It was earlier this week, while dining with a very kind Japanese pastor, that I had the opportunity to see the Bible in it`s original ancient languages. Two books laid open before me, the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Koine Greek. Though I don`t know a word of either, I was enthralled, strumming through the pages, turning my head sideways while staring at the writing`s shapes and dots in a whimsical attempt to piece something together. My host explained that reading the scriptures in this way basically bridges a gap between us and the original meanings, cultural nuances and character of the word of God that is often lost or diluted in translations. It comes alive, open and fresh.
Sitting there with those two books covered in modern binding, yet filled with page after page of an undoubtedly old means of human communication, I was reminded of just how much human society predates us. Most of us live in our modern, self-important world totally oblivious to those things that have come before. While it is wise not to let the negative aspects of the past keep us in shackles of regret and fruitless tradition, there is much to be gained by studying history and much to be lost in ignoring it, the greatest example of the latter being a humanity that has largely forgotten the God who proclaims that He is the original Creator of all peoples. So, in this new monthly series we will endeavor to unearth and dust off the memories of the distant past. What will we find? A civilization long vanished? A new found appreciation for a dead language? Or maybe, an ancient path, once forgotten but now restored…who can tell. I`m looking forward to the expedition.