Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Corinthians: Traditional and Modern Interpreters

NEW COMMENTARY ON I CORINTHIANS: Traditional versus Modern views

Should we take a traditionalist approach in interpreting First Corinthians?

Well, yes and no. In a word: frequently.

In my new commentary, I am not intentionally seeking to adopt a traditionalist line in my approach to the Epistle, but rather to study it carefully on its own terms to understand what Paul means by what he says. But then, in comparing the outcome of my own examination of the text with that of others, I have found that frequently I have come to the same understanding of Paul’s meaning as that of early church commentators. Of course there are many sections of the Epistle in which they did not seem especially interested or which they pass over lightly, saying no more than can be seen from a surface reading of the text, whereas current issues in our present century would cause us to examine more closely the meaning and application of Paul’s teaching. On the other hand, on numbers of matters of contemporary relevance they do show views which are significant.

One of these in particular is the meaning of “tongues” in chapters 12 to 14, where this term is taken by early church fathers as referring to human languages as in Acts 2 - this is also the view of Calvin, Wesley, Hodge, and numbers of other commentators. I have come to the same conclusion: what Paul says in this section of the Epistle makes a great deal more sense and is self-consistent when seen in this way.

But there are other times when I would dissent from the views of the early commentators. This is especially so in relation to their views on sex and marriage and attendant issues ranging from virginity to divorce (chapters 6 and 7). As will be seen in the discussion of these chapters, there was in the early church a widespread negative attitude towards sex (which was frequently regarded as a necessary evil for the purpose of procreation, and not to be enjoyed), and marriage (which was considered much inferior to virginity and which prevented one from being fully devoted to the Lord). In my book Marriage and Divorce - the New Testament Teaching I have traced in some detail how and when this negative view of sex and marriage came to enter the church, and how its origins are Manicheanism and Platonism and not from Paul; in my discussion (below) of chapters 6 and 7 of the Epistle I present the case for seeing that the early church commentators missed Paul’s meaning in relation to these issues.

One basic issue where I totally concur with their approach is in regard to the inspiration and authority of Paul’s teaching in this Epistle. We may need to wrestle with the text and argue about its meaning, but once we have arrived at our understanding of what Paul is teaching, it is to be believed and acted upon. It is the Word of the Lord, given to us through Paul. In this Epistle it comes through very clearly that Paul had a high view of his authority, together with that of his fellow apostles. He claimed that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, down to their very words (2:12-13). He differentiated carefully between what he could quote from the Lord’s teaching and what he was saying upon his own authority (7:10, 12, 25) - but that authority was directly from the Lord through the Spirit (7:40; 11:23; 14:37) and is not to be lightly regarded.

A second issue that is related to this: the early church commentators saw Paul’s teaching in this Epistle as being part of the inspired mosaic of God’s revelation, and they brought to bear upon a given passage the other related teachings of Scripture (from elsewhere in Paul’s writings or from anywhere else in Old Testament or New) which threw light on, or could add to, what 1 Corinthians taught.

Kovacs (in 1 Corinthians Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators, pages xiv-xvi) tells us that:

“early Christian commentators believed that the Bible spoke with a single (though nuanced) voice, and they took apparent inconsistencies between biblical authors as an invitation to probe below the surface of the inspired words, that is, to penetrate the spiritual reality about which the text spoke ... When they listened to the Scripture read in divine worship or pondered its words in prayer, the early Christians heard the Word of God spoken to their communities and to their lives. [In his commentaries Origen of Alexandria] is interpreting Scripture by Scripture, an axiom accepted by all early Christian writers. ‘The entire Scripture is one book and was spoken by the one Holy Spirit,’ wrote Cyril of Alexandria, another prolific biblical commentator.”

With these two basic attitudes I am in full agreement. Paul is quite clear in his claim to inspiration and authority. We cannot reject or qualify that claim and still accept his teaching (or some of it, being selective about what we take and what we reject). Unless we are going to entirely reject the historic Christian faith, we much assent fully to the authority with which Paul writes. And if we are going to accept his teaching, how important it then is to understand correctly his meaning. This is a task and a delight to which we now set our mind and our hand.

