What are the benefits of learning Greek and Hebrew so as to study the Bible in the original languages?
- Being able to weigh exegetical options, based on text-critical, lexical, and syntactical possibilities and probabilities.
- Being able to grasp the flow of thought of a passage by discourse analysis, by examining the Greek particles, and by tracing lexical connections that are often obscured in translation (e.g., δίκαιος, δικαιοσύνη, δικαιόω).
- Being able to analyze the complexities of the NT use of the OT (MT vs. LXX vs. other).
- Being able to use language tools such as lexica, grammars, commentaries, Bible software, and discourse analyses.
- Being able to read the Septuagint - useful for OT textual criticism; LXX has direct bearing on NT Greek, both lexically and syntactically.
- Being able to utilize extra-biblical corpera such as Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha (OT and NT), and so on.
- Being able to appreciate subtle nuances of meaning that are only apparent in the original, e.g., paronomasia, anacoluthon, chiasm, brachylogy, ellipsis, prolepsis, solecism, alliteration, hyperbaton, and so on.
- Being able to appreciate the distinctive styles of the human authors of Scripture.
- Being able to appreciate the highly crafted periods such as those found in the prologues of Luke-Acts and Hebrews.
- Being able to expose mistaken interpretations, exegetical fallacies, the claims of anti-Trinitarians, overstated homiletical claims, bad proof-texting by systematic theologians, etc.
- Being able to evaluate the English versions. If one is unable to read the Bible in the original, then one is at the mercy of competing translations with no way to evaluate them.
- Reading the Bible in the original can breathe fresh life into one's devotional reading of the Scriptures.
- It brings one closer to the very words that Holy Spirit chose to communicate divine revelation.
- Reading slowly in the original is like sucking out the marrow of a bone. It enables one to relish the words in greater spiritual depth and power.
- Being able to better grasp the scope or thrust of a passage.
- Being able to see how the details contribute to the whole.
- Being able to discern the structure and coherence of a text.