A “CHRISTIAN” FALLACY: Just Let the Elder Do It! Laymen Are too Dumb.

A “CHRISTIAN” FALLACY: The Elder Should Do It ALL for the Members.

Today, Christians far and wide bemoan one great truth. Their membership is dropping. And, it is even more surprising since their “evangelistic” efforts have increased.

What’s the problem?

Lack of inspiration. Lack of power. Lack of knowledge. Lack of determination. Lack of obedience. Lack of powerful teaching. And, most of all Lack of SELF-discipline by both minister and layman alike.

How did this come to be?

The simple answer to that question is, it comes from a totally FALSE concept within the halls of churchianity. When I use that term, churchianity, I mean ALL groups who “claim” the Bible as their source and foundation. From Jew to Roman Catholic. From Seventh Day Adventists to all Sacred Name groups. From the, now defunct, Worldwide CofG, to all its splinter groups. From Catholic, Protestant and all the independents who have succumbed to Secret Babylon the Great.

So, again, What’s the Problem?

Here is an example that sums up the problem in a nutshell. The context of this example is explaining why learning Koiné Greek is important to the “church.” So, let’s have a look. I will quote a Christian author, and then give a Biblical response.

“Learning Greek, the original language of the New Testament, is vital for the ministry. Every minister must be committed to becoming skillful in the field of exegesis of the Greek New Testament.” p. 9, Impact Greek Bible Study System, c. 2008

Now, let me explain something for a moment. The author of the material I am quoting is not, I believe, deliberately misleading in what he writes. I believe he truly believes his statements to be totally Biblical. Where did  his belief come from? Obviously, from seminary teaching, sermons, and writings of the churches. With that said, let’s look at this first quote.

Let’s start with a sidelight. It is incorrect to state that Greek was the “original language” of the New Testament. It is only provably the “language of PRESERVATION” of the New Covenant. And, as the author knows, a better translation of the Greek would be New Covenant, not New Testament.

As to Greek being the “original” language, there are too many good arguments on both sides of the fence to prove this to be 100% true. All that can be totally proved is that we have the text PRESERVED for us in Koiné Greek.

The author said the study was “vital for the ministry.” This is only partially true. It is extremely vital for BOTH minister and layman. No one is exempt from this responsibility, and NEED.

The author goes on:

“Our congregations, which we guard and guide, depend on us for this so that they might experience some of the majestic gems of grace contained in the Greek New Testament.” — ibid, p. 9

Yes, it is the responsibility of the elder to guard and guide the ekklesia. However, something important is overlooked. It is impossible for someone else to truly “experience” what another person learned. It is NOT their responsibility to TELL their experiences to the ekklesia so the members can “experience” the same thing. It is the responsibility of the ministry to help, encourage, teach and inspire the ekklesia to LEARN GREEK FOR THEMSELVES so they then, can truly experience the same kinds of SELF-discovery.

And, what is this constant use of words like “might” and “may” in the speech and prayers of churchianity? These are words of doubt. Well, maybe we just MIGHT have, learn, do this or that, BUT, again we MIGHT NOT. Who knows?

Well, Biblically, with faith, i.e. confidence, it should be stated, “so that they WILL experience some of the majestic gems…” There is no doubt or wavering when one follows the Messiah of the New Covenant. His promises, and those of the Father are perfectly sure, and WILL be done.

Further, we read:

“Greek grammar is a means of grace for the minister and his congregation. The great preachers of ancient and modern times would agree with this evaluation of the importance of the Greek.” — ibib, p.9

Again, we are looking at the difference between “church speak” and Biblical security and certainty.

Right here is a statement that hits the whole problem of the lack of Greek learning in churchianity. That is, why the layman, and up to the top, overwhelmingly do NOT study the Koiné Greek language. By the way, this is also true for learning Biblical Hebrew. It is, in fact, a turn off, big time. Here’s the statement that goes to the very core of this universal problem:

“Greek GRAMMAR is a means…!” Yes, that’s it. The false emphasis on GRAMMAR! That turns people off like crazy.

And, the problem is, with almost all classes in Greek, or other languages, this; the poor student spends 80% of his or her time trying to grasp the “grammar lingo” taught in class and books. They barely have time to learn the other 20%, the actual language itself.

No wonder after months and years in seminary, or university, students end up barely, if at all, using their “Greek studies.” No, they are NOT Greek studies. They are a study to learn all the foreign, strange, million word English GRAMMAR LINGO!

The author should have written:

“The Greek TEXT is a means of grace for the minister and his congregation.”

For, it is within the text we have the information, NOT in the grammar. Did you know you can learn to read 80%, and more, of the Greek New Covenant without once opening a full grammar textbook?

Our author goes on:

“I was taught that the best way to show love for the people of [YHWH] is to study hard FOR THEM so that my preaching, teaching and counsel might [there’s that word of doubt again] edify their heart.” — ibid, p. 9

Are you beginning to see yet, what the real problem is? Now, here again, the author has exposed another MAJOR problem of churchianity.

He is telling his readers, in essence, right up front, that they really don’t need to do this study of Greek, for he was taught to do it FOR THEM. That is NOT Biblical.

