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Episode 129 Do You Need to Learn Greek and Hebrew, J Laansma

Do you need to learn Greek and Hebrew? 

Jon Laansma,  joins David Capes on The Stone Chapel Podcast to talk about Wheaton College’s history in teaching the classics such as Greek and Hebrew. In addition they discuss the fact that the study of languages today is in peril.  

This move, in turn, threatens the church in its proclamation of the gospel. 

Who is Dr. Laamsma

Dr. Jon Laansma is the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College. He has taught there since 2003. 

Jon did his PhD under I. Howard Marshall at the University of Aberdeen. 

He’s married and has one daughter and a new grandbaby.  He is the author of a number of books. Click here to view his books.

Education has become more professionalized since World War II.  The study of the classics, languages (like Latin, Greek and Hebrew), and the liberal arts among college students is  falling off abruptly. 

Learning Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton College.

When Wheaton College was founded in the mid-19th century, students were not accepted without demonstrating competency in Greek regardless of what they are going to major in.

As recently as 1949 at Wheaton College, students were required to take a year of Greek regardless of their majors.

What does learning languages do for us?

The study of humanities and languages are designed to teach people how to think—not what to think—and to communicate well. 

They are the prelude to understanding the big questions: who am I? what is my place in history? what virtues are necessary to become and remain a free people? 

Learning Latin, Greek and Hebrew and humanities help us become mentally nimble, to be able to see both sides of a question, and to cultivate intellectual virtues. 

The ‘Other’ Podcast (hint-it’s about Greek and Hebrew)

Jon Laansma is the Wheaton-based coordinator of a podcast known as Exegetically Speaking.  This is a podcast of the friends and faculty of Wheaton College and the Lanier Theological Library.

Its purpose is to promote the study of biblical languages. David Capes serves as the host.  Together Dr. Laansma and Dr. Capes oversee Wheaton College’s #1 podcast. 

Every week Greek and Hebrew scholars from around the world stop in to show how reading the Bible in the original languages pays off. 

We do have wonderful translations, but there is nothing quite like laboring and reading it in the original. 

As one podcast guest said, it is the difference between black and white TV and high definition color.

If you are interested in studying Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton College contact Dr. Jon Laansma and he can guide you.  Click here for more information about the faculty.

To listen to “Exegetically Speaking” click here.

For more Stone Chapel Podcasts, click here.

For upcoming lectures at Lanier Theological Library, click here.

Subscribe to all of these short, succinct theological and biblical podcast episodes. They cover a wide range of disciplines with scholars and theologians across the globe in a friendly and informative Q and A.