Ward

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Women: Ministry and Authority

THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH: The confusion of Ministry and Authority

A large amount of the debate about women’s ministry results from the fact that we do not always distinguish things that differ. There are two areas in particular of potential confusion in our thinking about the question of the role of women in the church. I want to start by drawing attention to these two areas.

The first area is our frequent failure to distinguish between authority and structure in the church on the one hand, as distinct from gifts and ministry.

In the NT the church of God is not a disorganized mob. It has form. It has structure. It has hierarchy. It has differentiated roles. And this goes back to the One who said, “I will build MY church.” It is Christ’s church. He appointed and trained the first leaders in the church - the twelve Apostles. And here is the point to which I specifically want to draw your attention: they were all men.

Now there are some people in the churches today who say, “Of course they were all men. In the culture of the day Jesus couldn’t have six women apostles running around with six men. But today is different, and today in our country we are not bound by such cultural factors. We can and should have women in leadership roles in our church.”

In my view, those who say such things are talking rubbish. Jesus was building his church. He is our example. He was giving us a pattern. It could be anything he chose. And he chose only men as apostles. As for the argument that he was constrained by the society, by the culture, by the religious outlook of his times: these things never stopped him in any other way. Look at the way he bucked the food regulations of the day; and the ceremonial washing before a meal; and the eating with outcasts and tax collectors and sinners, and the taboo on talking with women; and his attitude to teaching women as equals; and fifty other such things, and one in particular: their rigid interpretation of the Sabbath. The Gospels tell us that this was one of the main reasons why the Pharisees determined to have Jesus put to death - he defied their understanding of the Sabbath. Because they had it wrong. And if people now tell us that the reason that Jesus only appointed male apostles was because women were not highly regarded in the culture of that day, and their society would not have accepted women apostles, this is to say that Jesus established the pattern for the church on the basis of what people might think.

And I say to you: this is so much rubbish. The Jesus I find in Scripture is the Jesus who does what is right, whether people find it congenial or no.

Jesus appointed only male apostles. And the early church followed his pattern, and appointed only male elders to have authority in the structure of the church. There are no “apostlettes” in the NT.

But when it comes to ministry in the NT, we find something completely different: women minister alongside men, exercising whatever gifts they have been given.

There is a second area of potential confusion in our thinking: we mix up what Scripture says about the relationship between husband and wife in marriage with the question of the relationships between men and women in the church. This is the subject of the next post.

Ward
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Women: Ministry and Marriage

THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH: The confusion of Ministry and Marriage

A large amount of the debate about women’s ministry results from the fact that we do not always distinguish things that differ. There are two areas in particular of potential confusion in our thinking about the question of the role of women in the church.

One area of potential confusion in our thinking is that we mix up what Scripture says about the relationship between husband and wife in marriage with the question of the relationships between men and women in the church.

The teaching of Scripture is clear about this, but often we are not: we fail to distinguish things that differ.

Let me spell this out clearly. The basic Scriptural passage is Ephesians 5:21-33E. In this passage we see the Bible’s teaching about male headship: it exists within the marriage relationship: the husband is the head, and the wife is to submit to her husband who is to love her and treat her as he treats himself, as in fact an extension of his own body. This is an outworking (Paul says) of their one-flesh relationship, as Genesis teaches. But the headship of the man and the submission of the woman is only said of marriage - the woman is not told to be in submission to any other male, but only to her own husband.

The biggest place of confusion is regarding 1 Timothy 2:8-15E, which is usually taken as referring to church - though there is nothing in the passage about “in church”, and everything mentioned relates to marriage, home and family.

The problem arises in fact because of a male wish to dominate, which biases our thinking. And because of a factor in the Greek language in which the NT is written. In this passage Paul writes about a gune, a word which can be translated woman but which is also the word for wife, and indeed the only word in the NT for wife. He also uses here the word aner, which can be translated man but which is also the word for husband, and indeed the only word in the NT for husband.

So how do you know when a writer is talking about a wife and a husband, or a woman - any woman - and a man - any man? Or men and women in general. You should look at the context. So let’s look at this whole passage 1 Timothy 2:8-15E.

First comes - verse 8 - the reference to men praying. Looks like in church, doesn’t it? Well, not especially. It says it is referring to “everywhere”. This would certainly include in church, but as head of the household, men were charged with the responsibility of teaching and praying in and with their family. Such family prayers are standard for godly families from ‘way back in Old Testament times. I doubt I need to quote examples.

