Gary S. Shogren (gshogren@voicenet.com)
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 20:14:15 -0500 (EST)

Rod Decker wrote:

>In regard to Edgar's comments re. reading Greek outside the NT, I much
>appreciate the summary. Next semester I've been assigned to teach "Survey
>of Greek Literature." This will be the first foray outside the NT for
>seminary-level students, most of whom will have had two years of study at
>this point (some perhaps only a semester and a half). Since this is the
>first time that I've taught this class, I'd welcome suggestions from those
>who have taught in this area. My thoughts were to start the semester with
>some material from Luke-Acts and Hebrews, then move to the LXX, and then
>spend the second half of the semester in the Apostolic Fathers, etc.


Hi Rod!

I have taught a course on Extrabiblical Greek for ThM students. I say
extrabiblical because I have my second-year students do some LXX and didn't
repeat that. To my surprise, they ate it up. I had them do some background
reading and translating from Hellenistic, Jewish, and Christian sources. I
stressed gaining competence in LSJ and Lampe. The texts I remember:

Epictetus, section of Discourse
Plutarch, Theseus and Romulus

Section of Philo on Abraham
Section of Test. Abraham
Psalm of Solomon 18
Josephus, the section on John the Baptist's beheading

Ignatius to Polycarp
Some Clement of Alexandria, "exhortation to endurance"
Section from Athanasius On the Incarnation
Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Creed
Section from Eusebius' Eccl History
Basil, Letter of Consolation

I put together a regular little workbook, and would be happy to share it
around (snail-mail only!).

BTW - I just finished a massive search on patristic comments on 1 Cor.
13:8-12. Here are the results: the Manicheans and Montanists thought that
"the perfect" was Mani or Montanus. The Gnostics and Arianists seem to have
had their own spin on it (THEY had complete knowledge of God). Otherwise -
every catholic writer I can find takes a strong, consistent eschatological
reading of "the perfect" "face to face" etc. Sole catholic exception:
Chrysostom, who takes an eschatological view of 13:9-12, but seems to
divorce v. 8 from 9-12 and argues that tongues and prophecy cease before the
eschaton. Other exception: Tertullian who, predictably, straddles between
the catholic and Montanist views. I'm giving this as a paper at ETS in
Jackson in two weeks. I found hundreds of refs (TLG, Biblical Patristica,
etc) and analyzed 45 ante-Nicene and about 149 Nicene/Post-Nicene.

As far as patristic authors - I made a note to myself that Gregory Nazianzus
is straightforward as a writer: he knows what he thinks and he says it
plainly, at least in the passages I looked at. After a bunch of other
fathers with rather cryptic statements, Gregory Naz was fantastic. He might
be someone to look at for a step away from the NT. Ignatius is pretty
smooth too, quite close to the NT style, and the Schoedel commentary in
Hermeneia gives some helpful notes on the Greek.

Gary S. Shogren
Biblical Theological Seminary
Hatfield, PA
email gshogren@voicenet.com