Clarification on "Bad Greek"

Randy Leedy (
Mon, 04 Nov 1996 09:55:35 -0500

Don Wilkins wrote:

>>>While I don't agree with Randy that this construction or that in
the NT is bad Greek, I commend him heartily for attempting to define
the concept "bad Greek," which is too often used very subjectively as
a term.

I'm not sure what I said that gave Don the idea that I think "this
construction or that in the NT is bad Greek." I'd like to know, so
that, if I indeed suggested such a thing, I can apologize and correct
my misleading language. I offered some examples of what I would
consider "bad Greek," but I wrote these myself; I did not lift them
from the NT. Perhaps I did not make that point clear.

For the record, I view the Holy Spirit as ultimately responsible for
the wording of the original MSS of the NT, and I do not consider Him
to be an unskilled writer. I believe He allowed a fair number of
solecisms to be written (e.g., by John in the Revelation), but I stop
short of calling these "bad Greek," based on the fact that they DO
appear in an important piece of literature. "Solecism" is an
important word to me, since it allows for something non-standard
without calling it an error.

I used the expression "bad Greek" to describe a construction the
existence of which was implied in a comment by another list member.
In so labeling it, I have questioned whether it EVER appears in
extant Greek literature. This is not at all the same thing as trying
to evaluate this or that writer's style as "good" or "bad." From the
beginning my approach has been that if we can find even one clear
instance of the construction in question (nominative relative pronoun
attracted to an oblique case, where the antecedent is explicit so
that the relative is not pressed into double duty), I will no longer
view the idea as "bad Greek." Since, by the nature of the case, any
NT construction does exist in the literature, I call nothing in the
NT "bad Greek."

I hope I have clarified my view and not further confused the issue.

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC