Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I am a linguist. God knows He made me that way, and I have piled on as much as He lets me and my heart desires. I am an 'original languages' bible man, and I gladly tutor anyone in Hebrew or Greek who wants to learn. I have found life in the Word of God, first in English, my native tongue, then in Greek, and now in Hebrew as well. I read the New Testament in Greek with understanding, and I pray the psalms in Hebrew, also with understanding. I have the scriptures mostly memorised in English, but also to some extent in Greek and Hebrew as well. My ideal bible would be an edition with the English text of the original Jerusalem Bible in the center, the Hebrew on the left, and the Greek on the right. Why? Because I want to understand the English better, more fully, more deeply. As it is, if this is the bible edition I want, I will have to produce it myself, but I don't have enough time left to me for that, and that's not what the Lord wants me to do. 'My thoughts are not your thoughts.'
I don't think of any language as 'holy language,' although I've heard others use such terms to describe Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and I am aware of that wispy and forced reasoning that attributes this category to the sign of the charges against Christ posted on the Cross above His head. With all due respect and a peck on the cheek, rubbish! Though I go along with the words I hear mummed in church services and in public accolades, inwardly I don’t believe that anyone or anything is 'holy' except God Himself: 'One is Holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father.' So much for all the 'most-holy' and their 'all-holinesses' that surround us: They're as holy as red-hot coals are fire, and they know it. Ah yes, the communion of saints!
Communal worship is the place where the question of language seems to come up the most. I have worshiped with congregations in many languages, even languages (like Ge'ez) that I do not know at all, as well as some that I know a little bit (like Japanese). I never come away without the knowledge that worship was happening and that I was participating in it, even when outwardly I never opened my mouth. This is the glory of true worship, that which is spoken of by Christ who says, 'worship in spirit and in truth… that's what the Father wants.' And I have experienced it under many guises, not all of them Christian, yet I still knew that worship was being offered to 'the Being' (Yahweh, Adonay, o Theos, o On, God). If holy apostle Paul could use the worship of the unknown God as an entree into the hearts of good men who ought to be blessed by knowing the true God, so can I.
at 4:51 PM