. . . if we don't know what we are doing? I was recently involved in a class discussion that got pretty heated. A fellow student presented a paper, the thesis of which might be stated as follows:
Students of the Bible should dedicate themselves to learning the original Biblical languages.
During the course of discussing his position, one of my classmates suggested that we be trained to use various tools such as the latest Bible study software, and that such training would be an acceptable alternative to a full-blown lifetime study of the languages in the tradition of the greatest Greek and Hebrew scholars. Upon hearing this, I attempted to argue in favor of some ideas that were similar (if not equivalent) to the following:
Simply training people in the proper use of Bible software and other such tools is the most dangerous move of all. A little Greek and Hebrew is far more dangerous than no Greek and Hebrew. If people are not going to display an on-going dedication to learning the languages, then they would be much better off to exegete the English text, always remembering to take great care in not resting any argument upon an English grammatical structure or the semantic domain of any particular English word. They should simply share the main idea that the English text conveys.
As you can imagine, this sparked quite a "discussion." I do not want to give my justification for making these statements just yet. I would much rather hear your opinions. What do you think about my comments? Why do you think I would make such a statement? Where do you stand?