Took Greek at UW (Madison) w/final being translating long section of Plato w/out lexicon. Took Hebrew from Meredith Kline Jr.
If you’re going to spend huge amounts of time learning Hebrew or Greek, make it Hebrew. Greek is long past well-worn territory with only little things left to argue over. If you spend years learning Greek, you will maybe eventually begin to approach being able to make some judgments of what lifelong NT scholars are saying (at least as far as words and grammar are concerned), but even then, your personal insights won’t be as accurate as what you can learn from online sources along with classic sources such as Kittel, Spicq, and a variety of other reference works.
What has been clear to me since seminary is that studying Hebrew and Greek is not nearly as helpful to understanding Scripture as disciplined reading and writing. The problem most men have is that they don’t read books and can’t write even an essay making any argument. Seminaries are filled with women (now over 50% of seminary students) and men who have no ability to read, comprehend, make a sustained argument, or think logically. Add to this their 21st century weakness, character-wise (w/out chests), and no matter how much they think they know the original languages, they can’t understand even Scripture’s Hebrew or Greek. After all, it takes some self-critical capacity and zeal for God and His Truth to understand, let alone teach or preach, Scripture.
Men and women who think they want to know Hebrew and Greek would do well for themselves simply to read the NASB95 and check every footnote to see what the translators say the text says “literally.” Eye-opening.
Then it would be good to study the politics of speech today, particularly focussing on the contemporary intersection between identity politics, sex, gender, anti-Semitism, and translation. This would be beyond eye-opening.
Andrew Dionne and I just finished a summer term class at New Geneva Academy on this titled Hermeneutics I: Translation. When most Bibles in use today have had thousands of Hebrew and Greek words deleted or changed in order to placate modern ideological sensibilities within the church, it’s not the study of Hebrew and Greek that will protect us so much as the study of Bible publishing and publishers, copyright, funding, translation, PC and self-censorship, etc.
Of course, I’m not against anyone studying Hebrew or Greek, but the real battles over the meaning of Scripture texts today are not about the original meaning of the Hebrew or Greek. Those days are long past, and the sources available for basic readers able to use the apparatus are mind-boggling. Learn enough to use the apparatus and you’re good to go. Love,