Re: Bad Greek

From: Jim West (
Date: Wed May 19 1999 - 09:49:53 EDT

At 09:30 AM 5/19/99 -0400, you wrote

>At 9:05 AM -0400 5/19/99, Randy Leedy wrote:
>>In closing, I must say that I am puzzled to know what drives Jim West
>>to continue using the most pejorative possible terms to describe the
>>grammar of Revelation. What does "horrid" help us to understand more
>>clearly ABOUT THE TEXT than something like "solecistic" or even
>>"highly awkward" would? Jim, I hope you don't mind my probing a little
>>here. Since you continue using such terminology, I don't think I'm out
>>of place in continuing to seek a clearer explanation.

Randy et al,

I assure you, my intention was not to offend. I sincerely apologize if
anyone, in fact, was offended. I tend to use rather straightforward
language (as listers are fairly well aware). I take the Biblical texts with
more seriousness than most, I think, as I have devoted my life, my money,
and my career to its explication and explanation. I am no mere dilettante
who studies the Bible as a hobby. It is, again, my life. (Let me hasten to
say that I have the utmost regard for those who study the Bible but who are
not "professionals". My point here however is that I have invested
thousands and thousands of dollars in education and books, and hundreds of
thousands of hours in study of the Bible. I have earned the right to speak.)
As a serious student of the Bible I take it, itself, with utmost
seriousness. I take seriously the words, phrases, syntax, and intertextual
relationships. And I take seriously the fact that it cannot be "flattened"
into one boring plane of grammar, syntax, or vocabulary. The varous authors
were not automatons who simply received a dictated Verbum Dei. Rather, they
were real human beings who used their own real abilities (or lack thereof)
to communicate what they firmly believed was God's Word to them.
Since the Biblical texts come to us in human words- it behooves us to study
them diligently to glean all we can from them. If we observe, in that
undertaking, that some writer's grammar is "not good" (or any other
adjectival phrase you choose) then it is, at worst, dishonest, to gloss it
over and pretend that the emperor is wearing clothes when he is in reality
quite naked. Is God honored by dishonesty?
In any event, you asked for an explanation of my phraseology, and I have
given it (however briefly). The bottom line is this- my intention is never
to offend; and my intention is always to be honest.



Jim West, ThD
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