RE: Meaning of case (and the Apocalypse)

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Wed May 14 1997 - 23:56:14 EDT

>>Clayton Bartholomew ( wrote

>>I remember a few years ago when I was translating the Apocalypse of
>>reading in the commentaries and grammars that the Apocalypse was a
>>grammatical nightmare, full of impossible constructions and
>>barbarisms. But when Richmond Lattimore, a Homeric scholar, translated

>>it he didn't find it hard to read. Wonder why?

Even though it's probably been answered before, I would like to hear
from the Classical Greek experts again on the point Clayton raises.
Lattimore's comments, from the Preface to his The Four Gospels and the
Revelation (now combined - unchanged - with his Acts and Epistles into a
single-volume complete New Testament) were: "It was while I was teaching
various Greek texts to beginning students that I was struck by the
natural ease with which Revelation turned itself into English.... I
noted that Revelation seemed to translate itself.... But it is not
always so easy. To go from Revelation to Matthew is like going from
Ruskin to Carlyle." (This last comment doesn't mean anything to me,
since I know nothing of Ruskin or Carlyle!) Anyway, I, too, have read
various theories on the Apocalypse's grammar/syntax/style, with comments
ranging from "bad" to "imitation LXX" to "the author knew what he was
doing." How does a familiarity with Classical or Homeric Greek affect
one's understanding or appreciation for the Apocalypse - and does it
explain supposed grammatical problems?

"Eric S. (and Karol-Ann) Weiss"
part-time grad student at The Criswell College
"Send those testimonies!"

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