Place of the Greek Language in Bible Education in Thailand
“Studying the Bible in English is like watching television in black and white. Studying the Bible in the original languages is like watching television in color.” Dr Gary Staats
I just finished taking a Greek exegesis class on the book of Romans at Dallas Theological Seminary, by a professor who has taught Greek for over 40 years. This exposure underlined the need for the original languages in our Bible schools in Thailand. One Greek professor at McGilvary Seminary admitted to me that in 40 years they have only produced maybe 4 Thai students who went on to be able to teach it. His school used to require two semesters but are now down to one. When I taught Greek at the Bangkok Bible College, I found myself trying to explain all the English grammatical terms as well as Greek. These obstacles make many wonder if it is even necessary for Thai preachers to study Greek. However, at a minimum, knowing the Greek alphabet and rudiments of the language allows a Thai student to have an appreciation of verbal plenary inspiration and the authority of the scriptures in the original autographs. After all, Buddhists monks study Sanskrit and pali extensively.
Today there are many digital helps to study the original languages. All these aids can enhance the communication of God’s Word by Thai preachers. Though they may not be able to do deep exegesis, they can with some exposure to Greek at least perform word studies and add accuracy and insight to their preaching.
Pray that Biblical educators in Thailand will be able to equip their students with the necessary tools so that they can effectively “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2)