Next it speaks about when women get dressed. They got dressed at home, not in church.

Next come verses 11 and 12, about a woman learning is quietness and submission, and not usurping the authority of the man - where we have these crucial words gune and aner. Next, Paul attaches this teaching to the relationship of Adam and Eve. But Adam and Eve were husband and wife, not a church: if in verses 11 and 12 Paul was referring to a church assembly, he would need a different illustration and a different basis for what he has said. Finally he refers (verse 15) to a woman giving birth. But women gave birth to their children at home - not in the aisle at church.

There is NO reference in this passage which ties it specifically to what is done at church. Rather, the setting is marriage, home, and family. So, in context, gune and aner in verses 11 and 12 should be seen as referring to husband and wife. What is at issue in these verses is NOT whether women (plural) should preach, or teach men, or pray in church, but whether a wife (singular) should seek to challenge the headship and leadership of her husband (singular) in the marriage relationship.

Now turn to a parallel passage: 1 Peter 3:1-7. You will note many parallels in the points mentioned. Peter uses the same two words gune and aner as Paul does, but the translators here render them as “husband” and “wife”. Why? Good question. I can only assume, from bias. Peter is known as a married man - he would write (they think) about husband and wife. But Paul was not married at the time he wrote 1 Timothy and he would write about the church not marriage (they think), and so they read in a reference to “church” that is not there in what Paul actually wrote, and they ignore the context and translate as “man” and “woman” instead of “husband” and “wife” - and then interpreters take it as forbidding women in general to minister in church, instead of seeing what it is actually saying, that a wife should not take over the headship role in marriage.

Then there is 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. Let me tell you a little more about Greek. There are more than a dozen words in the Greek NT with the meaning of “conveying information”: words for announcing, informing, teaching, preaching, and words for just “saying” in the sense of telling someone something. And then there is a word for “speaking” in the sense of “making noises with your mouth”. It is laleo, and it means to babble or chat or chatter, or converse. Whether you are conveying information is irrelevant.

When Jesus healed a dumb man, and he spoke, what he said when he spoke was irrelevant - it was the fact that he spoke that mattered. And the word used for the dumb man speaking is: laleo. Every time, without exception.

When Paul refers to women speaking in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, what is the word that he uses? One of the dozen or more that mean to announce, or inform, or teach, or preach, etc.? Or laleo, the one word which means to chat or chatter, or converse? If any of you know Greek, look it up for yourselves, and see. But I will tell you anyway: he uses laleo.

What else should we do in clarifying the meaning of a passage? That’s right - we take a careful look at the context.

First, what is it that Paul tells these women to do instead of laleo-ing? (See verse 35.) It is to ask their own husbands at home. This is the right alternative to whatever it is that they are doing. But asking your husband something at home is not an alternative to teaching or preaching in church, if that is what you are doing. It is an alternative, though, to asking the woman next to you in church - or your husband on the other side of the building - if that is what you are doing.

Secondly, regarding context, look at what Paul is dealing with in this section of 1 Corinthians. Look at the beginning of our passage, verse 33: “God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” Now look at the final verse of the chapter, verse 40: “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

What Paul says he is talking about, is: appropriate behaviour in the Assembly. He is saying: “No chattering amongst yourselves, ladies” - even if something is being said or done that they do not understand. If they want to enquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home.

Paul is not in this passage discussing ministering in church. He IS discussing chattering and conversing, and thus disturbing the peace and good order of the Assembly.

Incidently, those of you who can read Greek should check and see that the words in 1 Corinthians 14 here for “husband” and “wife” are gune and aner, the very words we were discussing for 1 Timothy 2.

But what does Paul say about women speaking in church, in the sense of participating and ministering? We see in 1 Corinthians 11:5 he recognizes the role of a women in praying and prophesying (or preaching). Then in 1 Corinthians 12 he shows how God’s gifts of ministry are distributed by the Spirit to all members of the people of God, without regard to gender. This was made totally explicit by Peter in Acts 2, in announcing the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy. The criterion for preaching, teaching, and ministering generally, is not whether you are male or female, but whether - male or female - you have been given such and such a gift by the Lord. If you have, then it is the role and responsibility of the church to give you the opportunity of training and then using that gift.

