I’ve finished my last classes of the week and thought I would post another update. Probably wont be doing this every week, but I’d like to post when I can. As I told a friend, it’s a good way for me to go over what I’ve been taught and keep it fresh. It was a good week, with most of the time spent progressing in my language studies. It is still review for the most part, although we have now translated 1 John 1-2 from Greek to English. Vocab and grammar rules are slowly starting to come back to me. We had a Hebrew test today which focused on transliterating from Hebrew to English and English to Hebrew. It went well and I’m looking forward to getting my mark back.
In Intro to Theology(Systematic Theology/Dogmatics) we reviewed the basic concept of Theology. Looked at what makes it a science, rather than an art, and discussed what relationship Theology has with the other sciences. It was an interesting discussion, with the only thing we could really agree on was that when we as humans work within any area of science, we ought not to and are not generating our own thing. Rather we’re studying what already exists.
One thing that was fascinating to look at was just how well preserved the Old Testament text has been. After comparing the Dead Sea Isaiah b scroll, with the Leningrad Codex of Isaiah, scholars have found that there are less than 200 discrepancies. These discrepancies are incredibly minor. 107 different spellings of words, were the meaning is still obvious; 29 discrepencies over a waw (a Hebrew conjunction), 4 definite articles, 10 consonants, 5 misspellings, 24 different grammatical forms are used, 9 times different prepositions are used. It’s quite remarkable to see just how faithful the scribes were in copying the scriptures, and also assuring to know that Critical Text theory is a useful field and it’s not all in vain. We do text criticism because we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and by comparing the various manuscripts we can gain more knowledge about what the original autographs looked like.
In Ecclesiology we looked at the importance of Creeds and Confessions of faith, and how they have been used by the Church to summarize the Word of God. They steer the church away from works righteousness and legalism by emphasizing the fact that deeds are an important part of our thankfulness. Our Reformed confessions summarize and compare scripture and put it in logical form. Of course there are times when people use creeds erroneously, for instance often logic is applied back onto scripture – that’s a mistake as it forces one to read scripture in light of the confession instead of vice versa.
In Ministry and Mission (Practical Theology/Diaconiology) we had a brief explanation of what to expect in the course. Basically we’ll be looking at the work that occurs within the church, especially the office bearers. Essentially all the things that are studied in the other courses, ecclesiology, exegesis, etc., are applied here.
The other courses were uneventful, at least according to my notes 🙂 I’m still working on my speech for the public speaking workshop. Haven’t made much progress but I’m confident it will come together. I also settled on the topic for my research paper and am going to be working on the introduction this weekend already. Start early finish early right?
As for my schedule, a friend of mine asked what my days are like so I figured I’d post that here too: Basically each morning is spent in class and then in the afternoons I study. I’m memorizing a Lord’s Day every day and got the Nicene Creed down pat. I spend a fair bit of time preparing for my language courses. With all that I still do have some free time – most is spent studying while doing something else. I’ll also be joining a Young People’s Bible study with my church. We’ll be studying Growing in the Gospel by Jason Van Vliet. It’s a great book and there’s a free preview available here: http://www.canadianreformedseminary.ca/news-and-events/Growing-in-the-Gospel.html