Re: How Long to Learn K. Greek?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Apr 26 1998 - 07:21:18 EDT

At 1:24 AM -0500 4/26/98, Jane Harper wrote:
>> I would like to give a hearty second to Carl Conrad's comments on learning
>> Greek. What often passes for fluency among New Testament Greek students is
>> simply great familiarity with the biblical text. I would like to offer a
>> chellenge. Try reading something besides the New Testament.
>How about using the church fathers here? Then one could test one's
>fluency AND
>be edified at the same time...

There's nothing wrong with the idea of reading the fathers at all, but
there's a hint here that reading the non-Christian literature is not
edifying--and if there was any such notion intended, I think that a taste
of some of the patristic literature, e.g. Clement of Alexandria, will give
a sense of the sort of pagan Greek literature those writers were familiar
with. But there is both pleasure and edification in the reading of Homer
and Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, etc. And, of course, those
who wrote at the same time the NT was being composed, Philo and Josephus.

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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