Urban Report

Life Sketch

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Dr. E. E. Rogers

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Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000194A


00:01 Have you ever met a living legend?
00:02 Well, stay tuned because
00:04 we have one sitting right here in the Studio.
00:07 My name is Yvonne Lewis
00:08 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:34 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:36 My guest today is Dr. Ernest Eugene Rogers
00:39 also known as Dr. E.E. Rogers,
00:43 Dr. Rogers is a scholar of Biblical languages,
00:46 a former Professor at Oakwood University
00:48 and a wonderful example of Christian leadership and service
00:52 welcome to Urban Report Dr. Rogers.
00:55 It's good to be here.
00:56 Dr. Rogers, I grew up in part at Oakwood
01:00 so, I went to school with your sons...
01:04 I lived at Oakwood when I was... from 10 to 13...
01:08 and you were a Professor there
01:11 when I was there.
01:12 My dad was... I'm sure... one of your students
01:14 because he was a Theology Major so your tenure at Oakwood
01:19 was just like, from what to what how many years?
01:24 From 1945 to 1979...
01:28 My! my! well tell us...
01:31 before we get into your Oakwood tenure,
01:35 let's talk about your life because you just celebrated
01:39 a very special birthday, how old are you?
01:41 I am 100 years old now.
01:44 Dr. Rogers, you look amazing,
01:48 no one would ever know you were 100 years old.
01:52 That is phenomenal... what's your secret?
01:55 Well, proper attitude...
01:59 Okay, unpack that a little bit, what do you mean?
02:01 When I say "Proper Attitude... " I... we want things...
02:07 if you can keep your mind clear and stayed on God,
02:15 nothing will come out of it
02:20 but something that is good for God,
02:23 if you have a problem and you can solve it in your mind,
02:28 then it will never go into action so where anybody can see.
02:34 Okay, so then, your attitude and keeping your mind fixed on God,
02:41 that's how... that's what you feel is like... the secret.
02:45 Oh, to me it is.
02:48 Hmmm... hmmm... hmmm... hmmm.
02:49 Over the past 100 years,
02:53 you must have seen so many changes
02:58 in this Country... in the status of African Americans,
03:04 tell us about how you grew up,
03:06 where did you grow up?
03:07 I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee,
03:10 the conditions... at that time, were not the very best,
03:19 but as I said, I tried to keep a good attitude
03:25 for what is in you...
03:27 if you can stop it before it goes out of you...
03:31 if it is bad... then it will become good anyway.
03:36 Yes, yes, yes, yes... so, when you were growing up,
03:40 then you grew up in a...
03:43 you grew up in Segregationist Memphis, Tennessee
03:49 because it was segregated at that time.
03:51 Oh, very much so.
03:53 What was life like... as a young black boy
03:56 in Memphis during that time?
03:58 It was horrible,
04:01 I've seen incidents that
04:04 I don't even like to even think about
04:07 but I've... I tried to stay away
04:13 from where I thought trouble might be
04:17 and I usually stayed with elderly people
04:21 because I felt that they could be a shield and a guide to me
04:27 because my father was killed in an automobile accident
04:32 when I was around nine or ten years old,
04:37 and for fatherly care...
04:40 so that I would be able to have some type of a key on life,
04:46 I worked through a gentleman by the name of Eli Hayes,
04:52 he was a staunch Christian and he used to have me
04:57 to read the Bible to him and by reading the Bible to him
05:04 and having a very active mind at that age,
05:08 I was able to retain a number of the passages of the Scripture
05:15 and when things came,
05:18 I would... I could be able to adjust them
05:22 by what I had read in the Bible...
05:25 Ah...
05:27 And then too... his office was just outside of the black...
05:37 what you might call, "black neighborhood"
05:38 and we didn't have too many policemen coming in at that time
05:45 and I was somewhat secluded from any...
