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Friday, June 18, 2004
 
Biblical Languages

Rubén Gómez has a post on the Bible Software Review Weblog titled "Decline of Greek and Hebrew?" which came serendipitously for me. (It follows concerns in his earlier post about Davide's: Greek and Hebrew: so be it
Rubén writes:
Greek and Hebrew (never mind Latin) have also been "ditched" in many places, or at best relegated to a marginal place. And most certainly Bible software cannot make up for this lack of systematic study of the biblical languages.

This is just the sort of thing one would expect to see when "business interests" and politics become the main criteria. But surely education is something else. I'm afraid these are bad days for the Humanities... (big sigh)
And I agree, I remember my shock coming to a Western Institution after a decade in Africa (where ALL degree students in Theology learned BOTH Hebrew and Greek) to discover that students could obtain a degree with a "major" in biblical studies without even being able to make out the alphabet of either of the main biblical languages! ...and in NZ things have moved downhill since 1993, small classes that we supported then because someone should keep the candle of scholarship burning, are now cut as "uneconomic".

On the other hand among my students there's a growing desire to make use of the tools that software does offer, to "get behind the translation". Just before I read Rubén's post, I was discussing with my principal a new course we are planning to equip students with a little Hebrew and Greek, so that they can at least begin to understand the data from such Bible Software, and read commentaries intelligently...

Opposing tendencies, or the same dumbing down???


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