Re: Bad Greek

Randy Leedy (
Thu, 07 Nov 1996 11:32:02 -0500

Edgar Krentz wrote:

>>>Before one either defends or passes negative judgment on any NT
writer as writing good or bad Greek, one needs to read enough Greek
of the period to have some sense of what "good" or "bad" Greek is in
respect to the class of writing in which one understands a NT or LXX
document to fall.


Reactions, please?

Since I'm the one who got this thread going, I feel obligated to
offer a brief reaction, although I have little to contribute to the
line the discussion has taken. I see a great deal of common sense in
this comment; I hardly see how it can be refuted, though it could no
doubt be expanded and qualified.

However I'm not qualified to qualify! When I used the expression "bad
Greek," I had in mind, as I've already expressed, that which does not
occur in literary writing. That is essentially an objective
assessment. Now that the discussion has taken the turn toward the
subjective evaluation of style, I no longer qualify as a participant,
having read little outside the NT.

Questions of style have always intrigued me, though I rather suspect
that nobody will ever succeed in subjecting literary style to
quantitative analysis. Nigel Turner's volume on Style in Moulton's
grammar has an interesting collection of data, but I've never been
able to draw anything from it that I can get a grip on.

I wonder whether our sense of style in English (or whatever our
native language may be) rests on a breadth of exposure that we are
unlikely to equal in the study of any ancient language. If this is
the list's consensus, then the thread will die a dignified death. If
not, I'll enjoy its continuation, as far as I can anticipate, in
respectful silence. (But doesn't a good teacher draw out from the
student ideas that the student didn't know he had?)

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