Some time early on during my vicarage year, I began spending time in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, as well as the Greek of the New Testament. Following Dr. Lessing's pattern, I began with Genesis 1, and Matthew 1. I would take 5,6,7 verses a day, or whatever my schedule would allow. And sometimes my schedule didn't allow any.
After returning to the seminary for my final year, coursework made it difficult to continue this pattern, but still, I made some progress--slowly.
Now in the parish, some days are more difficult than others to find time to spend with the Hebrew and Greek...but still, I pursue it. Some time last year I completed my translation of the Gospel of Matthew, and am now in chapter 9 of Mark.
But today...what began some four years ago...my translation of the book of Genesis...is COMPLETE!
I write this post for two reasons:
- So that Dr. Lessing, and the many more teachers that I and other pastors have had in our pastoral formation, would know that the Lord uses their service to shape us and mold us. You work is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)!
- So that other pastors in the parish might be encouraged to spend time in the languages. Schedules are difficult, I know. But you will make progress, little by little. Your skills with the language will improve over time. But most importantly, you will be fed by the Good Shepherd through His Word so that you can also feed the sheep entrusted to your care as you serve the flock of faith.
Dr. Reed Lessing, THANK YOU! This ongoing study is dedicated to you.