Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Greece & Greek

The timing was perfect. As I reached home last Saturday evening after the graduation ceremony in Ranau, three of my last books arrived from Amazon. So I have five new books to read plus a few others that I have read in parts but left unfinished. As I may be making an epic journey to Greece next year I am re-reading Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War and I will make it a point to visit Sparta, if schedule permits. Another book by Barry Strauss on The Trojan War also provides some light reading on Greek history. If it comes to pass (egeneto) this will be my first journey to Europe and it will replicate the first cross-over by the apostle Paul in answer to the Macedonian call (Acts 16). Imagine that 3 out of 7 major churches Paul wrote were found in Greece: Philippians, Corinthians, and Thessalonians (5 letters in all) and Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians (Turkey) and Romans (Italy). If one counts Titus in Crete (island of Greece), you have 6 out of 13 Pauline letters sent to Greek churches.
If I can make a short trip to visit the 7 churches in West Turkey that would be great but one can only do so much within a 2-week trip. It will be epic as I am rapidly reaching my mid-fifties while Apostle Paul was probably in his late 40s when he sailed to Philipi, and with Lydia and the jailor formed the first church on European soil. But first and foremost it is the Greek language and culture that permeates the New Testament through and through. If you add the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew OT), the Bible of the apostles and early Church, there is no overestimating the importance of Greek and Greece for the understanding of our Christian Bible, both OT and NT. Without the knowledge of Greek, one is seeing through only one eye and blinded in the other. I get fresh nuggets from the Greek text (LXX and NT) almost daily and sermons and lectures are much better for that.

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