God's chosen languages

A thought that popped in my mind while I was thinking of the languages of the world. A sudden thought that came to my mind. Of all the languages of the World, why would have God chosen the Greek, Hebrew and Aramic language to reveal his word to us?
I was thinking hard to understand it, cause whenever I prepare a sermon, I try to look up the key words in their original language and what implications they have. And I have realized by reading earlier post on translations that thoughts cannot be explicitly conveyed across different language.
Would like to hear from you all.
Thanks

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Hey @Ashishraj! This is actually something I researched before. So during the times of Martin Luther, William Tyndale, etc, the church believed that the Bible should only be in Latin because English (and all the other languages for that matter) was pagan.
On a side note, Latin was one of the most prominent languages in the Roman Empire, ironically.
Many Christians today believe we shouldn’t be reading translations because they aren’t holy, but we should instead learn the languages the Bible was originally written in. But that’s not the case at all.
Both Aramaic and Greek were the languages of the Babylonians and Roman empires, or at least languages widely understood there. This was done so that people from all over might understand the scriptures.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew since it was the old promise and that promise was for the Hebrews, and the New Testament was written in Greek since it was for everyone. Gentiles especially.
The Bible doesn’t explicitly tell us that in a verse, but we can infer all this from piecing it together.
Hope this helps!

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Thank you for your reply.

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This is a great question, Ashish! I bet many have asked the same thing, so it is great to see it in print. I don’t think there is an answer to “why” other than the very basic one being that He did so because that was the language spoken by those He chose. Your surmising that thoughts cannot be explicitly conveyed across different languages is huge, and it is one that all who study/understand His Word in their own languages, as at Pentecost, will receive what He has given us to understand.

In addition, learning what we can about the original languages is part of our responsibility to study as much as we can as commanded in II Timothy 2:15, which is often quoted in American churches. To be sure, the pattern for study was set with Ezra 7 and Nehemiah 8.

How do we study? Do you think they would study much differently than we do? If we were given a book to study, would we not read it cover to cover first to get the basic plot, identify characters, etc.? Then would we not go back and take it full chapter by full chapter (chapters in Scripture being the individual books that make up the entirety of each testimony/testament), looking more deeply at things like foreshadowing, nuances, etc.?

Mostly, however, what role do you think the Holy Spirit plays in preparing a sermon or in studying His Word in general? Might that overcome any loss in language barriers?

Thank you for starting this fascinating conversation. I so gratefully look forward to seeing what answers you may have to some of these questions and what others may offer in addition. Excellent question!

@Ashishraj Great question :slight_smile: I think if we read Scripture, a few ideas really stand out in relation to this question.

  1. God has a plan for the nations - God’s choice of Israel and His choice to come during the Pax Romana were not an arbitrary decision - God has always been seeking to draw all people to Himself - His timing may seem strange to us, but He has a purpose in it
  2. Unlike Islam, in which Arabic is the only language which their holy book can be truly understood, Christianity has encouraged the translation of the Bible into peoples’ native tongue - in the past few centuries God has done an amazing work in spreading the Bible to the nations and continues to do it through organizations like Wycliffe
  3. God will not judge people for knowledge they do not possess
  4. While there are nuances of Scripture that may be hard to communicate, the core of the Gospel and love of God are both simple and enabled by the working of the Spirit in a person’s heart
  5. I do not think it would be correct to say Hebrew and Greek are God’s chosen languages - it makes them sound in some way superior to other languages. I would rather say they are the languages He used to communicate to His chosen people.

Galatians 4:4-5 - But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Acts 17:24-28 - “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Daniel 20:20-22 - “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.

Hebrews 1:1-2 - In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

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Thank you every one for your insight.