Am I robbing Peter to pay Paul?

From: Mark Wilson (
Date: Sat Jun 10 2000 - 12:39:44 EDT

The only way I know how to learn to read (and study) Greek is to read a lot.
And I am trying my best to read and read and read.

When I first started reading John's writings, I incorrectly thought I was a
natural wiz at Greek. In fact, I became a little "puffed up."

As I turned my attention to Paul and began to read his writings, as best as
I could, it occurred to me that learning Greek was not getting easier. Or,
to put it another way, Paul was harder than John. (Mind you I am only
reading words without the ability yet to analyze or see grammatical

Well, I have all but become completely discouraged. I have now tried some of
Peter (1 Peter). Having read Peter, I now feel Paul's Greek is not as hard.

I think John uses a collection of vocabulary and grammar that I must have a
better predisposition to retain. Paul's vocabulary stock and grammar seems
to exceed John's noticeably, but still within grasp.

But Peter! What is he doing? : )

I feel like I am "hacking" my way through Peter. With John, I can read with
a smile. With Paul, I sit up straight. But with Peter, I am not sure how to
read him, not his "theology," but his vocabulary stock and grammar,
especially word order.

Here is my question. Would I be correct in this assessment:

John, Paul, and Peter wrote and spoke Greek as, at least, a second language
(their native languages being Hebrew/Aramaic).

Hence, this may account for their use of the Greek language being noticeably
different, since it was not their native language, but they were
nevertheless proficient in it.

Add to that their different IQ's and personalities.

John learned Greek from someone different than did Peter. Their Greek
difference is really confusing to me, since they both seemed to have lived
in the same geographical region. I can more so understand why Paul's Greek
would be different from John's, but why Peter's seems so different from
John's is of interest to me. They lived in same area and had same

I am almost ready to conclude that Paul was "smarter" than Peter. And John
was smarter than Peter, as well, not that Peter was ignorant.

Anyway, I would be interested in understanding this "noticeably" different
Greek "style" of Peter's (especially from John's).

I hope this makes sense, and that my question has found its way to the
surface. I am not expecting a rambling-kind-of-answer as my "question"
turned out to be.

Thank you,

Mark Wilson

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