Re: thinking Greek

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 02:00:25 EDT

on 05/15/00 10:23 PM, yochanan bitan wrote:

> [ to prevent possible
> mis-communication: I am probably at the extreme among those who work
> monolingually with Greek texts. I don't like any non-Greek language around
> the page when I read, and it wouldn't even cross my mind to try translating
> to another language, e.g. english. but . . .]


It might not cross your mind but it seems to cross the mind of a fair number
of other people on b-greek. I wonder what percentage of the b-greek posts
are of the form: "how should this be rendered in English?"

I spent the first 10 years of my NT Greek studies translating and I have
spent the last four years trying to break the habit. It is not easy to

A year or two ago when I picked up the second edition of Gordon Fee's blue
book on NT Exegesis, I winced when he suggested that one of the first things
you should do is make an English translation. Once you have made an English
translation you have essentially cut yourself off from the text.

Sure, you need to write your sermon or whatever in English but that is
different than making a personal translation as a preliminary step in
exegesis. This translation step in exegesis seems counter productive in the

Not all will agree with this view I am sure.


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

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