Re: Hebrew and Greek as languages

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Apr 10 1998 - 11:30:50 EDT

At 9:43 AM -0500 4/10/98, Eric Weiss wrote:
>[A friend (who I believe has not had formal training in either language
>- i.e., I don't believe he reads the Hebrew and Greek text but rather
>does word studies with English-language helps) made the following
>comments to me re: what he perceived to be differences between Hebrew
>and Greek as languages and as vehicles for communicating their
>respective messages, i.e., the words of the Old and New Covenants,
>respectively. Would anyone care to comment on the substance of my
>friend's remarks - i.e., how true or valid or perceptive they are? If
>the discussion ends up veering outside the parameters of B-Greek or
>B-Hebrew discussion, please continue to respond to me by e-mail
>off-line. Thanks! - Eric Weiss]
>- - -
>Be skeptical of what you are about to hear when someone who hasn't had
>at least a year or two of biblical Greek and/or Hebrew says: "Now, in
>the original Greek (or Hebrew) it really says (or means) ...."
>- - -

Eric, I think the little blurb at the bottom of your signature is an
eloquent comment on that whole characterization of the two languages. There
may occasionally be a worthwhile observation in this sort of
impressionistic outside assessment, but it strikes me as rather like a
comment on what an orange is like by a person who has seen one but never
sliced or tasted even one. Such a person might make an accurate comment
that, "this fruit is well-named," but what else is true?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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