Re: Incorrect Greek???

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Mon Sep 21 1998 - 23:35:49 EDT

Jonathan Robie wrote:
> My impression is that the Revelation is the only book that seems to contain
> incorrect Greek . . .


IMHO, the phrase "incorrect Greek" is not a felicitous expression when
talking about the New Testament. Almost every book of the NT has passages
which are difficult to scan because of the syntax. Paul certainly has a
significant number of rough passages in his writings. Even Luke on occasion
does something that causes the scribes to try and clean up his syntax.

The language used in the Apocalypse of John is shocking to those whose
background is principally in classics. But there have been some serious
studies* (I cannot cite one from memory) that claim that the language of the
Apocalypse follows very definite rules, they are just different rules than
those used by Luke and the author of Hebrews.

The phrase "incorrect Greek" calls to mind a prescriptive approach to grammar.
The picture this paints in my mind is a 1950's high school English teacher,
slapping a ruler on her desk and saying "That is incorrect. A sentence cannot
end with a preposition." ;-)

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

* I am still waiting for the new 1,400 page commentary on the Greek text of the Apocalypse by Gregory Beale which my local library ordered for me almost six months ago but Eerdmans has delayed the release. When this book arrives we can take up this question again and I will have a recent bibliography to work with.

Note the preposition at the end of my last sentence!! What horrible English.

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