Mind and Heart
John started Greek and Hebrew at 15, Iyov, hmm, I don't know. I think Hebrew must be his first language. No?
I learned French from the age of about 10, and started Latin, Greek and German when I was 14 and continued Greek through 3 years of university. I was incredibly fortunate to go to a high school where Latin and Greek were taught. There were only two of us studying Greek, eventually only myself, at 8:00 a.m 3 days a week. Looking back I can hardly believe the dedication of the teacher and what she gave me. I studied Hebrew at university for one year only, at age 19 - it was intensive and just enough for me to follow along and understand what others are saying about it.
My own children went to a French immersion school and one loved it and the other - let's just say - didn't. The one who loved it has moved to France full time where he immediately started learning Russian. Go figure. I dunno but he really loves languages. Okay, that is my disclosure.
On the topic of learning biblical languages, Iyov writes,
- Christian seminaries would be better placed if they put substantial language ability in at least one classical language as a prerequisite.
- I noticed last year, among my eighth grade confirmation class, a number of boys and girls with excellent grades in school who really caught on to the subject matter of confirmation class. Furthermore, they seem to have some spiritual gifts that might make them suitable to be pastors someday. As a graduation present upon confirmation, I offered to teach them Hebrew. A number of them have shown great interest. Through a UW-Madison extension program, they will earn college credit for it. Not bad for first year high school students. It looks like I will have a sizeable class.
However, here is what I said last year on the subject. We are now in a generation with no education in classical languages for the first time in about 500 years. I think it is a crisis. I can't explain it any other way.
So, there must be some way to create a larger group of young people educated in biblical languages and, while open to a diverse leadership with diverse skills, keep standards high. If the greatest risk is anti-intellectualism then that is what we should be fighting. This does not change my respect for those who are gifted in other areas.
I want the best of both worlds, I guess.