The importance of knowing the Biblical original languages


Approximately four weeks ago, I, along with 3 other guys from my church, began learning Biblical Greek. We are using William D. Mounce’s “Basics of Biblical Greek” text and workbooks.This week, we are learning about the genitive and dative case in Greek. In the Greek language, each word has a different ending depending on how it is used. Also, sentence word order is much different in Greek than it is in English. In Greek, word order is used for emphasis.

Here is an example of how Greek works. As I mentioned earlier, Greek words have a different ending depending on how they are being used. We’ll use the Greek for “word” (λóγος). The possible meanings for λóγος are word, Word, statement, or message. The differences in the examples below aren’t due to change in meaning, but rather a change in use. This isn’t all there is to Greek, but it’s all I could figure out how to express. I’ll share more as I learn more.

nominative singular – λóγος

accusative singular – λóγον

nominative plural – λóγοι

accusative plural – λóγους

Over the last year or two, I have begun to realize the importance of knowing and understand the language that God’s Word was first written in. This is important because no language can with 100% accuracy be translated into another language, especially into modern English. It is extremely naive for us to assume that whatever English translation one has was perfectly translated from the original language of Scripture. In the four weeks that we have been learning the Greek language, I have begun to see the importance of learning the Biblical languages, not just for myself personally, but also for every professing believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ. I am not saying that one is unable to learn about the truths of God by reading the English translation, but I do believe that the best way to know God more fully is to learn the language He chose to have His Word originally drafted in.

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