The New Covenant, which he is talking about, teaches, “Study to show THYSELF to be a WORKMAN in the Word…” “Be like the Bereans who studied the Scriptures DAILY to see if these things were so…” “If the person won’t WORK then he doesn’t eat.”

In this case, if a person, layman, won’t work in the Word, then don’t feed him. The layman MUST work to feed himself. Yes, with help and guidance from the elders, but nevertheless, he MUST work at these things himself.

What the author should have said is:

“I was taught to HELP the people learn to do these things on their own.”

What, do you suppose, is the reason for NOT teaching the ekklesia to do these things themselves? Well, see if you can read “between the lines here.”

“Also, the BEST way for a congregation to show love to their pastor is to support his study of the Word by prayer, financial provisions and protections of his study time.” — ibid, p. 9

I’ll let you figure this quote out. And, remember, this is not just the practice of this one minister. It is the whole “program” of all of churchianity under the sway of Secret Babylon the Great.

Now, where do you stand? Are you too lazy in your faith and belief to study the language of preservation? Well, you should get busy and become that “WORKMAN” the Father honors, and give up your excuses, which the clergy reinforces falsely in you. Get busy and be about your Father’s business!

Now, if YOU want to begin learning Koiné Greek, without a grammar, and in about 8 weeks or less, then stay tuned for an upcoming announcement.

CHAOS AND CONFUSION CONTINUES IN LANGUAGE TEACHING!

CHAOS AND CONFUSION CONTINUES IN LANGUAGE TEACHING!

The language field is full of grammarians and very, very few language teachers. Language students spend years in “language” classes, from high school to university, only to find in the end, they can’t use the language. Within days to months after classes everything they “learned” fades into a hazy blackness. What is wrong with this actual picture? Simple! GRAMMAR, that’s what.

Students in these so-called “language” classes are expected to learn “grammar” and THEN the language. From the first day, by default, the new student is thrown into a maze of confusion. And, yes, they find they must learn TWO new languages not one. The second language is the grammatical slang, lingo, required to understand what the grammar means before they learn what the words of the real language means.

Here’s the problem in a basic, but too true statement: “Grammar (aka ‘language’ teachering) is nothing but a jigsaw puzzle for word fanatics! And, they have formed an exclusive society that is enthralled with this particular puzzle, the language puzzle. They are constantly trying to find a way to FIT the words, phrases, etc. of a language into a puzzle that won’t accept the pieces. Why? Because it is a puzzle made by puzzle fanatics. This causes great harm and confusion on the neophyte language student.

Let me give you a quote to show you what I mean. This is from a 2010 book, not an old out-dated grammar, attempting to fill in the puzzle better.

“The goal of this project is to FILL IN [i.e. place the puzzle piece] this lacuna [read ‘puzzle’], providing practical solutions to grammatical problems with minimal jargon. [And, then proceeds throughout the work bringing forward new jargon to add to the old.]”

The writer goes on to expose the real problem, but doesn’t have a clue as to what causes it. He writes:

“I do not seek to reinvent Greek grammar by reviewing how the particular issue has been treated by NT grammarians. It quickly becomes apparent that MANY CONTRADICTORY CLAIMS have been made over the years, with little effort to reconcile them.”

Here is a clue to the whole problem of poor language teaching, in particular Biblical Greek. Although this author might not recognize this, he and his cohorts should. The “contradictory claims” are in THEIR grammars, and minds, and not at all in the language itself! For instance, let’s look at word meanings. [Instead of confusing you with the chaos of grammar language, I try to use ordinary everyday language to describe these problems for you, thus, “word meanings” versus “lexical definitions.”]

A simple Greek word like AND, has multiple meanings in the minds of the grammarians and translators. They never stop to think of this simple truth:

The word AND, or KAI in the Greek, meant one thing to the first century writer and reader of the New Testament. The word meant KAI.

Unlike our “scholars” and “puzzle fanatics” of today, the first century writers and readers did not turn KAI into DE, or tote, or eti, etc., as the pseudo-Greek language teachers today do when translating this word into English. Today, in order to appease the English reader they CLAIM KAI means: and, even, also, but, and then, and yet, namely, both, plus more when translated into English. However, the writer, reader and speaker of that day just thought KAI when they heard KAI. Just in the same way you hear and understand AND when you read or hear AND. You don’t think, THEN, when your read or hear AND, nor YET, nor BUT, etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.Nope, just like the ancient person, you think the word you hear or read. The word puzzle experts today just can’t grasp that simplicity of language used daily by the masses.

One has to remember, we are talking about an EXCLUSIVE club of puzzle fanatics who must constantly reshape the pieces in order to make them fit the clubs exclusive puzzle picture, which they create, but for the most part is not in the language itself.

