“How sternly God will judge our lethargy and ingratitude!”

Martin Luther on learning Greek and Hebrew:

Since it becomes Christians then to make good use of the Holy Scriptures as their one and only book and it is a sin and a shame not to know our own book or to understand the speech and words of our God, it is a still greater sin and loss that we do not study languages, especially in these days when God is offering and giving us men and books and every facility and inducement to this study, and desires his Bible to be an open book. O how happy the dear fathers would have been if they had had our opportunity to study the languages and come thus prepared to the Holy Scriptures! What great toil and effort it cost them to gather up a few crumbs, while we with half the labor–yes, almost without any labor at all–can acquire the whole loaf! O how their effort puts our indolence to shame! Yes, how sternly God will judge our lethargy and ingratitude!

“To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany That They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools,” quoted in Basics of Biblical Hebrewby Gary Pratico and Miles Van Pelt, p. 121

How much more is this true in the 21st century, with 3 different Hebrew lexicons on my shelf, half a dozen Greek grammars, computer software, parsing guides. How happy Luther would have been if he had had our opportunity.

Let us not be indolent in this matter.


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