05:50 the brutality that we have right now
05:55 and... which was worse back in those days
05:59 but thank the Lord... I came through it very well.
06:06 Yes, yes, so what you're saying is
06:09 God provided someone to mentor you
06:12 after your dad was killed, He had someone else there
06:17 and He had you reading the Bible and by doing that for him,
06:23 your life was changed.
06:24 My life was completely changed.
06:26 My! did you have brothers and sisters?
06:30 I had five brothers and one sister
06:34 after my mother's second marriage
06:37 she had six boys
06:39 and she didn't get a girl until after she married again.
06:44 Ah... okay... all right... all right...
06:48 so, when you had this... this mentor...
06:53 he was a Godly Christian man
06:56 and he spent time giving you like, putting values into you.
07:02 Very much so...
07:04 Did you go to church with him?
07:05 No, I never went to church with him,
07:07 I was doing just during the week days... I would go in...
07:11 I didn't play around much with the fellows,
07:15 I always went to him because what he was saying interested me
07:21 and I felt that if I could stay around him,
07:25 I could obtain values that would be helpful to me
07:30 in my later life which it did.
07:33 So, now, did you ever get into trouble as a teenager,
07:37 did you ever kind of hang out with the wrong crowd,
07:41 what did you do as a teenager?
07:43 I never got into any trouble and when I saw myself
07:48 mingling with those that I thought
07:52 might be troublesome to me, I moved away from them,
07:58 I stayed clear of what I thought might be troublesome.
08:05 Hmmm... so at Oakwood,
08:08 you taught Greek and Hebrew, correct?
08:12 I taught Greek largely, I started a Hebrew class
08:19 but the students were afraid of it
08:21 having taken Greek
08:23 I only had three persons in the... in the class.
08:28 I taught it for that quarter and then after that I decided
08:35 that I'd better just stick with Greek.
08:36 Now, what gave you your love for Biblical languages?
08:41 When I went to college,
08:46 our teacher brought out points in the Bible
08:52 that stimulated my thinking,
08:55 I saw Grammar... in a different light,
08:58 the sentences in Greek did not have to be in order as
09:04 subject, verb and...
09:06 Hmmm...
09:08 If you could put... any way you wanted
09:11 and you didn't follow the regular order,
09:13 whatever came first is the thing that you wished to emphasize
09:19 and when I read Saint John 1:1 to 3...
09:24 Yes... ah ha...
09:26 "In the beginning was the Word,
09:29 and the Word was with God... "
09:32 the subject came with the last word in the sentence
09:36 but you have an adverbial clause there...
09:39 Yvonne: Ah ha...
09:40 Dr. Rogers: to introduce it and then it started to the thinking,
09:45 "Why was this done?"
09:49 And since I knew that the emphasis was placed there
09:56 because... I marveled... I said,
10:00 "Well, what are they saying?"
10:03 Why did they say, "In the beginning was the Word?"
10:07 I just said, "Well, hmmm...
10:13 He had been speaking about He was God
10:15 because He said that He was God"
10:19 it says... they are talking about
10:22 maybe... the eternity of God
10:28 and they used in that a verb... the verb "to be... "
10:36 the imperfect tense of the verb "to be... "
10:39 and the imperfect tense...
10:42 usually starts with the time of his speaking,
10:46 or hearing or doing and then goes back...
10:50 and as far as you go back it will continue to go back
10:54 and there is no end to it whatsoever,
10:58 and so, as I read the text, it says,
11:03 "In the beginning was the Word... "
11:07 the Word was in the beginning...
11:11 the Word was before the beginning...
11:14 and when the beginning began, He already was.
11:18 Wow! and all that's in the Greek...
11:20 Dr. Rogers: Yes... Yvonne: Oh!
11:22 Dr. Rogers: And I said, "My! I'm going to stick with this"
11:28 because I saw new insights that I had never seen before
11:33 and I could see the eternity of God...
11:37 I could see God in all of His way.
