian whatsoever. Then we went to the phones to discuss a bunch of deep Trinitarian issues, as well as Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Islam (and Aisha!), Mormonism and textual criticism.  Great calls folks!

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.

Tim Keller on Jesus Getting Close to You, DTS and Ephesians 5, the Book of Abraham

Started off looking at the little upset that took place yesterday on Twitter regarding Tim Keller’s tweet about Jesus becoming human “to get close to you.”  Then looked at a Christian Post article about DTS professors and Ephesians 5 related to wives and husbands and the nature of submission. Then we finished up with a Mormonism segment that I will need to continue on the next 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.

White Supremacy, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Theology, Imputed Guilt by Race, Kyle J. Howard’s Fear, Racialism, Open Phones

Spent the first hour going over developments over the past few days, including discussions of the Washington Rally with the National Council of Churches, the MLK50 Conference, Martin Luther King’s own professed theology, Thabiti Anyabwile’s imputation of guilt to our grandparents, and finally Kyle J. Howard’s public statement that he would not feel “safe” meeting with me alone “as a black man.” Then we opened the phones with all sorts of calls—none of which were on the topic of the first hour!

 

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.

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.

Micro-Aggression Worship Songs, Tweets from the MLK50 Conference, Ehrman on the Gospel Writers, Open Phones

Covered a number of odd things coming out of the MLK50 Conference, including a “worship song” that included the concept of “micro-aggressions” (just finding a way to put that tongue stopper in a line of music deserves credit!) and a tweet insisting that “White Evangelicalism” (whatever that is) “owes” the “black community” monetary investment.  Then we got back to the Ehrman/Licona debate, looking at one of Ehrman’s arguments promoting historical skepticism.  Then went to calls on all sorts of topics including the LBCF and CBGM (love those acronyms).  Enjoy!

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.