I just wanted to highlight that BLC has just updated its vision statement. Check it out here. Let us know what you think. We’d love to get your feedback.
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I like that you include all the biblical languages – does this mean that Aramaic materials are being developed? I like the line on having teachers that can reproduce these skills in others – is there a plan of development for teachers? For Hebrew I assume that a certain level of proficiency in Modern Hebrew is a great benefit, but it must be harder for Koine Greek or Aramaic. I applaud BLC for this grand vision – may God mightily bring it to pass in our days!
Thanks for your comments. Some initial responses to your queries. About “all” the biblical languages: while the plan is to develop Aramaic materials in the future, we are currently focusing on the development of Hebrew and Greek materials and programs. These are currently taking up all our available energies. Also, fluency in Hebrew is one of the best preparations for learning and internalizing Aramaic. About “development for teachers”: our current effort on that front is to help instructors of these languages become as fluent as they can. That is the main purpose of the fluency workshops. As you noted, fluency in modern Hebrew is a huge asset for biblical Hebrew, and we highly recommend it (It is a tacit requirement for all our Hebrew instructors). For Koine Greek, it is more challenging because fluency in modern Greek does not offer the same kind of advantage as fluency in modern Hebrew does to biblical Hebrew. The good news is, however, that we are beginning to have a small community of speakers. This means that newcomers wishing to gain spoken fluency in Koine Greek are able to do so in a fraction of the time it took those who sought to revive the speaking of Koine Greek. And the more fluent this community becomes, the faster and easier it will be for others to become fluent.
Thanks for your support and encouragement.
Thanks for all your work in preparing us to be better able to read God’s Word.
Its unclear how the phrase “being capable” follows from what’s before it.
Any plans to introduce programs here on the East Coast?
All the best!
I like it. It expresses the (necessarily) long-term goal.
Hi Stephen – we worked on that phrase for some time. Maybe it still needs more tweaking? At its most basic level, it means that the person who will be able to read fluently will also be able to converse. Here is the difficulty we faced: many people do very quick translations of the biblical text in their heads while deciphering the Hebrew or Greek they are looking at, allowing them to synthesize the meaning in their native tongue (not in Hebrew or Greek). Those who do that would say that they are “fluent” readers. But that is not what the BLC means by fluent readers. So we needed a way to differentiate what the BLC means by fluent reading from what many assume to be fluent reading. For the BLC, fluent readers are people who can synthesize the meaning of the biblical text in the original language without needing to translate it when they read it or hear it read. That is not possible without the ability to speak in the language. Thus the fluent readers that the BLC wishes to produce are those who will also be able converse in the language they are reading, which is why we stated: “… being able to converse in the languages.” Does that make more sense now?
About programs on the East Coast: there are no current concrete plans to run anything there, though it is constantly being entertained as a possibility. To date there simply has not been the right set of circumstances needed to make it happen.
What a great aim and what a great debt the body of Messiah owes BLC for all the pioneering work undertaken so that we can be enriched in our Bible reading and studies. Many thanks to all of you.
ἀντὶ τό “to promote and develop,” γράφετε δὴ τό “to develop and promote.”
Great observation, Mark. One might even want to say that the BLC has had to, and will need to “promote, develop, and promote”: promote the need for a “living knowledge” of the biblical languages, develop such a “living knowledge” in itself and others, then promote the use of that “living knowledge”.
ὦ χαῖρε, ἄριστε Βριαν!
“…promote, develop, and promote…
Yes, if you build it, they will come, but if you convince them to come, they themselves can help build it.
ὑμῶν οἰκοδομησάντων, ἀφίξοντο δή.