Do You Want To Master the Biblical Languages?

Here’s some encouragement – it’ll only take 3 hours a day for about 7 years:

In his amazing book, The Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell develops a challenge for us all.  To become an absolute master at any skill, you must be willing to invest 10,000 hours. I call this the “10,000 rule”. Here’s the bad news.  That’s 3 hours a day for the next 7 years.  Every time I hear a master of any skill tell the story of his or her journey to excellence, 3 hours keeps coming up.  Olympians train for 3 hours a day.  Endurance athletes train for 3 hours a day.  Master teachers obviously spend time in their subjects for at least 3 hours a day.  Of course, this type of dedication is only necessary if your goal is mastery.

The Word of God is worth it, and the power of the Spirit is sufficient. Go for it by grace through faith in Christ.

11 Responses to Do You Want To Master the Biblical Languages?

  1. Stan McCullars November 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    I was looking for encouragement…

    …I am encouraged to continue reading English translation. 😉

  2. Joseph Justiss November 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    I find Randall Buth’s materials to be the best out there for cutting down the mastery time significantly.


  3. PJ Tibayan November 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Is that 3 hours per language per day or 3 hours total per day?

    • JMH November 23, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      I think it would be 3 hours per language. I also think that’s a goal that might be attainable sometimes. I certainly don’t get that much time in both languages very often . . .

  4. Dan Phillips November 23, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Uhh, let’s see… 38 years, times 365 days… carry the 0… subtract for days driving…

    Okay, I”m lost.

  5. Sue November 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    That’s about what I did. Only to realize that I would always speak with less authority in the church than an 18 year old high school drop out who happens to be male.

  6. Stan McCullars November 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Sue, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Eph 4 31 NIV

  7. Sue November 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    They hate him who reproves in the gate,
    and they abhor him who speaks the truth.

  8. Sue November 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Lighten up, Stan, you can do better than that!!

  9. PJ Tibayan November 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Dear Jim,

    Would you be in favor of a D. Min. at SBTS in New Testament Greek Exegesis or OT Hebrew Exegesis to master the languages? The question and hope comes from John Piper’s statement (in Brother’s We are Not Professionals!, 85):

    “The theory is good: continuing education makes for better ministers. But where can you do a D.Min. in Hebrew language and exegesis? Yet what is more important and more deeply practical for the pastoral office than advancing in Greek and Hebrew exegesis by which we mine God’s treasures?

    “Why then do hundreds of young and middle-aged pastors devote years of effort to everything but the languages when pursuing continuing education? And why do seminaries not offer incentives and degrees to help pastors maintain the most important pastoral skill- exegesis of the original meaning of Scripture?

    “No matter what we say about the inerrancy of the Bible, our actions reveal our true convictions about its centrality and power.”

    In Christ,

    • JMH November 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm #


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