Status
Not open for further replies.

Sam Jer

Puritan Board Freshman
The Form of Presbyterian Church Government set at the Westminster Assembly, in it's Directory for the Ordination of Ministers, says:
He shall be examined touching his skill in the original l tongues, and his trial to be made by reading the Hebrew and Greek Testaments, and rendering some portion of some into Latin; and if he be defective in them, enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy.

Do any of the Presbyterian Churches or Seminaries still have this or a similar requirement? Perhaps some of the more conservative ones that still hold the Form of Church‐Government and DPW, like the FCC, FPCS, RPCNA, RPCI and so on? Or is there a complementary document in such Churches that clarifies that this is no longer in force?
 
Not Presbyterian, but I had to have one year to enter our Canadian Reformed seminary, and then study it for one more year while there. Now I know enough just to say "semper ubi sub ubi."
 
Not Presbyterian, but I had to have one year to enter our Canadian Reformed seminary, and then study it for one more year while there. Now I know enough just to say "semper ubi sub ubi."

How well would you do if asked to render a random passage from Hebrew to Latin though? Would you pass the above referenced test?
 
How well would you do if asked to render a random passage from Hebrew to Latin though? Would you pass the above referenced test?
Not currently. I might have been able to do it in seminary. I use Hebrew every day, but not Latin. It's a perishable skill.
 
It also has this Latin requirement a few paragraphs down:
  • He shall also, within a competent time, frame a discourse in Latin upon such a common-place or controversy in divinity as shall be assigned to him, and exhibit to the presbytery such theses as express the sum thereof, and maintain a dispute upon them.
I'm interested to see what responses there are from denominations which still use this document. I've never heard of Latin requirements in any of the Scottish denominations in the modern day.
 
The Form of Presbyterian Church Government set at the Westminster Assembly, in it's Directory for the Ordination of Ministers, says:
He shall be examined touching his skill in the original l tongues, and his trial to be made by reading the Hebrew and Greek Testaments, and rendering some portion of some into Latin; and if he be defective in them, enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy.


Do any of the Presbyterian Churches or Seminaries still have this or a similar requirement? Perhaps some of the more conservative ones that still hold the Form of Church‐Government and DPW, like the FCC, FPCS, RPCNA, RPCI and so on? Or is there a complementary document in such Churches that clarifies that this is no longer in force?
I have always understood the last part ("...and if he be defective in [any or all of the languages], enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy.") to mean that exceptions can be made as long as what is lacking is sufficiently made up for elsewhere.

See also #7: "The proportion of his gifts in relation to the place unto which he is called shall be considered."

The now-defunct WPCUS had a standing exception to the Latin requirement - I'm not sure about other current fully subscribing Churches/denominations.
 
One practicality is that men who are prospects for ministry don't take a Bachelor of Arts anymore in their youth. We take up bachelors for practical professions and easier tent-making.
 
It also has this Latin requirement a few paragraphs down:
  • He shall also, within a competent time, frame a discourse in Latin upon such a common-place or controversy in divinity as shall be assigned to him, and exhibit to the presbytery such theses as express the sum thereof, and maintain a dispute upon them.
I'm interested to see what responses there are from denominations which still use this document. I've never heard of Latin requirements in any of the Scottish denominations in the modern day.
The Free Church did as late as 1860, but not anymore. I'm not sure just when the requirement changed.

It should be noted that until the late 1800s/early 1900s, Latin was absolutely essential. All the literature was in Latin. In Archibald Alexander's biography it was noted that he read more Latin literature than English.

Latin is no longer essential; however, given the amount of older literature still in Latin, it would be useful for ministers and other educated persons to know it. I wouldn't be opposed to bringing the requirement back, so long as sufficient training could be provided (in the old days, Latin education began in grammar school).
 
It could be interesting to see how the new denomination that was recently announced here on the PB will handle this, since great emphasis was put on not allowing any exceptions whatsoever to any of the Standards. It also looks like in addition to its founder, two more ministers have signed on.
 
The Free Church did as late as 1860, but not anymore. I'm not sure just when the requirement changed.

It should be noted that until the late 1800s/early 1900s, Latin was absolutely essential. All the literature was in Latin. In Archibald Alexander's biography it was noted that he read more Latin literature than English.

Latin is no longer essential; however, given the amount of older literature still in Latin, it would be useful for ministers and other educated persons to know it. I wouldn't be opposed to bringing the requirement back, so long as sufficient training could be provided (in the old days, Latin education began in grammar school).
Is the dropping of the requirement somewhere in the constitution or just common practice?
 
I agree that Latin used to be the common language in academia and an educated clergy would be expected to know it. Perhaps, though, this requirement was used to identify the strength of a candidate's ability to handle the original languages? An English speaker would have to know the Greek or Hebrew thoroughly to render a random passage in Latin.
 
