Re: reading for vocabulary

From: Theodore H. Mann (
Date: Thu Sep 24 1998 - 15:45:47 EDT

On Thu, 24 Sep 1998 09:30:55 -0400 Jonathan Robie <>

>Some beginning Greek students seem to think that there is something
fundamentally wrong with most translations, and they expect that by
>learning Greek, they will be able to come up with a truly accurate
translation, more accurate than what they can go out and buy now. This
>is, of course, silly. Many people with extensive background in Greek and
Hebrew have been translating the Bible for centuries, and few of us will
>do as good a job as they have.

Am I completely mistaken when I say that, if it is the learner's
intention to discover hidden meanings and produce a better translation,
there is no great value in studying biblical Hebrew and/or Greek, unless
one intends to become really proficient? It seems to me that virtually
all of the subtleties and nuances of the languages have been (and are
continuing to be) amply explained in English, and other modern languages
as well, and that learning Hebrew and Greek will add little to that,
unless the student becomes so fluent that he can perceive those nuances
on his own. Personally, I do not study Greek with the expectation that I
will discover hidden meanings beyond those that have already been
explained in my mother tongue. Furthermore, I doubt that I will ever
become so proficient at the language that an immediacy between myself and
the author/s will be established, unhindered by the process of
translation. I study the language because I GREATLY enjoy doing so. (A
peripheral but dubious benefit I discovered, after I learned a little
Greek, is that my friends ascribe a certain status to me. I cannot deny
that that has a certain appeal to the "flesh.")

Theodore "Ted" H. Mann

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