The seminary that TLI partners with in south Asia has been closed to on-ground instruction since March 2020, but by God's grace instructors have been able to continue serving the school via remote teaching. The students have completed their foundational work in Greek, biblical studies, systematic theology, hermeneutics, church history, and preaching. Now in the second year of their MDiv program, they are moving into more advanced courses in biblical interpretation, beginning with a deep dive into the Greek text of Paul's letter to the Colossians.
Some of the students wondered whether they were ready for the transition. They had been studying Greek grammar for more than a year. But translating, interpreting, and applying the text of Colossians was something different. "When I saw the syllabus," one student remembered, "I was scared." Could he handle this on his own? The answer, it turned out, was... no. But he was ready to do it with the help of his fellow students and, especially, with the guidance of their instructor. At the final course meeting, the same student recalled the difference it made to have a qualified teacher: "When I saw that you would be meeting with us regularly, I felt better."
Over the course of their month-long study of Paul's letter, the students' command of Greek improved, but that wasn't primarily why they put in the work. Studying a language is not the same thing as learning to rightly handle the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15) for the sake of the church. In this course, the students learned to do the former in order to do the latter. As one student put it, "I came out better prepared to preach God's word, not just better at Greek."