Saturday, March 4, 2023

Greek Septuagint & Biblical Languages

One way that I could prepare to offer LXX Greek at the Seminary (hopefully sometime in 2024) is to read the Septuagint, the Old Testament in Greek (275BC translation from the Hebrew in Alexandria). Yesterday I read the first chapter of Song of Songs in the LXX and also the Hebrew. And then, four chapters of the LXX Ecclesiastes and today four more chapters of Amos the prophet. When one gets to read the LXX regularly, it becomes familiar so that it is not totally alien as it is for most people despite their one-year of Greek at University or Seminary.

I am trying my best to get Seminaries to think out of the box which I failed even at TTC in Singapore because I taught introductory Greek over 2 semesters in the 2nd year which is already a failure since by the third and final year MDiv the last thing students want to occupy themselves in are the biblical languages. Imagine that I did Level 3 Hebrew with just one other Kiwi girl in the class (only two students) did the Final Year Hebrew at the University of Auckland in 1994. When I was Otago University in 1999, there were four students in the 3rd year Greek class with one student auditing as he was doing a MTheol which means just three enrolled students. 

Yet, if there was anything that I benefited from my 3 years of initial theological education before the PhD, it was the biblical languages which I completed both Hebrew and Greek at Level 3 at the Auckland and Otago Universities respectively. Nowadays, there must be a renaissance of the learning of biblical languages, should I say love for Hebrew and Greek. If one loves something, it is not difficult despite its many hurdles and hundred of hours of learning over a Semester or a year. There is no substitute for hard work.

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