the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #76

Posted by on Oct 18, 2009 in as we live it, scripture | 9 comments

This is the 76th passage in “Scripture… As We Live It“:

But we will pastors should devote ourselves themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word to studying the Bible, commentaries, and other books 20+ hours per week in preparation for delivering sermons.”

(Please read the first post for an explanation of this series.)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 10-18-2009

    don’t forget studying Greek.

  2. 10-19-2009

    I think Greek is important Joe. What do you think about MacArthur’s 32 hour a week sermon preperation?

  3. 10-19-2009

    Did I say Greek was not unimportant Lionel? Not sure where you question is coming from, so let me answer it this way.

    I know Greek, study it when I have time, and I use it in my sermon preparation. I have taught students how to use Greek tools at the seminary level. So since we agree Greek is a useful tool. What is, in your opinion, the acceptable amount of time to devote to studying Greek Lionel?

    That being said Lionel, here is what I was referring to in my first comment.

    What bugs me about the Greek (and I have written about this in one of my books) is when pastors, professors, or anyone uses Greek as a wedge to alienate believers from the Bible

    What bugs me is when pastors or professors use Greek to put their “teaching” above the ability of the Holy Spirit to teach.

    What bugs me is when pastors use Greek that they do not even understand, but they looked up in a lexicon somewhere and have no clue what they are even talking about.

    What bugs me is when pastors use Greek when it is completely unnecessary to the context of their message, but they use it anyway to show off how “smart” they are

    What bugs me is when pastors or professors use Greek to create dependance on their teaching skills. It is the subtle, or not so subtle, message that “without me studying the Greek, you regular English reading people would be lost reading your Bible.”

    Is that more agreeable to you brother?

    What do I think about MacAurhter’s 32 hours of study time? I think you are spending too much time worrying about how much time he spends preparing. Personally, I could care less and I can say that I have never spent any time in my life researching or reading about MacAurther’s study habits. That is between him, his church, and the Lord. If others want to judge him as unfaithful to the Scripture for how much time he spends reading the Bible, studying Greek and preparing to teach, that is also not my concern.

    But lets explore this issue of “unbiblical” sermon prep time.

    Alan believes 20+ hours of prep is a distortion of this specific passage of Scripture (I am not sure that is the context of the passage, but apparently Alan thinks it applies). You believe MacAurther is unbiblical for spending 32 hours of prep time. So how do you, and Alan, define the “biblical” amount of time which is acceptable to devote to studying the Word (Greek or English or Hebrew or Aramaic)? is it 1 hour? 5 hours? 10 hours? What amount, in your opinion, is the acceptable “biblical” number for the Christian to spend reading the Bible?

    Alan, how much time do you spend reading Greek in preparation for your school? Or is it just pastors who should not spend “too much” time studying? Seriously, what is the point of this criticism?

    Here are some “scripture as we live it possibilites”
    — how much time do Christians spend doing seminary or PhD studies?
    — how much money do Christians spend on seminary or advanced study? Where is the biblical mandate for such things?

    If the Scriputre “as we live it” speaks to the time on sermon preparation, does it also speak to these things? Or is it only the other man’s ox we are happy to gore?

    (okay, I am venting Alan and Lionel, but I love you both and if I can’t vent a bit to my brother in Christ, to whom can I vent 🙂

  4. 10-19-2009


    Wow, where is that response coming from LOL!!!

    1. I never said MacArthur was unfaithful, I asked what do you think, as you used Greek and that is where a good portion and he says “if you don’t study the greek then you shouldn’t teach”. I don’t like that statement, but I don’t think he is being “unfaithful” I actually think he is overly-faithful 8)

    2. I don’t know the greek well. I actually wrote about that in a post about all the tools everyone uses to seperate themselves is available to every believer. So I don’t know if you need to study like that, just that it is important to understand.

    Dang man, rough weekend, you want a piece of me sucka?

  5. 10-19-2009

    Well, it has been a rough week brother and I am sorry if that came out in my post.

    I have been accused by a student where I teach of physically assaulting him during class. My teaching license has been suspended until further “investigation”. Right now, I stand “guilty” until I can prove nothing happened. It is like the old question, “when did you stop beating your wife?” How do you prove a negative when there is an assumption of guilt. The short of it is, I can’t work and I can’t earn money until this is cleared up. Plus, this is quite damaging to my reputation.

    And that is just one of the major things going on this week for me.

    So again, if the frustration of my week came out on you or Alan. I apologize brother. That was not my intent my friend.

  6. 10-20-2009

    I am very sorry to hear that brother. I was joking, but this seems to be serious man. I will be praying for you on this one, and I do say that just to be saying it.

  7. 10-20-2009


    I just prayed for you and yours that the truth will come out quickly, that you will be vindicated and that God will provide for all your needs. I had the priveledge a few years back of paying $10,000 to defend myself against a fradulent lawsuit, losing sleep and weight and peace of mind, the case was eventually throw out and I was vindicated, the people who brought the lies did not pay a penny, their attorney would only get paid if their lawsuit prevailed. So I know a little of what you are dealing with- The system is broken, but God is firmly in control during this stressful time. Blessing to you in Christ.

  8. 10-21-2009

    Thanks for the prayers guys. The charges were finally dismissed as unfounded. I can resume working. Thanks again brother!

  9. 10-21-2009

    Praise God Joe!