One of the better decisions I made in seminary was to take New Testament Greek. Greek and Hebrew used to be required of all seminarians. But in my day, that practice was beginning to be relaxed; now, in most schools, those languages are elective courses. Even so, most of us signed up for at least one of the two great Biblical languages- though it meant getting up early for a class that met at 8AM every day!
An even better resolution I made after graduation was to read on a regular basis the Greek New Testament. I’ve kept that promise to myself. Every day, when I read the Gospel appointed for the Daily Office, I do my best to stumble through the original. The effort is nearly always worth it, for reading anything in the language it was written opens up new insights and nuances of understanding.
Here at CDSP, students also have the opportunity to learn one or both languages. I guarantee them that doing so will deepen their devotional lives and enrich their public ministry.
To help the process along, I have ordered copies of a handy tool developed by the faculty and staff of Virginia Seminary. It is called, The Student’s Companion to the Daily Office, and provides the Hebrew and Greek texts appointed for all the lessons appointed in the Praybook Daily Office Lectionary. Copies are now in the chapel, available to all to “follow along” the readings for worship. We are also looking into ways for making the texts accessible for our distance learning students as well.
May spending time with these texts be one small means of bringing us closer to our spiritual forebears as they transmitted to us the Word of God.
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