The crucial verse in this regard for Paul’s teaching is 2 Timothy 2:2. Do you know this verse? I am astonished at how many men engage in a consideration of Paul’s teaching about women’s ministry and ignore the most important verse of them all, as if it simply wasn’t there.

Let us read it: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” That settles it: Paul gives Timothy instructions as to how Christian teaching is to be passed on. It is to be taught to reliable men, who in turn will teach it to others. No room here for women teachers, is there? - just men.

But there’s a problem: that’s NOT what Paul wrote. If this was his thinking, if this was his teaching, if this was his meaning - that only men were to pass on the Christian teaching - then all he had to do here was use the word aner, which would have made it clear that this was a male-only thing. But the fact is, that he did not say aner. He uses instead the word anthropoi, which means “human beings”, both men and women. [READ the NRSV.] Note: faithful people, reliable people. Timothy is to teach reliable people, both men and women, who in turn will teach others, both men and women. NOT women teaching only women, and men teaching everybody. But both men and women being taught, and then teaching others.

I have examined all these passage in detail in my book The Ministry of Women in the Church.

The criterion, as Paul has made clear in 1 Corinthians and his epistles to Timothy, is not whether you are male or female, but whether you have been given by the Lord the gift of leading in worship, or teaching or preaching or whatever. If so, we as the church of God are to help you foster and develop that gift, and then provide opportunities for you to use it.

The other area of possible confusion is ministry versus authority, which I discussed in my previous post.

Ward
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The BEST way to learn NT Greek

The best way to learn NT Greek is to read the GNT

I'm concerned about learning to read the Greek NT by reading the Greek NT - doesn't that mean that half way through verses I'll remember them and thus just trot our some remembered translation. Wouldn't it be better to read other things in Greek too?

There are significant differences between the Greek of the New Testament and the earlier dialects (e.g. Attic Greek or Classic Greek) and later forms of the language (e.g. Medieval and Modern Greek).

I would be very cautious about learning classical (or modern) and koine Greek together. As a psycholinguist and polyglot I have found significant problems learning/using two (modern) foreign languages at the same time. Learning the two variants of Greek is like trying to learn English and Pidgin at the same time, or German and Dutch - there are lots of similarities and it becomes difficult to keep the languages straight. For example when I am conversing in Dutch, I understand them but they tend to say "sorry I don't speak German". (Note that technically, koine is quite a different language/grammar, notwithstanding the common lexical base, being a creolization based on many dialects of Greek and other languages that developed in the armies of Philip and Alexander.)

But the idea of using koine literature, including the Septuagint (LXX) and possibly other contemporary and later Hellenistic writings is quite appropriate - the best way to learn a language is to read widely in it. But it is best to start with text that is familiar - I've learned many modern languages by reading the Bible in them, and this saves a lot of digging in the dictionary.

The classical language teaching paradigms developed in the late 60s early 70s in Cambridge and Reading are based around only reading actual literature, and avoiding the pernicious construction of artificial sentences by NOT translating into the dead language which nobody really knows well enough to write in or speak accurately. This "best practice" produced a revolution in learning "dead languages".

Ward Powers' "Learn to Read the Greek New Testament" - www.wardpowers.info/LTR.htm - was developed along these lines (Reading school) and when I struggled with Greek I found this much easier than working with the conventional grammar set by the theological college.

David

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Views about Marriage and Divorce

THE ELEVEN VIEWS ABOUT DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

By B Ward Powers

One of the most controversial issues in the church is that of divorce and remarriage. I have identified eleven different views which are (or have been) held in the church. A tantalizing question is: how can so many teachers look at the same passages in the Bible and come to so many different conclusions as to what they mean? The explanation I have arrived at about this is a combination of two factors.

Firstly, we do not live in a vacuum, and when we come to look at the teaching of the Scriptures we bring ideas and interpretations which we have heard or opinions we have already half formed: and often we tend to see in the Bible what we expect to see. Secondly, we can focus on selected Scriptures as being the most basic and build our interpretation from them alone, assuming that those which appear to differ from them imply the points we accept or are somehow secondary.

