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The Rewards of Learning Greek and Hebrew with McDowell & Towner

To hear the podcast click here.

Both Cathy McDowell and Phil Towner join David Capes on “The Stone Chapel Podcast” to talk about their new book: The Rewards of Learning Greek and Hebrew: Discovering the Richness of the bible in its Original Languages (Tyndale House Publishers). So much of the richness of the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Old Testament is hidden in translation or not translatable. 

They wrote their book to promote the study of the Biblical languages.  These days it has become less common for seminarians to study Biblical languages. Many seminaries and graduate schools do not require the languages any longer. Also, they do not offer enough courses so people can actually use the language after graduation.  Forty to fifty years ago that was not the case.

Why the change?  McDowell thinks the root is money.  Enrollment is down, and schools are making their degrees shorter and easier. To be honest, the language courses are some of the most difficult. 

Many popular ministers today do not focus on expository preaching.  When they did, they talked about the Greek and the Hebrew in their sermons. So younger people are not being exposed to these insights in sermons. Another factor. The advances in computer technology cause Bible students to imagine they can avoid the hard work of language learning.  

At the Lanier Theological Library we are interested in teaching people Greek and Hebrew.  That is why we regularly offer Greek classes at the library. 

Keep watching the Library website because soon we are going to teach Hebrew too. 

Catherine McDowell is associate professor of Old Testament at Gordon Conwell Seminary in Charlotte, NC.

The Rev’d Dr. Philip H. Towner is a professor at Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, where he teaches translation studies. He is also a visiting professor of New Testament exegesis and translation at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.

Stick around for a nugget of wisdom!

To hear the podcast click here.

If you are interested in Biblical languages, you may enjoy this previous lecture at the library. Click on the title.

“Between the Chairs” New Testament Evidence for the Hebrew Jesus Spoke

Spurgeon’s College with Helen Stokley

Spurgeon’s College in London

To hear the podcast click here.

Spurgeon’s College was established 175 years ago in London by young Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  At first it was known as Pastor’s College, but its name was later changed to Spurgeon’s College.

David Capes was traveling to London and met with Rev. Helen Stokley, Deputy Head of Institute, Spurgeon’s College, London.  She agreed to sit down and talk about the college on “The Stone Chapel Podcast.”

Helen had a meeting with God earlier in life and felt God wanted her to step further into church leadership so she trained at Spurgeon’s College.  Her husband is a Baptist minister.  She has been in her current post for 8 ½ years.

C. H. Spurgeon was born in 1834 and grew up around Essex, UK.  He was brought up in a Christian family.  At the age of 15 he had a personal encounter with God and came to Christ.  Not long afterward, someone suggested to him, “you might be able to preach.”

Young Spurgeon accepted that challenge and in a short time he became one of the greatest preachers in the 1800s.  He had an incredible impact upon the UK and the world. 

He had a passion preach, and preach he did to up to 10,000 without any means to amplify his voice. 

In his 20s he started the college and since then Spurgeon’s College has trained thousands who are  serving the church all over the world.

The mission today is the same as it was when Spurgeon started it: to train people to know the Bible, preach, and be ministers and leaders. 

Today they train men and women to gospel ministry.  Courses are offered in London, of course, but also digitally across the world. 

Though it is a Baptist school historically, many evangelically-minded people attend and train there. 

Today there is a rich diversity of students in the college.  And the college even trains some who don’t have a call to ministry; these students want to develop their knowledge and think more deeply about theology. 

Spurgeon’s College now offers an interesting new Master of Arts in Digital Theology (thanks to the Covid pandemic).  They also have a new undergraduate theology degree that a person can finish in three  years full time..  Because of the mental health disorders that have developed due to the isolation in the pandemic, they are offering more course offerings in counseling.

Soon they will begin a large-scale renovation of their campus. 

One famous graduate of Spurgeon’s College was Thomas Johnson, author of Twenty Eight Years a Slave.  Listen to the podcast to learn more of Spurgeon’s stance and actions on slavery. 

