A couple of days ago at our school’s Spring lectures, I was relating to the guest lecturer some of the work that my Greek Ex. students were doing thanks to the new phenomenon of easily accessible ancient textual witnesses in high def. It is impossible to overstate what this means to textual/biblical studies. His response—“With greater opportunity comes greater responsibility.”—Tom Nettles
As an expert in church history, particularly Baptist history, his words were weighty, and I felt this weight—he has spent thousands of hours evaluating this issue. I then paraphrased as best I could the following quote from Luther, which is in the introduction section of the Hebrew grammar book I use. Luther states,
“Though the faith and the Gospel may be proclaimed by simple preachers without the languages, such preaching is flat and tame, men grow at last wearied and disgusted and it falls to the ground. But when the preacher is versed in the languages, his discourse has freshness and force, the whole of Scripture is treated, and faith finds itself constantly renewed by a continual variety of words and works.
It is a sin and shame not to know our own book or to understand the speech and words of our God; it is a still greater sin and loss that we do not study languages, especially in these days when God is offering and giving us men and books and every facility and inducement to this study, and desires his Bible to be an open book” (_A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew_, p. 12).
Brothers, how great must be the urgency for us—His Gospel witnesses—not to be content with the novelty of what God has given us. We must employ these new tools, in these last days, to press home the truth of God’s Word in the expansion of His Kingdom. Let me implore you, do not be content with idle talk about God’s Word; and whatever you do, do not use it as a means of self-promotion. Rather—preach it!