11:41 Doc! that's rich... because... because there are some who say,
11:45 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God
11:48 and the Word was 'a' God... " they add that article there
11:51 but in the Greek that article isn't there is it?
11:54 No, that article isn't there but when the article isn't there,
11:59 there is no need for a definite article...
12:02 Hmmm...
12:03 when the subject is definite itself...
12:06 Come on... come on Doc...
12:08 oh, I wish I had taken your class myself,
12:10 oh! that is so rich...
12:12 Yeah... it's... you...
12:14 that which is definite is just like saying, "Where is John?"
12:18 "He's at... he's at home... "
12:20 you don't need a definite article there
12:22 because it is definite already, he only has one...
12:26 Your right, that's right... that's right...
12:29 they're talking about, "Where is John?"
12:32 right? not "Where is 'a' John?"
12:34 "Where is John?"
12:36 And they know there is only one John
12:38 it's the guy with whom you're...
12:41 Yes, yes, so from that verse, you got the eternal existence
12:47 of Christ... the incarnate...
12:48 That's right...
12:49 ooh! that's rich... that's rich.
12:52 So, you have two verbs in Greek
12:56 one is the imperfect...
13:00 what we say, "the imperfect tense"
13:03 one is called the "Aorist Tense" in Greek, it's past tense...
13:08 to give you an example of the difference between the two,
13:14 when Jesus was talking to the Jews about His existence,
13:20 He says, "Before Abraham was... "
13:24 He didn't use "a" which is a form of the verb "to be"
13:28 which shows there is no beginning and no end... you see.
13:32 Yvonne: Ahh... Dr. Rogers: He's always present.
13:33 Yvonne: Right.
13:35 Dr. Rogers: He used the "Aorist Tense" which means,
13:38 "it happens then and it stopped"
13:40 But He says... and He didn't go back to the imperfect tense then
13:46 He started with the present tense,
13:48 He says, "I am... "
13:49 He says, "Abraham had a beginning"
13:55 but "I am" has no beginning and no end
14:00 it exists in the eternal present.
14:04 Oooooh!
14:06 And so, when I became acquainted with these particular aspects
14:13 of how it makes the Bible come alive
14:17 and how you can see things that you've never seen,
14:21 everything then became... oh, so dear to me
14:26 and I just loved it.
14:29 Oh! where did you learn it,
14:30 where did you go to school to learn it?
14:32 Oakwood, at that time,
14:35 did not have a Department of Biblical Languages,
14:39 it was just a Junior College at that time... when I graduated
14:42 back in 1941... and I've learned...
14:50 I started... I learned portions of what I now know
14:56 at Union College from Dr. Rolland
15:01 who was my Greek Instructor at the time,
15:04 but how to put it together and how to make Grammar stand out
15:10 and become edifying to those that hear
15:14 and meaningful to those that hear...
15:17 I got it at the Seminary.
15:19 Ahhh... that is so... to me, it's so exciting
15:23 because it's not just... like, when I read
15:27 the King James Version
15:29 I can read, "Before Abraham was... I am... "
15:33 but when you're reading it in the Greek or in Aramaic...
15:38 In the Greek...
15:41 In the Greek... it just...
15:42 it makes the whole thing come to life
15:45 because you're looking at not just what is said there
15:49 but those tenses and all of that,
15:51 you're conjugating all of that...
15:54 to me it's amazing!
15:56 You can say, in other words you could put it another way,
16:01 "Before Abraham came into being... I am... "
16:06 Hmmm... hmmm...
16:08 and "I am" is such a powerful statement isn't it?
16:11 In other words,
16:13 it is the equivalent to the word, "Jehovah. "
16:17 Whoa... and that's why they wanted to stone Him isn't it?
16:22 That's why they wanted to
16:23 because He was making Himself a God.
16:26 Yes, yes, yes, yes.
