Do not buy the second edition!
The Holy Spirit used the unique spiritual makeup of the biblical authors to compose the Bible in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Aramaic (Babylonian) and Greek. God’s ancient worshipping & missionary nation, Israel, spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. The Old Testament uses these two languages. God’s worshipping & missionary nation in the New Testament era, the Church, used Greek. The New Testament is in Greek.
Americans do not have many foreign speaking neighbors like our European cousins. Americans have had less of a need to study and speak foreign languages. However, few would deny the precision and heightened sense of understanding that comes from reading ‘Les Miserables’ in Hugo’s French or ‘War and Peace’ in Tolstoy’s original Russian. So it is with the Bible. Nothing compares with reading the original. Nothing gives greater depth, precision and access to the mind of the human author and the mind of the Holy Spirit.
Never before have biblical language materials been more accessible and affordable. More than ever, Biblical language study is for the believer in the pew as well as the scholar. If our high schoolers study 4 years of Spanish or German, our Christian youth, with the encouragement and example of parents, can study Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
The Church needs proficiency in these languages. Martin Luther said: “We will not long preserve the Gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which the sword of the Spirit is contained . . . if through our neglect we let the languages go, we shall . . . lose the Gospel.”
With the languages, a church has a first-hand knowledge of the truth. Without them, writes John Piper: “when pastors do not study the Bible in Greek and Hebrew . . . they, and their churches with them, tend to become second-handers.”
Greek is the Rolls-Royce of languages. No other language pacts as much expressive and logical power in such streamlined and sculpted phrases. Greek thought is in theorems and equations, and their language is the perfect vehicle to capture the mathematical precision of their derivations and ruminations. Many Jewish youths in the New Testament era argued with their fathers not about listening to rock n’ roll, but about studying Greek philosophy. These youths were familiar with ‘Thus saith the LORD’ from the Hebrew Scriptures, but longed to acquire the deductive and propositional power that Greek thinkers manifested and incorporated into their writings. However misaligned the motives of these youth were, the potency of the Greek language to formulate and express is undeniable. Greek is the language of Homer, Thucydides and Sophocles, the father of Latin. For half a millennium after the Reformation, the Anglo-Saxons (English/Germans) utilized Greek to develop the minds of their young people. Greek teaches you not only how to express, but how to think.