Let's Go Back to the Bible

You Don’t Have to Know Greek

I am thankful that I took Greek in college.  Sometimes you learn things in school that you never use again, but having an understanding of the Greek language has been a valuable tool to me in Bible research and study.  I certainly do not (and cannot) go as deeply into the language as others, but there are some Biblical truths that can be explored and fortified even more with a sound understanding of New Testament Greek.  But the ability to do that exploring does not change the truth!

I encourage men training to preach to take Greek, so that at the very least they can answer questions and defend truth against attack.  But no preacher should study Greek in order to impress others by being able to quote Greek words or linguistic rules.  “Knowledge” certainly “puffs up” (1 Cor. 8:1), and it makes some preachers think they are better than others.  Repeated quoting of the Greek also can make Christians think that they are not as good of a Bible student because they don’t know Greek.  What a devastating result that would be!

The reality is that you don’t have to know Greek to understand the Bible, to be a faithful Christian or to go to heaven.  With a faithful English translation, a Bible student can know all he needs to know to faithfully serve the Lord.

An English translation clearly shows how to be saved.  One must “believe” (Acts 16:31) that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31), “repent” (Luke 13:3) of his sins (Luke 17:4), “confess” (Rom. 10:9-10) that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16), and be “baptized” (Mark 16:16) “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). 

An English translation clearly shows how to worship.  “God” must be the object and authority of our “worship” (John 4:23-24).  On “every first day of the week” (1 Cor. 16:2), the church is to “assemble” (Heb. 10:25) to “break bread” (Acts 20:7), “lay by in store” (1 Cor. 16:2), “sing” (Eph. 5:19), “pray” (1 Tim. 2:8) and hear one “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2).  The worship is to be led by “men” (1 Tim. 2:8) and participated in by all (Col. 3:16), and from their hearts (2 Cor. 9:7).

An English translation clearly shows how to live for Christ.  A Christian is to “preach the gospel” to the lost (Mark 16:15), “encourage” those who are saved (1 Thess. 5:11), “live soberly, righteously and godly” (Tit. 2:12), “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11), steadfastly “obey” the commands of the Lord (Heb. 5:9; 1 Cor. 15:58), and “seek those things which are above” (Col. 3:1-4).

Knowing Greek has been a blessing to me, but knowing the truth of God’s Word in English is even better.  May God help all of us to read, study, love, practice and teach it!