Just happened to see this one today as well.
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Posted 20 August 2014 - 05:11 PM
Is learning Biblical languages worth it?
In short: Definitely! Absolutely!
But I guess it really depends on what and how much you want to achieve with them. If you're studying theology, then you have to go through with them in order to become a pastor - at least where I come from. Even if you're not forced to, the article you linked to sums up nicely why any would-be pastor should still bother with the Biblical languages: It simply will make him/her better at understanding the inner workings of the Bible. As with any given text, something is always lost when it is translated, so you can only appreciate the text completely if you're familiar with the original language.
The reason I chose to spend 6+ years learning the Biblical and other dead semitic languages was to get into the world of the Bible (specifically the Old Testament) and beyond for an even "bigger picture", if you will. The logic mentioned above also applies here - The difference is that I wish to go further than the Bible merely as an isolated phenomenon, so that means I have to learn more languages in order to do so. That will, in turn, also strengthen one's knowledge of the Bible significantly, seeing that it has many parallels with both Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Greek literature and so on.
To sum up: If you wish to become a pastor (or just want to understand the Bible on its own a lot better), then Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew will serve as sufficient tools. And perhaps Latin if you're into Biblica Sacra Vulgata and/or Church dogmatics. But if you want to dig as deep as possible, then it's another story. I haven't regretted it for a second, though - it is exceptionally rewarding and a whole lot of fun albeit time consuming.
Edited by Pchris, 20 August 2014 - 05:13 PM.
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