Re: learning Greek

From: McKay family (
Date: Fri Apr 24 1998 - 01:49:24 EDT

Firstly, it IS possible to learn a language quickly. We have a friend who
works with a humanitarian agency in China, and has learned Mandarin enough
to converse, write and teach others English over a three year period. She
WAS very determined, however! In her most recent newsletter, she proudly
snipped a prize-winning article she wrote for the People's Daily [3rd
place]. The competition was for foreigners [this kind of thing is popular in
China. They have TV shows called "Foreigners sing Chinese songs!]

It was interesting that though she used a small font for the English, it
took over 3 times as much page space as her Chinese article.

On the topic of Greek-learning, it surprises me how few people are
interested. The other night we had our new youth pastor from Canada preach
his first sermon. This was the first time I have ever heard a person
pronounce a Greek word in the pulpit according to any accepted scheme of
pronunciation. It was just a shame that he defined PARAKLHTOS as a verb! Was
he looking for PARAKALEW?

In my experience, people use their extremely limited knowledge of the
language to make the text say what suits the sermon topic for the moment,
rather than to ascertain the possible range of meanings [or THE meaning] of
the text itself.

If people are not going to study Greek or Hebrew, it would be good if they
at least studied hermeneutics and exegesis and how to use lexicons,
concordances, etc. I don't think this is being done either in our neck of
the woods.

David McKay

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