Theological Education -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 039:155 (Jul 1882)
Article: Theological Education
Author: Anonymous

Theological Education

No. X.—The Study Of Languages Cognate With Hebrew

Among the encouraging signs of religious vitality in our churches, not the least important are those which indicate that the true relation between careful labor in the study and the amount and quality of work done outside of it is more and more appreciated, and that proportionally larger demands are made upon ministers for a wide scholarship. It is also significant that so large a portion of a pastor’s study-hours — in accordance not merely with his own scholarly and devout instincts, but also with the expectations of his people — is claimed by those branches of theological training which are directly concerned with the Scriptures themselves. But there is still, in the community at Targe, and even among those who are preparing for the ministry, — and are all active ministers to be excluded from this statement? — an imperfect notion of what is involved in a thorough familiarity with the Scriptures, and of the way in which such a familiarity is to be gained. In particular, since there are yet some who look with a degree of suspicion on scholarly attainments, and call for more study of the simple word of God as the one fundamental requisite for a preacher and pastor, it may be questioned whether such persons are at all aware what a superficial, inadequate, and in some directions dangerous, knowledge of the Bible that is which those teachers of the people would possess who did not base their teaching on very long and hard and conscientious study of many things whose spiritual advantages are not at once patent. Even those, however, who have a fair theoretical grasp of this truth are quite likely to underestimate the importance of studies which are remote from their own mental interests. So it comes about that excellent and intelligent persons, with a sincere desire for the most thoroughly educated ministry, are often perfectly unmoved by the consideration that there exists a group of half a dozen or more closely related languages, to which the Hebrew — whose name at least they know — might serve the theological student as an introduction. These persons will generally agree that no one should in these days undertake the responsibilities of biblical exposition who is not able to read in the original the Old Testament, as well as the New. Nothing need be said as to the importance of Hebrew in theological training, and yet a hearty protest is certainly in order against the neglect of their Hebrew grammar

and lexicon — and this involves in most cases the hopeless neglect of the Hebrew Bible — which characterizes so many ministers almost from the time they leave the seminary. It is certainly nothing less than a duty for every minister, who is not prevented by unmist...

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