Re: Reasons for Greek

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Mon Jun 24 1996 - 08:58:13 EDT

I'm surprised no one has yet (at least at the time of my reading my b-greek-
digests) stated the BEST reason for studying Greek, which is:

        So that one can enjoy and participate in the discussions and
        fellowship on B-Greek -- one of the delights of my life!
        (I'm sure the same could be said for Hebrew and B-Hebrew -- but since
        I won't have an understanding of Hebrew for another year or two, that
        will have to wait for me.)

My testimony to Tom Launder's friend: One of my greatest regrets is that I
waited this long to learn Greek (I just finished my second year last month).
I'm in total agreement with the comments from ministers and scholars that
have been posted so far about why one should learn Greek (and Hebrew). I'm
just a "layman" (I hate that term!) and have no aspirations of being a
minister or pastor. I just wanted to be able to read the Bible and
intelligently confront the text (and have it confront me). Frustrated with
English translations and not knowing which one was right (or, perhaps, which
one was better), I knew that I would have to learn some Greek and Hebrew.
(Biblical languages at the "Strong's Concordance" level is almost worse than
knowing no Greek or Hebrew at all -- making decisions about vocabulary
without knowing grammar and the language is fraught with dangers. Though I'd
heard this from people who knew Greek and Hebrew, I did not want to believe
it at the time -- but it's now my opinion, too.) So I "took the plunge"
after failing at my efforts to teach myself, and enrolled in a local
seminary. I can now read the Greek New Testament with some facility, make
decisions about translation, read REAL commentaries with understanding (and
even "intelligently" disagree with some of the comments made), understand why
different translations read the way they do -- it's not that one is "right"
and the other is "wrong" -- there is sometimes no way to translate Greek into
intelligible or acceptable English without losing a nuance here or a word
emphasis there, and different translations of the same verse are often the
result of the translator deciding what aspect(s) of the original to bring
CAN (one year is not enough -- one doesn't really deal with the language
until the 2nd year; first year is mostly vocabulary and basic grammar -- but
it's certainly better than none) -- EVEN GET A NEW "MINISTER." (Hopefully
there's something you left out of your question, and the minister isn't
discouraging her because he himself doesn't think knowing Greek is
worthwhile!) If your friend lives in the Dallas metroplex area, let me know
and I'll give you my phone # /address if she wants to talk more about this.


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