This is from 2009, so perhaps the situation is a little different now, but see here:
 
Is the dropping of the requirement somewhere in the constitution or just common practice?
The constitution of the Free Church (and other Scottish Presbyterian bodies) consists in the acts of its General Assemblies. I have no doubt that the requirement was dropped by an act of an Assembly at some point, but I don't know when.
 
Not Presbyterian, but I had to have one year to enter our Canadian Reformed seminary, and then study it for one more year while there. Now I know enough just to say "semper ubi sub ubi."
I was a bit puzzled by this Latin phrase until I tried translating it.
"Every where under where" aka "everywhere, underwear."

The constitution of the Free Church (and other Scottish Presbyterian bodies) consists in the acts of its General Assemblies. I have no doubt that the requirement was dropped by an act of an Assembly at some point, but I don't know when.
Does it take longer to read all the acts to prove one doesn't have to learn Latin, or to learn Latin?
Asking for a friend.

I have always understood the last part ("...and if he be defective in [any or all of the languages], enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy.") to mean that exceptions can be made as long as what is lacking is sufficiently made up for elsewhere.
I think it means "if he doesn't know  Latin, that's probably not the only thing he doesn't know."

The Form of Presbyterian Church Government set at the Westminster Assembly, in it's Directory for the Ordination of Ministers, says:


Do any of the Presbyterian Churches or Seminaries still have this or a similar requirement? Perhaps some of the more conservative ones that still hold the Form of Church‐Government and DPW, like the FCC, FPCS, RPCNA, RPCI and so on? Or is there a complementary document in such Churches that clarifies that this is no longer in force?
Latin is still part of the curriculum for ministerial students at the University of Heidelberg. I suppose that would be German Reformed and not "presbyterian", as it were, though.
 
Pardon my ignorance, but is that the name of a document or am I completly misunderstanding something?
The Practice of the Free Church of Scotland in her Several Courts (colloquially called the Blue Book, or simply the Practice) is a book published by the Free Church that codifies the procedures adopted by the church over the centuries. It's a kind of guide to the practical aspects of the constitution.
 
The Form of Presbyterian Church Government set at the Westminster Assembly, in it's Directory for the Ordination of Ministers, says:


Do any of the Presbyterian Churches or Seminaries still have this or a similar requirement? Perhaps some of the more conservative ones that still hold the Form of Church‐Government and DPW, like the FCC, FPCS, RPCNA, RPCI and so on? Or is there a complementary document in such Churches that clarifies that this is no longer in force?
Hello Sam,

The Directories have not been enforced with such strictness in the History of the Free Church. Their function is to present general principles rather than to bind in every particular.

Blessings

Hugues
 
I think it means "if he doesn't know  Latin, that's probably not the only thing he doesn't know."
In those days, if he didn't know Latin, he wouldn't have gotten as far as ordination exams. The language he would be deficient in would probably be Hebrew, and in that case, they would examine his gifts in other areas.
 
The Practice of the Free Church of Scotland in her Several Courts (colloquially called the Blue Book, or simply the Practice) is a book published by the Free Church that codifies the procedures adopted by the church over the centuries. It's a kind of guide to the practical aspects of the constitution.
It saddens me that I need to ask this, but which of the three Scottish Synods that have "Free Church" in their'e names are we talking about? Or is it an older document still followed by several churches?
 
It saddens me that I need to ask this, but which of the three Scottish Synods that have "Free Church" in their'e names are we talking about? Or is it an older document still followed by several churches?
Sure. The first edition of the Practice was published in 1871. The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), which understands herself to be the Free Church of Scotland, as reconstituted in 2000, follows the 1995 edition of the Practice. I am not sure what the residual Free Church of Scotland follows.

I assume that the third you refer to is the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. I'm not sure if they follow any particular guide to their practice.
 
The FP's also have a version of the "Blue Book." It is based on the 1886 manual of the Free Church.
 
So basically everyone use the version prior to their'e last schism. I wonder what the RPCS use then :think:
 
Do any of the Presbyterian Churches or Seminaries still have this or a similar requirement?

Man, this is way off topic.

What for? Why do we need all this precision? I mean we're modern people, and we know the truth that will (one day) set us free. Right?

‭Proverbs 26:16 KJV‬
[16] The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit
Than seven men that can render a reason.

Some people have thought that this Psalm was about the fool. But it is not. It's about the man in verse 12.
‭Proverbs 26:1-12 KJV‬
[1] As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, So honour is not seemly for a fool. [2] As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come. [3] A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, And a rod for the fool's back. [4] Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him. [5] Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit. [6] He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool Cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage. [7] The legs of the lame are not equal: So is a parable in the mouth of fools. [8] As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, So is he that giveth honour to a fool. [9] As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, So is a parable in the mouth of fools. [10] The great God that formed all things Both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors. [11] As a dog returneth to his vomit, So a fool returneth to his folly. [12] Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.​

Just blowing off steam.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top