Re: Wenham

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Tue Jun 03 1997 - 01:04:51 EDT

One of the real pleasures of my year in Oxford (83-84) was "eating" tea
with John Wenham on Sunday afternoon fortnightly. I also "ate" tea with
G.D. Kilpatrick on Thursday afternoons. These two gentlemen often walked
together for exercise, as they both lived in the same neighborhood between
Banberry Rd & Woodstock Rd. I also often attended the programs at Latimer
House where Wenham was Warden. They had such people as Donald Guthrie and
Maurice Wilds (certainly two opposites in theology) at Latimer House for
these debates.

I say all this to say that John Wenham was a great evangelical who did not
suffer the fear that seems to grip some American evangelicals of allowing
an audience to those "liberals" from whom you might learn something.

As to his Greek beginning grammar. As traditional grammars go, it is a
good one and has been widely used among English students outside the US.
There are two reasons, I think, why it has never been widely used in the
US, maybe three. 1) Most teachers of Greek in the US have felt that
accents, while not of primary importance, are important. I would add that
for those Greek students I have taught, they seem to have less trouble with
them if introduced to them at the very beginning. 2) Wenham's book is very
traditional. For this type grammar, Machen has been hard to beat. In
Baptist institutions, Davis or Summers. 3?) We have been aflicted with the
idea in the US that every Greek teacher should produce his own beginning
grammar, hence a rash of grammars that can be "covered by a dime" in terms
that the only difference between them is the order of the lessons. I have
also seen a lot of locally produced workbook type introductions to Greek
some of which have never been officially published. Most of these simply
correct some minor "flaws" in some other basic grammar. Others take a
completely different approach (inductive primarily).

Carlton L. Winbery
114 Beall St.
Pineville, LA 71360
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone 318 487-7241 Home 448-6103

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