Patrick Schreiner

Seminary Advice pt. 2

In Theology on 05/09/2011 at 9:53 AM

Second, learn the languages.

Many are going to disagree with me on this one, but I am not here to tickle your ears.

Learning the languages (Greek and Hebrew) are the hardest part of Seminary. I have actually enjoyed some of the other classes more than language classes, however if a student is motivated enough, they can learn The Systematics, NT Theology, Church History, and Ethics on their own.

I am not saying the other classes are worthless, I have benefited from all of my classes. What I am saying is that if you walk out of Seminary without a working knowledge of the languages you will never learn them.

Come to Seminary, and take the language courses.

You can read all those other books later. But you won’t pick up your NA27 or Biblia Hebraica if you are overwhelmed every time you look at them. 

Here is motivation from John Wesley:

Do I understand Greek and Hebrew? Otherwise, how can I undertake, as every Minister does, not only to explain books which are written therein but to defend them against all opponents? Am I not at the mercy of everyone who does understand, or even pretends to understand, the original? For which way can I confute his pretense? Do I understand the language of the Old Testament? critically? at all? Can I read into English one of David’s Psalms, or even the first chapter of Genesis? Do I understand the language of the New Testament? Am I a critical master of it? Have I enough of it even to read into English the first chapter of St. Luke? If not, how many years did I spend at school? How many at the University? And what was I doing all those years? Ought not shame to cover my face?”

John Wesley, “An Address to the Clergy,” in Works X:491.

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  1. This is good advice.

  2. This is the exact motivational speech I give to my Greek students.

  3. [...] Learn the Languages. [...]

  4. First of all, congratulations on your accomplishment. I too just finished a MDiv and am interested in these 10 points. So far, I agree with 1 & 2.

    I would add to this one — retain the languages. Use them. Get Zondervan’s Reader’s Hebrew and Greek and read it every day. Read a chapter of Greek daily and at least a few verses of Hebrew. Review your first-year textbooks periodically. Don’t just treat them like a hurdle that must be overcome to get a degree. They are required for a good reason. Learn them and keep them!

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