Here’s another clue to the CHAOS and CONFUSION in language teaching, especially one like Biblical Greek. The grammarians cannot go to, and quote as their authority, ancient Greek grammars written at the time the language was developed. Or, even later. No, they must quote some accepted man who has made consensus accepted guesses at the grammar of the language. For example:

“Stanley Porter, Stephen Levinsohn, and others have been working tirelessly to show New Testament students…with James Barr’s Semantics of Biblical Language. …the fascinating work of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Cours de linguistique generale (1916)…”

And, further:

“Dr. A. T. Robertson, the great Greek grammarian, counsels:”

“Dr. Robertson says, “

“Dr. Wallace teaches,”

“Again, Dr. Wallace observes,”

“Here’s how M. J. Harris, a well-respected expert on the Greek prepositions expresses his understanding”

“E. G. Selwyn finds a possible allusion,”

“F. F. Bruce comments,”

“Dr. James Montgomery Boice points out,”

“Dr. Hawthorne explains that SYN teaches,”

“Dr. Robertson comments on this verse…whereas Dr. Harris describes it as…”

“Dr. J. Gresham Machen, [who wrote New Testament Greek for Beginners], we will use his words to instruct us:”

I could go on with a full booklet quoting these kinds of statements. But, I think this final quote says it just right, and links us to the real problem:

“It is important for us to understand the prepositions in an ACADEMICALLY ACCURATE manner. [Not in the manner actually used by the average person writing and reading the Biblical Greek.] So pay close attention to what these excellent Greek professors have to teach us.” p. 45, Gospel Road Pictures.

And, how did those professors become “excellent Greek professors”? By quoting and learning and memorizing what the men who were guessing before them wrote.

Here’s how this works:

I write a book giving my guesses and opinions on a subject, like, well, NT Greek. Someone reads that book. He writes a book expressing his guesses and opinions and quotes me to support his guesses and opinions that I first agreed to. Let’s call him John. Well, Jill finds and reads his book, sees his quotes from me, and buys my book also. Then, she writes a book of her guesses and opinions, quoting John and me to support her thoughts. Then, along comes James, then George, then Sally, then Karen, then Richard, etc. They each write books of their guesses and opinions, quoting all of us who came before them, and finally, we have “excellent Greek professors” who are masters of what we said, but cannot simply teach NT Greek to the public. But, boy, do they know the Grammar Lingo language to describe their puzzle and the pieces they are trying to force into that puzzle. Meanwhile, we have some few folks who just learn the language, use it, and can read and teach the actual language to fluency. And, they teach the grammar AFTER enough language is learned, and IN that language. In other words, teach the grammar in NT Greek instead of English. This reinforces the LANGUAGE and not the Grammar Lingo.

Oh, have you ever seen the lingo? It turns new students off like crazy. Here’s a sampling:

Present Active Indicative, Movable n, The First Declension, Attributive and Predicate Positions, Substantive use of.., Enclitics, Genetive, Dative, Deponent, Imperfect Active Indicative, First Aorist Active and Middle Indicative; it gets worse from here. Let me give you a very simple quote that should show what the CHAOS and CONFUSION looks like when one finally knows it is there:

“The thematic/athematic principle can account for both the default deictic use of demonstratives and the various effects achieved by their marked usage. I also demonstrated in chapter 14, in the discussion of left-dislocations, that demonstratives are virtually the only option for referring to a complex proposition in position P1 or P2. This usage MAY explain claims of emphasis regarding a different portion of data. Whether because of information structure or thematicity, the demonstrative pronoun may be used to add prominence to the entity to which it refers.”

Got it? Explain it back to the average person sitting at service listening to a sermon and who wants to understand the Greek NT. Here’s another one:

“This section begins with examples in which demonstratives are added as adjectival modifiers in a context where they are not needed to identify the intended referent. Note that the decision to use a demonstrative also requires a choice of which to use, the near or the far. It is not just the presence of a demonstrative, but also a matter of which one. It is important to correlate the thematic value of the demonstrative’s referent and the demonstrative used. The demonstratives can be indicators of the participant’s thematic significance to the discourse when they are not used deictically.”

Got it? Now, explain it to the average person you know who wants to learn NT Greek.

What we have here is a diatribe written for the members of the exclusivelet’s make a puzzle out of languages” club. The whole thing, for the member and like minded is really fascinating and mind capturing. But, as to actually learning NT Greek, or any language, it just doesn’t make the course. More grammarians are developed from such material than actual language speakers. Oh, that’s another point. Most of these grammars tell the student that the grammar is only to teach them “to read” the NT. Not, speak it, write it, converse in it, just “read it.” But, here’s the problem. Most can’t even do that after such courses. And, within a few months the whole thing is gone, even for the minister, pastor, much less the layman.

Nice way to keep the layman in stupidity about what the language really says, don’t you think?

On the other hand, would YOU like to actually learn the language? Within minutes you can be reading the Greek New Testament text. You’ll be at a 5% level almost immediately. Within a two-week period, if you are a fast learner, you can read up to 75-80% of the text without a lexicon. For a slow learner, it might take four to eight weeks. From there, you can concentrate on adding vocabulary and then learn some grammar.

Language first, then grammar, IF needed.

I’d suggest you now begin to follow my blog on the Greek language. Click the tab “blogs” at the top of the page, then on the “Bob’s Notebook” link.

Happy learning. “Xaire.”