There is a temptation in some circles to view serious study with suspicion, but any temptation to disparage learning should be dismissed by anyone who values reading the Bible in their own language. Imagine being required to know Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament) or Koine Greek (New Testament) just to be able to read the Bible that sits by your bedside. According to John Gill, Bible translations are a gift of God’s providence that should result in gratitude for all who take up that weighty task.
“Here I cannot but observe the amazing ignorance and stupidity of some persons, who take into their heads to decry learning and learned men; for what would they have done for a Bible, had it not been for them as instruments?…Bless God, therefore, and be thankful that God has in his providence, raised up such men to translate the Bible into the mother-tongue of every nation…” (John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, 13-14)
One of the first pastoral visits I made after being called to Hermon was to a retired missionary couple who served in Brazil for 40+ years. What did they do in those forty years? They translated Genesis-Revelation into a Portuguese dialect. As I held the Bible in my hands I couldn’t help but praise God for their studious spirit, serious intellect, and sacrificial service.
I can only imagine how grateful the believers were to receive a copy of the Bible in their own language for the first time! And How did they receive it? Did it fall from them sky? Did it self-generate? No. This Bible was the product of God’s gracious providence through well trained and learned translators who love God and his Word.
Do you own a copy of the Bible in your own language? Praise God for his providence and provision to raise up learned translators! Praise God for learned men and women.