RE: Kissing girlfriends on phone

From: Kelley Mata (
Date: Fri Nov 06 1998 - 12:29:17 EST

The problem is double sided: those who know just enough Greek to make
substantial exegetical errors while seeming knowledgeable to those who know
less and those who reject all reference to the original languages of the
Scriptures as being beneficial, not understanding the point made by the
final quote of the previous email.

                "Two things happen in translation. Something in the
original text gets lost, and something not in the original gets added."

It has been my experience that many who have an aversion to the original
languages have at some point encountered someone with little knowledge about
them but who places an over emphasis on their exegetical insight from them.

M. Kelley Mata
Western Seminary - Portland, OR.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nichael Lynn Cramer []
> Sent: Friday, November 06, 1998 8:32 AM
> To: Biblical Greek
> Cc: Biblical Greek
> Subject: Re: Kissing girlfriends on phone
> LisaM/GeorgeB wrote:
> >"A guy once said reading the Bible in translation is like kissing your
> >girlfriend over the telephone. That may be OK in a pinch, but there is
> >a whole better way to do it." And the article goes on to talk about a
> >retired pastor teaching non-accredited Greek and Hebrew at a community
> >colleged for Bible reading in the tri-cities area. Apparently, a lot of
> >folks are showing up.
> On the other hand, back home, when I was a kid, there was a story that one
> of the nearby churches was looking for a new minister, so they sent a
> message back up the appropriate hierarchy that they should be sent a new
> one.
> They only had two requirements: That the new minister should 1] have
> never
> had a Greek class and 2] should never have taken a trip to the Holy Land,
> because the previous minister had done both of these things, and all he
> did
> was talk about this stuff!
> My best example was the youth minister at our church. He was a pretty
> cool
> guy and all of the kids loved him. And I'm pretty sure he had had some
> Greek (probably a semester or two). But one time, in high school, I had
> read an article about the Synoptics Saying Source. and I asked him what he
> thought about Q and all that.
> From his response it was clear that it wasn't the case that he simply
> disagreed with or dismissed the notion, rather that he quite plainly had
> never heard of it (at the time this was somewhat less disconcerting than I
> find it today.)
> In short, I'm glad that the pastor in your article is doing that work.
> But
> --while it may be a bit of a caricature-- it's not too far off the mark to
> point out that a lot of people really do figure that if King James English
> was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for them.
> --
> Nichael Cramer
> Go forth under the open sky...
> ---
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