Issue No. 44 31 Oct - 6 Nov 2011
Why Biblical Languages?
By Dr Andrew Lee & Makiko Okada

Makiko OkadaI love teaching my students in the current class of Biblical Hebrew 111 held at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church every Tuesday evening. The students’ enthusiasm for the language really energises and motivates me to do a better job each time I meet them. It has been indeed a blessing knowing them and teaching them the language. In the light of this, I have asked one of the students in this class, Makiko Okada (left), to share briefly about why she wants to learn Biblical languages and how they have made a difference to her. Makiko is from Japan and has graduated with her Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies with BGST last year. She is presently pursuing her Master in Christian Studies, hopefully to complete the programme by next May. This is what she shares:

“What are these bean sprouts?” My flatmate asked me curiously when she picked up a piece of paper from our dining table. The paper was full of my Hebrew writings and she was holding it upside down. To my flatmate, Hebrew letters look like bean sprouts. Yes, Hebrew is foreign to many people and is definitely different from English.

“Why Hebrew?” I am often asked why I study Biblical Hebrew and Greek. They are not easy subjects to tackle because they are ancient languages and nobody speaks them now. Furthermore, it takes weeks and even months to master the vocabularies and their grammatical rules. However, the inspired Word of God is revealed to us through these languages. Hence, my answer to the learning of Hebrew and Greek is “why not?” It is joy to read God’s Word in its original languages and I find gems from time to time as I learn to read God’s Words in those languages. I came to know BGST through a Biblical Hebrew class. If my memory serves me right, BGST is perhaps the only theological school in Singapore which offers biblical language courses to lay people. I remembered that my pastor in Tokyo encouraged me to study Hebrew and Greek if I can while I am still in Singapore. He told me, “The ability to read the Scripture in the original languages is the best skill you can get.” Similarly, I read that Pastor John Piper once said that the most important pastoral skill is exegesis of the original meaning of Scripture. So, rather than comparing several versions of English bibles and reading piles of commentaries, why not go directly to the original Scripture if we can? While we do have good and free computer software to help us in our Bible study today, if we have some knowledge of basic grammar of the Biblical languages, our learning of Scripture can be greatly enhanced.

I enjoy my learning of Biblical languages. For me, studying these languages is not for the purpose of getting good grade or to look cool. It is a journey to know our God deeper. God’s Word is sweeter than honey and I am certainly loving the taste of it!

Prayer Focus
Gideon’s Army: The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men . . . I will save you” (Judges 7:7). Please pray with us for more faithful supporters to join the Gideon’s Army to help finance the Lord’s work at BGST. If the Lord lays upon your heart to respond, contact us at 62276815 ext. 222, email: finance@bgst.edu.sg or click: http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/support/gideon_pledge.pdf
Chapel News

You are welcome to join us for an afternoon of Scripture Recitation & Story-telling  at our Chapel service on 9 November 2011. Chapel begins at 12 pm.

Faculty News

Dr Philip Satterthwaite will be preaching at the 8.30am services of Bethesda (Katong) Church on Sunday 6 November 2011. The topic is “John 9:1-41, Encounters with Jesus: the Blind Man”.


BGST Office and Library will be closed on Monday, 7 November 2011 being Hari Raya Haji.
We will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, 8 November 2011.

There is no chapel summary for this issue because there is no chapel on 26 October 2011 as it was Deepavali (public holiday).

Students' News

We would like to extend our warm welcome to the following new programme students to the BGST family. All will be taking our Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies. We trust that the Lord will grant them a meaningful time of studies here as they invest their time and energy into this beautiful journey of ongoing equipping.

New Students:

Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies

Wong Kuan YingWong Kuan Ying is a member of Zion Bishan Bible Presbyterian Church. She is actively involved in women’s ministry and worship ministry. She has a Master in Public Administration from the LKY School of Public Policy, NUS and works at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. Kuan Ying is inspired and motivated by the Scripture (i.e. Philippians 1:9-11) in her pursuit of theological studies.


Poon Yee MeiBeverly Poon Yee Mei worships at Thomson Road Baptist Church. She is a graduate of Nanyang Technological University (Bachelor of Business) and is a financial consultant. She shoulders multiple responsibilities at church; besides being a sunday school teacher, she also serves as cell group leader and council member. She also helps out in translation during sermon; from Chinese to English. She hopes to appreciate God’s Word in depth through the formal education at BGST.

Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies

Goh Yuan Sheng VictorVictor Goh Yuan Sheng is a deacon at Grace Bible Presbyterian Church. He helps to oversee the Bible Class ministry at church and is currently serving as a board member with Singapore Youth for Christ. He is a programme director at Singapore Institute of Technology. Victor graduated from the University of Western Australia with a doctorate in Business Adminstration.

Sharon Tan Wee ThengSharon Tan Wee Theng is a teacher aide at National Junior College. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the University of Wales. She worships at Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church and serves as a cell group leader and is a fellowship group committee member. She sees theological equipping as an important step to know God more and to better equip herself to serve.

Wang YaDong


Wang YaDong has a doctorate in Philosophy from the National University of Singapore and is an engineer at DHI Water and Environment Pte Ltd. He teaches Bible Sunday class at Truth Baptist Church. YaDong desires to acquire skills for sound bible study, to know God and to serve the church better.

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Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg
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