RE: Grading NT Greek by difficulty

From: Albert Collver, III (
Date: Sat Mar 23 1996 - 12:11:52 EST

        I don't have experience in teaching Greek; however, I can say how I was
trained. I learned Attic Greek first for two years and then learn about the
peculiarities of Koine. I would think that it would be much more difficult to
reverse the process. In a general sense, the sentence structure is much more
complicated in Attic Greek than in Koine. After wrestling with Attic Greek,
Koine seems easy in comparison.
        Another consideration in studying Attic Greek first is vocabulary. Dare I say
in an age that places such an emphasis on linguistics and discounts etymology:
that Attic Greek provides a good etymological background for Koine Greek. With
a good Attic background, it is easy to deduce the meaning of many Koine Greek
words because so many of them are compounds of words found in Attic.
        Finally beyond the mere grammatical and syntactical advantages to learning
Attic Greek first there is the cultural and social aspects that Edgar Krentz
so elegantly stated in a previous post.
        The question you asked was where to start now that you have 10 years of Koine
Greek. I would start with the basics of Attic. As you progress rather rapidly
because of your background, look to place Koine in the frame work that is
developing from the Attic Greek rather than trying to fit Attic Greek in the
Koine framework. I grant that this is theoretical advice and I'm sure others
will have a more practice approach.
Al Collver

From: A. Brent Hudson
Sent: Friday, March 22, 1996 8:53 AM
To: 'b-greek'
Subject: RE: Grading NT Greek by difficulty

The extremes are easily seen (Johannine / Hebrews); it is the ordering =
of the everything else that becomes tenuous. It has been my experience =
that most NT books are uneven in their difficulty level. I agree with =
Carl Conrad's remarks about Hebrews, but I would extend the inverse to =
"easier" books as well. That is, there are difficult sections in =
otherwise easy books.=20

On a similar topic, Edgar Krentz's post yesterday encourages advanced =
students to read widely in Greek. I have read through NT and most of =
the Apostolic Fathers. Currently, I am working through Philo's De Sacr. =
but find it quite difficult at points. If the Greek student is to =
expand one's horizons, so to speak, where do we begin? My thesis will =
have some connection to Philo so I have started there. I would =
appreciate anyone with experience in the Greek text of Philo offering me =
some advice as to which treatise to read once I complete De Sacr. =20

I am considering taking some classes in Attic Greek. I have about ten =
years of Koine, but find reading some of Plato's texts (Timaeus) quite =
disconcerting. Should I start in a first year Attic course or would it =
be better to read an Introductory Attic Grammar and begin formally in a =
reading course? Any advice would be appreciated.

A. Brent Hudson OR

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