Learn more about Spurgeon’s College at www.spurgeons.ac.uk

For more Stone Chapel Podcasts, click here.

To hear the Spurgeon’s College podcast click here.

Ruth: Boaz’s Generosity with Catherine McDowell

Dr. Catherine McDowell is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, having previously taught at Wheaton College. She also serves part-time as a professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Séminaire Théologique Mondelus in Milot, Haiti. Among other things, she has authored, The Image of God in the Garden of Eden: The Creation of Humankind in Genesis 2:5-3:24 in Light of the mīs pî, pīt pî, and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Today’s topic: Though some English translations have failed to convey this, the author of Ruth 3:17 was using word order to emphasize both Boaz’s excessive generosity and God’s care for the poor and marginalized.

To hear the podcast (8 minutes) click here.

15 New Testament Words of Life

Dr. Nijay Gupta,
Northern Seminary

15 New Testament Words of Life: A New Testament Theology for Real Life (Zondervan) is Nijay Gupta’s most recent book.  He joins David Capes to talk about it on “The Stone Chapel Podcast.” 

Dr. Gupta is a New Testament Professor at Northern Seminary in Lyle, IL.  He is the author of many books and articles.

In 2021 he appeared on “The Stone Chapel Podcast” to talk about another of his books, Paul and the Language of Faith.

The book begins with an assumption: we don’t read the Bible in a vacuum.  We read it in the midst of the ups and downs of our lives.

As a result, a different way of reading the Bible is called for, a strategy that asks the question: “So what?”  

Nijay wrote this book for those who consider themselves students of the Bible, whether seminary students, pastors, or interested laypeople. 

By choosing these particular words, Dr. Gupta hopes to break down “Christian-ese.”  Each of the 15 words are tied to a particular book or set of books.

Most New Testament theologies are written for academics.  They are big books often running 1000 pages or more.  They tend to be esoteric and filled with academic speak. 

Rather than focusing on the day to day, namely, life, many New Testament theologies stay in the abstract.  While Nijay reads these big books and appreciates them, he wanted this book to be much shorter and more to the point. 

The New Testament is filled with church letters, pastoral letters.  The authors were writing amidst the rough and tumble of life.

Since there was not enough time to talk about all these words, David and Nijay focused briefly on three: forgiveness, salvation, and hope. 

Listen carefully to the podcast to pick up on the nuances of these words. 

Here is what one scholar had to say about the book:

“Do you suspect there’s more to the Christian faith than what you’re hearing? Dr. Gupta brings the best of biblical scholarship to the pews, where standard Christian ways of talking about things have grown stale. By highlighting these fifteen key words, he opens a whole new world of understanding that will reinvigorate Christian practice. If you are hungry to move beyond clichés, this book is your invitation to a nourishing feast.” 

—CARMEN JOY IMES, Associate professor of Old Testament, Biola University, author ofBearing God’s Name

David recorded an earlier podcast with Nijay on his book, Paul and the Language of Faith.

To listen to this podcast, click here.

Recently, David Capes was interviewed by Nijay on his book and especially ch. 1 “Righteousness in Matthew.”  To see and hear the post click here.

To learn more about Nijay Gupta, follow his blog: “Crux Sola” on Patheos.

To hear the podcast (20 minutes), click here.

What Is Coptic? with Christian Askeland

Dr. Christian Askeland

Dr. Christian Askeland, Senior Researcher at Museum of the Bible, is interested in the origins and diversity of early Christianity, endeavoring to reconstruct historically the movements from which the relevant texts and manuscripts arose. He has authored John’s Gospel: The Coptic Translations of its Greek TextWhen reading scholarship about the NT, one frequently encounters references to the Coptic language and its texts. What is this language? When did it originate? How is it important for studying ancient texts and traditions?

To hear the podcast (9 minutes), click here.