The Bible was written in Greek. I can't read Greek. Does this make me unable to adequately teach the Bible? Some biblical scholars would say yes. Some would say no. I know this because I've asked multiple biblical scholars this questions and have received these opposing answers.
In this post, I'm going to make a quick case for the 'no' answer. I don't believe it is mandatory for a good bible teacher to be able to read the bible in its original language. But before I argue that, I want to make a few concessions to the 'yes' answer. First, I believe it is better to know Greek than to not know Greek. Second, I think it is potentially dangerous to teach the Bible without concern for the fact that it was written in Greek. Third, I have to admit that part of my argument may be biased by my reluctance to study Greek. But all that being said...
I don't think my lack of knowledge in the area of biblical Greek prevents me from being a good bible teacher (in fact, I don't think it prevents me from being a better bible teacher than many teachers who do know Greek). And here are my reasons why. First, there are a lot of excellent scholarly translations. The argument by scholars that you MUST know Greek goes against the idea that many of these same scholars are involved in the translation process. Didn't they do a good job? Second, there are a lot of excellent resources for studying Greek words without knowing the Greek language. Certainly in the ancient world, before these study tools emerged, it was more important to know the Greek language. But is that still the case? With all the resources available, any pastor who cares has access to the pertinent information. Third, I think those who would answer 'yes' (you MUST know Greek) have to admit that they may be biased by the fact that they already know Greek and that puts them in a position of elitism if Greek is a must. Willful ignorance is not charming, but neither is strong sense of superiority. Fourth, and this is perhaps the point I consider most important, I have heard various scholars who are experts in biblical Greek say very different things about the same Greek words! It seems to be the case that you can even maneuver the Greek to fit what you want to say too!
I'm more interested in learning 50 or so key Greek words and understanding what they mean and how they were used in the ancient world. And this concludes a post that the vast majority of you will have found very boring!