Scott Hafemann on the Importance of the Biblical Languages

“The purpose of reading the Bible for ourselves [in the original languages] is not, however, to out-commentary the commentaries . . . Nor is it to out-translate the translators . . . Rather, our own work in the text provides a window through which we can see for ourselves just what decisions have been made by others and why. Instead of being a second-hander, who can only take someone else’s word for it, a knowledge of the text allows us to evaluate, rather than simply regurgitate.

This will not mean that we will be able to out-expert the experts. We all have different gifts and callings. It does mean, however, that we will be able to explain to ourselves and to others why people disagree, what the real issues are, and what are the strengths of our own considered conclusions. It will allow us to have reasons for what we believe and preach, without having to resort to the papacy of scholarship or the papacy of personal experience.”

Scott Hafemann, “Profiles of Expository Preaching,” SBJT 3/2 (Summer 1999).

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