From: Paul S. Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Apr 27 1998 - 00:16:24 EDT
On Sun, 26 Apr 1998 06:21:18 -0500 "Carl W. Conrad"
>At 1:24 AM -0500 4/26/98, Jane Harper wrote:
>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,
>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
>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.
Some of us studied Greek so we could better understand the scriptures
(please, no slam or slight intended whatsoever). Obviously, when it
comes to sacredness and lasting value and worth, there is no comparison
between the Greek pagan writers and the scriptures. Of course, one's
presuppositions do come to bear significantly here, but some do put
little or no sacred value whatsoever in the pagan writings.
This is not to say there is little or no value in studying non-canonical
Undoubtedly studying such can contribute to one's understanding of the
language in general, and by implication to his understanding of the Greek
in the NT or LXX, but the law of diminishing returns does set in
somewhere. Just how much time do I need to spend studying non-canonical
literature in order to be best equipped for the
teaching/preaching/pastoring ministry? If my goal was to be the best
Greek scholar, then, sure, I would want to study the non-canonical Greek
writings, as well, but that is not my purpose or goal. I do not see
Greek as an end in itself, but rather as a means to an end.
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