bad Greek -- who COULD read greek??

Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (
Sat, 9 Nov 1996 12:57:11 -0500 (EST)

Edgar has pointed out that there are some Greek texts which teach literary
Greek, that not all Greek is literary, and that even non-literary Greek can be
"good Greek" if it is grammatical. This makes sense to me, and I was
especially interested in the list of authorities he cited -- I haven't the
energy for them right now, but it is good to know that they exist, and that
his message will be available
in the archives.

I love the simple elegance of 1 John and the Gospel of John. I don't really
*care* if contemporary writers would have judged this to be "good Greek", I
like to
read it out loud and let John's pregnant phrases sink in.


hmmmmm. . . . May I jump into this conversation, at midstream, and
ask what hopefully will be a simple question?

I understand from conversing with my classics buddy at Yale that
Greek as simple as the Greek of John's gospel would still have been
difficult to read by the 'average' person linving, for example, in Ephesus.
This leads me to aks a question that I have been pondering over long and
hard: What do we *know* about the literacy rate in the Greco-Roman world to
be able to say who could or could not read Greek?

Tim Dickens

PS: when replying, please reply back to me directly since I only
receive the digest form of B-Greek and ioudaios.