10 Years of Turning the Tide in Greece
by Colin Macpherson, Langham Literature
In 1999 we received a heartfelt request to visit Greece and see for ourselves the lack of Biblical resource material. A dearth of material in Greece? Wasn’t the New Testament written in Greek? And weren’t several of the books of the Bible for Greek churches? Yet, sure enough, we discovered that there was almost nothing in modern Greek to help pastors or believers with a hunger to grow in the Word. Fotis Romeos of O Logos Publishers explains:
‘We have great writings of Church fathers, especially from the early church era, but we did not have any commentaries of the evangelical faith which could stand as a message of Biblical hope and apology of the true gospel among our fellow countrymen.’
The evangelical church in Greece has been opposed, suppressed and even persecuted in recent centuries. It is small and feels vulnerable, and denominations have understandably become inward-looking and defensive. But the visionary response from O Logos Publishers was to open up the Bible again. The request was for help in launching the first ever contemporary evangelical commentary series. They selected the Bible Speaks Today series as the most appropriate, and Langham helped kick-start the project with a grant in 2001 for ‘The Message of 2 Timothy’ by John Stott. There are now 5 BST titles in print, plus two others by Greek authors, and the series is growing slowly but steadily.
So what has happened over the last 10 years? Listen to the voices from Greece:
‘Because of the lack of resources, the church in Greece has sometimes lacked theological robustness. During the 20th Century there was a drift towards a less Biblical orientation. In the last 10 years, largely because of these commentaries, we have begun to see the tide changing again, and the Bible being preached more faithfully.’ Dr Argyris Petrou, Professor at the Greek Bible College.
‘I do believe this series is a turning point in the modern era of Christian history in Greece. For us as Greeks, they carry practically the message of the New Testament so vividly and faithfully. They create a unique bridge between the ancient Hellenistic culture and the 21st century Greek culture, blessing and benefiting lay people and church leaders by equipping them for the advancement of His kingdom.’ Fotis Romeos, pastor and missionary with AMG.
Langham would like to help speed up the project and, in the current economic chaos in Greece, another injection of funds would make a huge difference. We’re praying this will happen, and that the tide will keep turning for the wellbeing of the churches and of Greek society.
|Dr Argyris Petrou, Professor at Greek Bible College, holding the first 5 Bible commentaries in Modern Greek|