1040. The Greeks certainly have good and lovely words, but not sentences. Their language is very friendly and charming, but not rich in sayings. The Hebrew language on the other hand is very simple, but majestic and glorious; precise and sparse in words, but with deep meaning, which cannot be duplicated.
I learned more Hebrew when I compared one place and passage to another. than when I directed my attention solely to grammar. If I were younger, I would learn this language, for without this language one can never rightly understand Holy Scripture. Then the New Testament, although it may have been written in Greek, is nevertheless full of Hebraisms and in a Hebrew style. Therefore, it has been said: “The Hebrews drink from the stream, the Greeks from the water line that flows from the spring, and the Latins from the pool.”
I have mastered neither Greek or Hebrew, but nevertheless I will forage into Hebrew and Greek. But the language alone cannot make one a theologian, but is only an aid. (p. 102)
As seminary students everywhere begin their study of Greek and Hebrew, it seemed fitting that in this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, we hear his thoughts on the original languages:
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