Pastoral Leadership and the Biblical Languages
Posted by John Meade on October 8, 2010
Over on the Northwest Seminary blog, Larry Perkins is asking: How well does a pastor need to know the Bible? This piece raises the whole question over how well pastors need to know the Bible in its original languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
Can the study of Greek or Hebrew biblical interpretation survive in such a context? If it doesn’t, what does it mean for the proclamation of the Gospel and the discipling of God’s people in the next fifty years? If pastors of the future lack the competence to engage the Scriptures in their Greek and Hebrew forms, will the churches be stronger for it? I doubt it [emphasis added]. Providing this kind of education and competence development for new pastoral leaders requires specific investments in people and programs. The immediate returns are not dramatic, but the long term implications for the health of the church will be critical. These same kinds of arguments compel us also to invest significantly in developing ministry leaders with deep, theological competence.
The article is short and it is worth reading in full. There is a trend in our day for theological institutions to downgrade the study of the Bible in the original languages. There are many pressures to include the latest of fads in church growth and ministry philosophies in the curriculum, but should these courses infringe on the actual study of the Bible? I say no, but what do you say?