Re: Machen & "the language of the street."

From: Jim West (
Date: Sun Oct 26 1997 - 15:21:26 EST

At 03:00 PM 10/26/97 -0500, you wrote:
>The precision and completeness with which the Koine Greek is analyzed on this
>list amazes me. (As a matter of personal faith I believe the scriptures are
>capable of such analysis.) Now help me here, Machen described Koine Greek as
>"the language of the street." English "street talk" is not very gramatical.

Neither is Koine. Especially if you compare it to Attic.

> How do we know we are not stretching the point?

Some often do stretch the point. Some are, to be blunt, washed in the blood
of the subjunctive mood.

>Was there Koine grammer?

Surely; but again it was much looser than Attic.

> And how do we know this grammer. Did the writers know and use excellent
>grammer, or did we create a grammer to explain what they wrote?

As in any language, grammar is deductive. When we learned to speak our
mother tongue we learned inductively and then when we got to school we
learned the rules which had been set out deductively. So it is with koine.
For every rule there is an exception!

>The Barbarian


Jim West

Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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