If we really want to draw out the New Testament teaching on these issues, we must be prepared to consider them afresh without being committed to one or another point of view that we have heard or been taught, and moreover, to take the entire teaching of the New Testament on these matters into account in forming our interpretation.

One view I accept. The other ten viewpoints fall into three groups:

(a) Total Indissolubility Interpretation: No divorce is possible, because the marriage continues in God’s eyes notwithstanding whatever we may purport to do, so that remarriage after divorce is always adultery. [But this interpretation involves selective obedience to the commands of Scripture, there are fundamental inconsistencies at its heart, and it goes beyond the warrant of Scripture. In fact, it succeeds in holding God and marriage up to ridicule.]

(b) Specified Grounds Interpretation: This permits divorce (and remarriage) upon specified grounds, which are accepted as exceptions to an overall rejection of divorce. This group of views differ between themselves as to the acceptable grounds, whether both parties or only the “innocent” one can divorce, and whether remarriage is permitted. [But we need to face the fact that no “exceptions” can make an evil thing good and acceptable to God.]

(c) Ideals And Guidelines Interpretation: These views regard the teachings of Jesus and Paul as helpful guidelines, or an ideal to be striven for, but a goal which is often unattainable, and towards which one can make several attempts, with different partners. [But this is denying that Jesus expected his followers to obey his teaching, or that the Scripture in general has any authority.]

For the view that fits what we find in Scripture, read “Marriage and Divorce – the New Testament Teaching” by Rev Dr B Ward Powers (Jordan Books), 384 pages, posted for $AUD33, or $US25, or £Stg15.

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The Nature of Marriage

THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE AS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE

By B Ward Powers

Marriage is always presented in the Bible as a dynamic experience – something that is happening, rather than just as a legal bond. It is that, of course, and a covenantal relationship (Malachi 2:14). But the focus in the Bible is upon the “togetherness” of marriage.

The marriage relationship is forged by God for companionship, for mutual help, and for the right satisfaction of the sexual nature which he has given to men and women. We can see these three purposes clearly in the picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 2:18-25). The bond of marriage is to be the closest of all human bonds, closer even than that of parent and child – we leave our parents to be joined to a spouse (Genesis 2:24).

Thus the leaders of the early church (apart from Paul and Barnabas) were not only married but were accompanied by these wives in their ministry (1 Corinthians 9:5). Aquila and Priscilla set us an example of joint ministry, to Apollos in Ephesus (Acts 18:24-28), and hosting a church in each city where they lived (1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.).

Part of this “togetherness” in Paul’s teaching was the giving of oneself to one’s spouse in the sexual relationship of marriage, as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5. There are two aspects of this passage which are quite remarkable and which we must not overlook. First of all, the evenhanded way Paul speaks of both the husband and the wife: the sexual nature, and sexual needs, of the wife were normally quite overlooked in the ancient world – this treatment of sex by Paul is unique in the ancient world in showing a recognition of the wife in this way.

Secondly, Paul’s teaching focusses on the relationship aspect of sex, without any reference to its role in procreation. Some Christians seem to think that sex is solely for procreation, and otherwise is best avoided. Not so. Paul writes here of the mutual giving of sexual love, and never even hints at procreation. And the sexual relationship, Paul says, is not to be discontinued except perhaps by agreement for a short period for some specific reason (such as a special season of prayer); and then husband and wife are to resume their normal sex life. The joyful “one-flesh” joining together in sexual union was God’s intention in making us male and female (Genesis 2:24-25).

It is a matter of the greatest regret when God’s plan for human marriage is not being experienced in a particular relationship. What are we to say then? For a detailed consideration of this (and a whole lot more), read “Marriage and Divorce – the New Testament Teaching” by Rev Dr B Ward Powers (Jordan Books), 384 pages, posted for $AUD33, or $US25, or £Stg15.

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The Purpose of God in Creating Marriage

THE PURPOSE OF GOD IN HOW HE CREATED MANKIND/MARRIAGE


By B Ward Powers



God created us male and female (Genesis 1:27) so that we could participate in the relationship of marriage. Marriage is instituted by God for the blessing and enrichment of human life upon earth. It is to be the sphere within which the next generation is born and raised, of course (Genesis 1:28), but the Bible says far more about the purposes of marriage than this alone.

