In his book, Many Colors, Dr. Soong-Chan Rah suggests that U.S. American theologians need to be multi-lingual in their future endeavors. I, for one, have always believed this. Here is a list of languages that I would like to learn/re-learn in order to do more a excellent theology. I do not think that any Christian theologian, post-Pentecost & in the post-Civil Rights era can afford to do theology monolinguistically.
1. Spanish– In high school, I took four years of Espanol. Spanish will be important for my conversations with Latin American liberation theology as I hope to gain more of an idea of their Christology, particularly the idea of Jesus as the God-Poor.
2. German– German will be necessary for me to catch up on Jurgen Moltmann‘s work in his original language. In my theological German course, I chose the brutal task of translating a section from his Theology of Hope. I hope to find some time to do some more work with TOH and a few of his other less known writings.
3. French– French actually was pretty fun to work with. In my theological French course, I chose a passage out of one of Henry De Lubac’s texts about biblical interpretation and the Patristics. I’d like to of course go back, and finish that chapter I started to get Lubac’s insights.
4. Biblical Greek– I only struggled in Biblical Greek class when I did not study, but when I did give it my all, I enjoyed it. An upcoming experiment in biblical translation with Chad will be able to persuade me to return to translating the LXX & NT Greek texts, along with some Patristics who also wrote in Greek.
1. Biblical Hebrew & Aramaic– I never was able to take a class on Hebrew or Aramaic, but I would like to be able to translate the Masoteric text of the Old Testament for myself.
2. Latin– Latin is an easy choice. At one point, I was part of a study group that was learning Latin but I was unable to attend regularly due to my employer. I do have the text books however, and plan to learn the lingo at some point and time.
3. Korean– I did an independent study where I came across some fascinating histories of Protestantism in Korea. In order to complete my work on conversion and decolonization, it’d be necessary for me to learn Korean. If you know of any resources to help me get started, fonts & all, please do recommend.
What languages would you like to study or re-learn?