One of the most difficult lines in the New Testament is Paul’s command that we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12). Did he really mean that we should constantly shudder in fear of God’s judgment?
I think Paul has a completely different idea in mind here. Let’s take a closer look.
First of all, “fear” in the Bible has a wider range of meaning than in English, often encompassing positive ideas like respect and awe. I’ve written about this before. In Hebrew, “Fear” can even describe how the emotion translates into action. “Fear” can mean refer to worship, or to obedience that comes from holding someone in great respect.*
I’ve got some great news for those of you who are interested in learning Hebrew and Greek! As you may recall, last spring I posted a blog called “Hebrew? Greek? There’s a better way to learn.”
It’s about a pioneering program that has developed methods to teach Hebrew and Greek more effectively using modern “communicative” language methods, the Biblical Language Center.
They have just announced their classes for next spring, including ones that feature brand new animated techniques for self study of Greek.
If you’re interested in Hebrew, registration has opened for online classes. Earlybird prices available to Dec 22. Registration will fill up fast, so if you’re interested I’d recommend signing up soon!
Second, they are now offering a newly-released self-led course on Greek. Again, this course does not require past knowledge of the language, and the interactive course offers an efficient and natural way to learn Greek.
Blessings on your studies!