Writing in Koine Greek? Why bother???

Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (MDick39708@gnn.com)
Fri, 16 Aug 1996 10:54:18

>I just noticed that Iowa State offers a course in Classical Greek
> Prose Composition. Here is the entry from their web page:
>Greek 306. Classical Greek Prose Composition.
>(2-0) Cr. 2. S.
>Prereq: 201, concurrent enrollment in 342.
>Practice in expressive writing with emphasis on styles and
idiomatic usage.
>Iowa State University's Homepage
>Is this a sensible thing to do? Does anybody practice writing texts
> in Koine

Dear Jonathan,

In my experience of studying Homeric, classical, and Koine
Greek, the classical scholars train themselves to go over and beyond
the call of duty to understand their texts. The practice of Greek
exegesis of the Greek New Testament--which is largely indebted to
the legacy of classical scholarship--is a very lax discipline.

Most 'exceptional' Greek New Testament devotees can read the
gospel of John, Acts, and maybe Hebrews with out a dictionary. But
they can not read Plato, Aristotle, Homer, or Sophocles with any
degree of controlling the text. Most, is not all, classical
scholars that I have worked with can not only read Plato, Pindar,
and Sophocles, but can read anything Koine!!!

Perhaps part of the problem is that the NT is a simpler type
of Greek that classical, and therefore is less demanding with
regards to syntax and vocabulary. If you start out with Koine,
learning classical Greek will seem like a nightmare. If you start
out with classical Greek and then work with the subtleties of Koine,
you'll hardly run into problems.

This is just my perspective and what do I really know anyway?

Peace and love, my friend

Timothy T. Dickens
Smyrna, GA

MDick39708@gnn.com Home
ttd3@Columbia.edu School

Philosophy means the study of wisdom, and by wisdom we understand not only prudence in affairs, but also a perfect knowledge of all things which man can know both for the conduct of his life and for the conservation of his health and
the invention of all the arts."

Rene Descartes, French Philosopher, scientist and mathematician,