The first purpose of God for marriage was companionship. After God set Adam in the Garden he said (Genesis 2:18), “It is not good for a man to be alone”, and created Eve to be a companion for him. So also Malachi 2:14 (NRSV) says of a wife, “She is your companion”. And the husband similarly is to be companion for the wife. We will have many friends and companions in our lives, of course, but God’s intention is that your spouse is to be your companion in a very special way: someone who takes a unique interest in you, and shares all the circumstances of life with you (the good times and the bad times alike). We need to belong, to be wanted, and needed, and cherished, and loved, by another person in a very special way. We want to be very important to someone else, another human being, a person whom we in turn can care about, and want, and need, and cherish, and love, and who will be very important to us. When a husband and wife are able to give each other this kind of friendship, and acceptance, and recognition, it gives a new, richer, dimension to life, and loneliness is banished.

Moreover, we have economic and material and practical needs. The person who is in the position of living alone is well aware of these: the constant everyday problems of the business of living, coping with the providing and taking care of the requirements of food, clothing, and shelter, and the occasional special need or sudden crisis such as accident or illness, loss of job, and so forth. Plus the many times when it is simply a case of two heads (or pairs of hands) are better than one. How great an advantage it is to have someone sharing life with us who is there to help in all these matters, and in every other kind of difficulty and problem as well. Someone who will give us support and encouragement, and understanding sympathy, and practical help, when we need it – and to whom we can give any or all of these things when they need it.

We have other physical needs, too, of a different kind: sexual needs. This includes the need for sexual intercourse, but it is much wider than that, for sex is a great deal more than just the act of intercourse. It is also the lying close in the bed at night and the consciousness of bodies touching in this togetherness even when it does not go on to intercourse. It is the reunion after a period of separation, and the tender loving caress, and the unexpected warm hug in the kitchen for no particular reason, and holding hands staring together into the fire reliving old memories, or planning the creation of new ones, and the exploratory toe creeping out in the bed at night across no-man’s-land to make contact with the other after some silly tiff has created a gulf between. It is the ongoing knowledge of just belonging to another human being body and soul. Read more in “Marriage and Divorce – the New Testament Teaching”.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Learn to Read the Greek New Testament

Learn to Read the Greek New Testament

The Bible was not written in a special dialect but in the every day language of the people, reflecting the culture of the day. The international language or lingua franca at the time of Jesus was called common Greek, or in Greek: Koine Greek. Just as English is the international language of today, and people from all over the world are taught it as a second language, so Koine Greek was the second language of most people of the world that Paul traveled.

Each author in the New Testament used Greek in a slightly different way - sometimes multiple styles as they addressed different audiences or had secretarial and editorial assistance from others, or edited and compiled stories from others (see the begining of Luke for example). Each author and audience have their own cultural background which is reflected in the way they write - consider the diverse backgrounds of Peter (a fisherman), Paul (a religious scholar), Matthew (a tax collector) and Luke (a doctor).

When Bible translators translate into English and other languages, they also have a specific cultural and theological background, as well as a specific purpose and audience in mind. Few translations retain the same characteristics as the original source, and most either deliberately or accidentally introduce interpretation and retarget to a specific kind of language and style that reflects their objectives.

This bring us to the purpose of this blog. Only by reading the Bible in the original language can you have access to what the author actually said - and by making use of commentaries and other resources that assume a knowledge of Greek, you can then also start to understand how it related to the original author and audience, and how it relates to your needs and those of your church and community.

This blog is maintained by Dr B Ward Powers with the help of his son Prof. David M Ward Powers. Ward is a well known theologian and Bible expositor, and author of many books including the acclaimed NT Greek textbook "Learn to Read the Greek New Testament" that is designed specifically to help people learn to read the Bible in Greek by reading the Bible in Greek! All examples and exercises are taken from the New Testament, and there are no artificial sentences contrived to illustrate points, and no exercises in translating English into a Greek that is no longer actively spoken or written. This blog will allow you to ask questions about Greek, the interpretation of the Bible, and current issues and debates. It will share with you answers that Ward is giving in his classes, or has written in response to email queries.

What it becomes is up to you!

David M W Powers
B Ward Powers