*Alert! This is a pet peeve rant from your Local Blogcasting System! This is only a rant. If this were a real emergency, you would be directed to your local Baptist Church for Shelter. Remember, this is only a rant.*
Sometimes, pseudo-scholarly individuals make me want to crack some skulls. I know that this is not necessarily a pastorly thing to do, but sometimes I think it may be appropriate. Okay, maybe if I flipped a few tables and scourged a few money lenders I might get some relief.
I will admit that I am no Greek scholar. However, I fancy that with my studies in Seminary and with my personal dedication to language and with my wonderful BibleWorks 6.0 program, I'm no imbecile either. I know enough to know when some fancy pants Greek scholar is trying to jerk the wool over my eyes, and that, dear friends, is worth the admission price to your local seminary.
Let me tell you what I mean. Take Romans 1:5 for example. In the NKJV, Paul writes, "Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations." This verse is huge in the grand scheme of things, and it is especially so here of late. But let me tell you where the local yokel Greek geek will try and mess with your non-Greek mind. Do you see the phrase "to the faith" in verse 5? Of course you do, I just wrote it. Well, "to the faith" is in the genitive case in the Greek...
Did your eyes just glaze over? Congratulations, so did about 99.9% of the folks who just read that. Most Christians couldn't tell a genitive from a gerund, yet they still manage to walk and talk and have children. Is it important that the phrase is in the genitive? You bet it is! Do you have to know Greek to get it? NO.
Here's what a genitive is: It can show possesion. Like if I say, "He's no son of mine!" Of mine is in the genitive. Got it? That is very basic, but it will be true most of the time. Sometimes it isn't, but most of the time it is.
Back to the Greek geek. After he has glazed your eyes with the very scary word "genitive", he may proceed to tell you that this particular genitive is an objective genitive or a genitive absolute. Okay...so what does that mean? Who knows? It's a snowscreen anyway. Do you know why it is a snowscreen? Because even a Greek speaking Jew from the first century would have to make a subjective decision on what kind of genitive it is, even if he knew what a genitive was, which he wouldn't because I do not even know if they had a word for genitive! After all, you use genitives all the time and most of us don't know what one is...did I make this point already? Good, let's move on.
Let me give you a phrase to clear things up:
"The love of Amy guards me against adultery."
Read it carefully...do you see the genitive? Yes!!! Brilliant! Now, let me ask you a question: Does this sentence mean that my love of Amy keeps me from adultery, or does it mean that Amy's love for me keeps me from adultery?
*Jeopardy Music for 30 Seconds*
Guess what...both could be correct! You have no idea of knowing what I meant unless I clarify somewhere else. You'd have to ask, and I'd have to tell you. If you and a friend found this in a letter, you could argue all day over what I meant but it would be a stalemate. It could mean either.
So when Mr. FancyPantsNerdFaceGreekGeek tries to assert that he has the secret gnosis that no other living man has and asserts that it means one thing and that their is no ambiguity allowed in the phrase...tell him to shove off, especially if he is trying to deny Sola Fide. He gonna have to find some other non-Greeker to pick on. I feel strangely better now.
*Rant Over. You May Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming*
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago