Tag Archives: teaching

Why I Teach Greek

6:10 AM Let me tell you why I teach Greek. It’s simply this. God has a plan for individuals. And He’s communicated this plan to us in His Word. Our God is a communicative God, and He has made known His will to us through those who penned the Scriptures. Biblical truth is just that: truth that is communicated in and through the Bible. It’s truth that is at once “inspired by God” and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man [and woman] of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” What all this implies is that if we are to move from the classroom to real life we will have to prize what we learn and view it as a life skill and not merely as an educational attainment. Of course, this isn’t easy. Almost all of us feel tremendous ambivalence as we wrestle with the question of just how to apply what we learn in the classroom to the real world. Yes, knowledge of Greek is essential if we are to have a firm foundation upon which to build our exegesis of the New Testament. On the other hand, I must say forcefully that facts, no matter how brilliantly taught or diligently acquired, are nothing more than the raw building blocks of life. How we put them together, and for what use (and whose glory), is another matter altogether.

It will be an exciting week in Greek 2: the aorist middle plus the imperfect middle/passive. I’m convinced that my calling in life is not to be just a Greek teacher (or even a just Greek teacher) but to be a Christian. In that spirit, I’m praying hard for my Greek students. Theirs is a daunting task, but God is able!

(From Dave Black Online, used by permission. Dave Black is author of The Jesus Paradigm, Seven Marks of a New Testament Church, and Aprenda a leer el Griego del Nuevo Testamento, along with many other books.)

Teaching Like Jesus

From Dave Black Online:

I’ve been teaching for some 33 years now. Still hard to believe. I’m finding that only when I am like Jesus can I be an effective teacher. He was gentle yet forceful when necessary. He could be tough or tender. His life perfectly blended grace and grit. He must have been an arresting communicator. The people of Nazareth were amazed at the graciousness of His speech (Luke 4:22). At all times He spoke with great authority (Matt. 7:29). He was a man of solid convictions. He spoke from personal knowledge (I can’t see Him using crib notes) in stark contrast to the teachers of His day. Although He had no formal rabbinical training, He showed no timidity or hesitation as to what He had to say.

Simple, charming, direct, authoritative — how attractive His teaching must have been! He’s my model of a great teacher. But here’s a question. What did He teach? That is, what was the substance of His teaching? The answer can only be the kingdom of God — men and women ruled over by God and thereby finding the real meaning of life. He came to bring God to us and us to God. Christianity is in its final and ultimate analysis the acceptance of God’s rule in our lives.

I’m trying to say that teachers have both a model and a method in Jesus. This was perhaps the most difficult thing for me to learn in my career as a professor. For many years most of my teaching was a pale shadow of the radical kingdom announced by Jesus. By the grace of God, I’m determined to change that. I’d appreciate your prayers — I’m not naive. I recognize this is spiritual warfare. I encourage all of us teachers to follow Jesus’ example in all that we do and say.