16:29 And there is no beginning and there is no end with the present
16:35 with "I am... " because "I am" has always been "I am"
16:42 "and I will always be I am,
16:44 there never was a time when I wasn't,
16:47 and there never is a time when I will not be... "
16:50 Yes.
16:52 So, He could say, to make that distinction
16:55 so He could let the Jews hear it,
16:56 they wanted to pick up a stone and stone Him
16:59 because they interpreted... they got His meaning,
17:04 "You are saying that you are God. "
17:07 Yes, yes... oh that is so rich, how did the students...
17:11 how did your students grasp the Greek,
17:15 were they eager to grasp it...
17:17 were they... how... how did they deal with it?
17:20 They were very, very eager, what we did,
17:24 I always gave something
17:28 that I thought that they would be able to use
17:31 in their sermonic preparation
17:34 because anytime you can bring out a new concept...
17:41 a new idea... maybe one that one could not otherwise know
17:47 unless he had some idea of what it was in the original
17:54 to give you an example, the word "peculiar" now
17:58 when you think of peculiar, what does it come...
18:02 what comes to your mind?
18:04 Strange...
18:05 Strange... queer... but back in 1611
18:08 when the King James Version was written
18:12 or when John wrote it, the word there meant...
18:17 back then "peculiar" meant there "a precious possession. "
18:21 Hmmm...
18:23 And when you look at the word itself,
18:27 it comes from a word, "perio├║sios"
18:32 "peri" means...it's like a perimeter, it's a circle...
18:38 and "ousima... " the verb "to be"
18:41 "here I'm a being outside of the circle of God's grace,
18:46 but when I, by faith, accept Him as my Savior,
18:51 the circle which did not encircle me... now encircles me
18:58 and I am existing now in the circle of God's grace. "
19:04 Oh! Doc... oh, that is so good.
19:08 These are the things that made Greek so precious to me.
19:13 Yes...
19:14 And I enjoyed it immensely.
19:17 Yes, I can tell because I'm enjoying it right now,
19:20 and I'm sure our Viewers will enjoy it too,
19:23 just... it's like... digging deeply into the treasures
19:28 that are in the Bible that we don't even...
19:30 we don't even really know
19:32 because we don't know the Biblical languages.
19:34 That's right.
19:35 The deep, deep treasures, what's your favorite Bible text?
19:38 Oh, my favorite Bible text is
19:42 Saint John 15:7,
19:45 "If ye believe in me,
19:48 and my word... "
19:51 no, it really doesn't say "believe"
19:54 "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
20:00 you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. "
20:05 My wife, at that time, was dying from cancer,
20:13 they had given her only days to live
20:19 and I was by her bedside
20:23 and I was reading my Bible
20:28 and that text came across, I was you at that time
20:35 and I read it... I said,
20:40 "It says here, if you believe in me,
20:43 and my Word... " I keep saying "believe... "
20:47 that word there is "abide"
20:49 "If you abide in me and my words abide in you,
20:56 you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. "
21:02 I looked at the word "done"
21:05 and the word "done" actually came from the word that means
21:13 "a beginning... "
21:15 I said, "Oh, what it is saying here
21:20 'if you believe in me and my words abide in you,
21:26 you shall ask what you will and if what you ask for
21:32 does not exist, I will bring it into existence
21:37 in order that your prayer might be answered. '"
21:41 Hmmm...
21:43 And I asked her, "Do you believe that?"
21:45 She said, "Yes... "
21:47 I said, "Can you think of anything
21:50 that might be between you and the Lord
21:54 so that He will not answer this prayer?"
21:57 She says, "No... "
21:59 because people were praying for her all around the world...
22:03 I said then, "Let's just pray... "
22:06 I said, "Lord, please bring into existence
22:11 a cure that never existed before
22:14 in order that she might be able to see as she desires
22:21 her children grow up... "
22:23 52 years later...
22:29 Ohhhh... are you kidding?
