reading NT Greek
I'd like both to offer enormous appreciation to Brunner & the TLG folks for
producing a monumental instrument for studying all ancient things Greek, and
also to join Glenn Wooden in demurring from Brunner's characterization of
what it takes to read the Greek NT intelligently. Certainly, a knowledge of
Classical Greek will give one a historical sense of where Koine words came
from and to some degree how they got to their Koine usage. But, for
establishing the meaning of words and constructions in the NT, it would be
a mistake to use classical Greek authors. I thought that we had progressed
beyond the approach of Thayer and Trench--I suppose the names Deissmann,
Moulton & Milligan, mean something?? As Wooden said, there is in fact a
good body of Koine period material available for determining Koine Greek
usage--in non-literary papyri and inscriptions, for example. And, if one
had to point to a particularly important semantic source for reading the
NT, it would surely be the Septuagint, the Bible of the NT writers, from
which they derived much of their vocabulary and themes.
So, yes, it's worthwhile being able to read as many ancient authors as one
can. But let's not confuse commendable erudition (e.g., knowing classical
Greek & classical authors) with what is properly the more relevant "database"
for the Greek NT--Koine period texts and non-literary usage.
This in no way is intended to minimize the general usefulness of the TLG
either. I repeat my enormous gratitude for this wonderful instrument.
Larry Hurtado, Robinson College, Cambridge, England (firstname.lastname@example.org)