Jerry Johnston Interviews Greek Scholar, Paul Foster, on the Bible and Original Sources01 September 2016
Back to the sources! Intent on understanding the fervor of the early church, Professor Paul Foster concentrates on the interpretation of the New Testament in its original language. Foster is a Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Foster suggests that regaining a clear vision of the person and message of Jesus Christ could reinvigorate the church. I asked Professor Foster about his fascination with the Greek language. He replied,
“I think I’ve always wanted to understand the earliest phase of the Jesus movement of Christianity. I think that gets us closest to what got the early church going, in a way, and may be related to your other questions – that sense of starting from nothing, or starting from first principles, might be something we need to do, or redo, to reinvigorate the church – because I think although people are often quite dissatisfied with institutional religion, they still find the personal Jesus very attractive. His message of including the outcasts is very attractive. His ethical teaching, which is more on positive virtues than negative prohibitions. And I think the church maybe needs to sell its positive message more, because there is a sense among young people that the church is judgmental, that it’s not inclusive, that it rejects people whom they see should be included quite naturally in their community, regardless of certain choices they make. So I think teaching people about the message of Jesus, what it is in its fundamental nature, is one of the ways to connect with contemporary society.”
How can the church reconnect with society? How can the vital message of Jesus Christ be spread most effectively? Utilizing the culture’s dependence on technology, Cristie Jo and I are creating multiple digital products and resources beyond the documentary that will direct all ages to the person and message of Jesus Christ.