RE: Translating again

From: Hultberg, Alan (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 10:34:22 EDT


>From: Carl W. Conrad on Tue, May 23, 2000 5:22 AM

>At 9:51 AM +0200 5/23/00, Wieland Willker wrote:
>>What then do Clay and others think of translating from English to Greek as a
>>practice to THINK in Greek? Maybe you should go to the baker and ask for
>>bread in Greek? Or imagine you are meeting the apostle John in a cave in
>>Ephesus alive (Joh 21:23)!
>>It might be good to be prepared. -->Homework.
>In my opinion this would unquestionably be salutary--and I know you'll get
>a vote for it from Randall Buth too. Now that I've taught my last official
>Greek class, I earnestly wish that I had made regular conversion of English
>to Greek a key part of my pedagogy; if I had it all to do over again, I
>certainly would.

Agreed! The problem I usually encounter is that the students want to jump
from no knowledge of the language to immediate cash (read Bible
teaching/exposition) value (I teach at a seminary). I have constantly to
remind them of the difference between gaining facility in Greek (or even just
the Greek of the NT) and exegeting the Greek text, of which the former goal is
pre-requisite. "I'm never going to translate from English to Greek when I get
out of seminary!" he intoned plaintively. No, but before I teach you what
you're going to do when you get out of seminary I've got to get you up to
speed as much as possible in Greek, and translating from English to Greek is
invaluable in this regard. I usually tell them that the reason so many
pastors they know don't use their Greek texts is that those pastors have never
become comfortable with the language. I encourage them that I can do that for
them (to a minimally sufficient degree), if they'll trust me and do as I ask
for two years. That's part of the fun of teaching Greek!


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