Sunday, August 6, 2017

Don't Fake Your Greek

An Adventist satire page has a post about a pastor getting fired from a church for making things up with Greek. It could have been funnier I suppose. Next time they should write me and I can draw one up for them. We needed a little more of the story. But isn't it true how some pastors love to tell people about their knowledge of Greek; they love to put those skills on display. When digging a foundation for their sermon, they choose to rest it on nothing less than the Greek text. The problem is this: Few ever really check whether the foundation is really there. "Pastor says it, therefore it must be true." I suppose this is, for me, one of the strongest reasons why every Christian ought to study Greek for his or herself and gain a knowledge of it that allows them to spot "fake Greek." Recently I heard another reference to that agape love that Jesus has for people––that divine love and selfless. I'm surprised we hear references to agape like that today. Every pastor and every teacher of the Scriptures ought to have read Don Carson's Exegetical Fallacies. And if someone isn't set straight on the fallacy of agape love statements we hear in churches, then there's a problem. It's just too basic.

A better rule of thumb is to opt to not use Greek in any way, shape, or form during the act of teaching. Better to just explain the text, folks. That's all we're called to do as teachers. What does the text mean? And we can do that just fine without telling people what the Greek word is.

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