22:33 She was able to see all of her grandchildren
22:38 and her great-grandchildren and hold them on her lap,
22:44 I said, "That text from now on
22:47 will always be my favorite text. "
22:51 "If what you ask for does not exist,
22:55 I will bring it into existence
22:59 in order that your prayer might be answered. "
23:04 Oh...
23:05 This is why I love Biblical languages.
23:07 Yes, that is so beautiful
23:10 so she only had days to live according to the doctor?
23:14 Yeah... according to the doctors
23:16 and this was 50... 51 or 52 years later
23:22 she was still fondling her great-grandson.
23:26 Praise the Lord... what a blessing.
23:29 This is... you can see why Biblical...
23:32 and I try to make it practical, I knew that my students would...
23:39 some of my students...
23:40 we have some that were very scholarly... very scholarly...
23:45 very good theologians
23:49 and... but I knew that
23:52 the majority of them were there... taking it
23:56 because they had to take it in order to get a grade.
24:00 It was a requirement...
24:01 Exactly... I didn't want them to be spending their money
24:05 for something that would not benefit them in the end
24:08 and so, I used practical illustrations,
24:13 I used words too... that I knew that they would be using
24:18 in their sermons and gave them illustrations
24:23 from the Word itself and how the Greek shed light
24:28 upon the text and they appreciated it,
24:35 they never missed class hardly
24:37 because they felt that they would miss something
24:41 if they were not there to get it.
24:43 Yes... yes... and the Lord has blessed you so much,
24:49 He blessed you in your home life,
24:52 He blessed you in your ministry, He blessed you as a Professor
24:57 and a few years ago, you had lost your first wife,
25:01 He blessed you with another wife,
25:03 you got married at... how old were you Doc?
25:07 My wife was 91 years old and I was 93...
25:12 Yvonne: Oh... look at that...
25:14 Dr. Rogers: And I told her,
25:16 I said, "Most people say 'life begins at 40... '"
25:20 I said, "but today... we have changed that...
25:24 life now begins at 90... "
25:28 Come on... Doc... you are rapping...
25:34 oh that's so sweet, how sweet is that!
25:38 And so, we have been happy ever since
25:42 and I wish she could have been here beside me
25:46 because she's my inspiration.
25:48 Oh, that is so sweet, well, you know, thankfully
25:52 we are going to be doing a "Today Program"
25:55 with you and with your wife so that's going to be
25:58 on our parent network so our Viewers can watch you
26:01 on Dare to Dream and they can also watch you on
26:05 3abn Parent Network with your lovely wife.
26:08 Good... that's a blessing...
26:10 That's incredible...
26:12 what closing thought would you like to leave
26:16 in like 30 seconds or so with our Viewers about anything,
26:20 anything that the Lord lays on your heart.
26:22 Do you have a closing thought?
26:25 My closing thought would be this,
26:30 "Always keep a good attitude
26:34 because if you can think right you will do right,
26:42 if you have a good idea
26:45 and actions spring from your thoughts that you think,
26:51 if you can kill the thing that is wrong in your mind,
26:57 by taking that attitude
26:59 by making God first and best and last
27:02 in your experience,
27:04 then it would never come into full play where it can be
27:09 seen in public,
27:13 what you kill on the inside,
27:17 will never be played out on the outside. "
27:21 Doc... on that note... thank you so much,
27:25 may God continue to richly bless you,
27:28 and thank you for your service and all that you've done
27:31 just to leave this wonderful legacy
27:34 we thank you so much.
27:36 Thank you...
27:37 Yes, and Dr. Rogers has lived these 100 years
27:40 as a Servant Leader,
27:42 what an example he is for us to follow,
27:45 we appreciate and honor his legacy.
27:48 Those of you who know other seniors... honor them...
27:53 let them know how much you appreciate them
27:55 well, we've reached the end of another Program,
27:58 join us next time because you know what?
28:00 it just wouldn't be the same... without you.


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Revised 2016-10-12