A few weeks ago Chad Ashby, a pastor in South Carolina, wrote a helpful post on Preparing a Sermon from the Original Languages. Not only was this post a thorough explanation of what Chad does week-by-week for his sermon preparation, but also he gives the reason why pastors, who have training in the biblical languages, should begin their sermon preparation with them.
My reasons are pretty simple. First, I want to get my people as close to the original text as possible. If I’m studying in an English translation, I’m once removed from the original text. Then when I preach, my people receive it from me now twice removed from the original. But when I study the original Greek and Hebrew, that means my people are only once removed from the original text.
Second, as a pastor I am the resident expert. I don’t say this to be prideful, but let’s be honest: if I don’t understand Greek and Hebrew, no one else in the church will. After all, that’s why they pay us the big bucks!
Third, American pastors are extremely privileged compared to pastors of almost any other country or era. Most of us have been to seminary. We have had the opportunity and resources to take Greek and Hebrew. Hopefully we will try our best to show our gratitude to the Lord for his astounding grace by putting our education to use. (This is why it irks me to no end when seminarians talk about “just trying to get through Hebrew.”)
Inspired by Chad’s post, I’ve decided to write my own post about how I work on my sermons in preparation for Sunday morning and night.