Re: Selling Greek

From: Barbara OCleirigh u 2>/dev/null (
Date: Fri Mar 15 1996 - 16:43:03 EST

    A knowledge of ancient Greek (I mean classical, since that includes much
more than Koine alone) is essential to the full understanding of western
theological and philosophical thought. As the literary language of the
Roman Empire it represents an essential part of the linguistic/cultural
milieu in which the Christian faith developed,and it needs to
be understood as much as the contemporary political and social
history if one is to enter as fully as one can at this distance
of time into the minds of those who first formulated this faith.
    New Testament students especially should not have to depend upon
translations, no matter how many there are, but should rather be able to
approach these translations with a critical understanding based upon
their own knowledge of Greek.
    I find it disturbing to consider students of religion (especially future
ministers) studying the NT without learning Greek; one finds it in
philosophy departments too, where people teach Plato without having read
him in Greek. It's like a non-English speaker studying Shakespeare
in some other language, and then coming here to teach it. However good a
translation may be, it just isn't the same.
   Now I am conscious that most people's faith rests upon a foundation of
translated scripture, and of course it is not strictly "necessary for
salvation" for anyone to read it in a language other than their own;
but if someone goes to college for the express purpose of studying that
scripture, their study will always be incomplete until they have read
the text in the original.


Barbara O'Cleirigh
M.A. student, Religion & Culture
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario

P.S. Can you tell there's a Classics Prof. in my family? :)
P.P.S. And Greek is a lot easier than Hebrew...

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:39 EDT