[b-greek] Some Porter comments

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Oct 10 2000 - 19:33:16 EDT


A few quotes from:

Stanley E. Porter, Verbal Aspect, 1993, pg. 22

"The problem appears to stem from the Stoics' over-dependence upon
temporally-based definitional categories even for kind of action...

The Greeks cannot be faulted only for an insufficient metalanguage; the
definitions and understandings themselves are not comprehensive or fully

Certainly their abilities to use the language far exceeded those of modern
scholars, yet their efforts at describing their own language were,
unfortunately, rudimentary and even in places misleading."

If Dr. Porter's assessments are even close to accurate, how does that help
us understand the general grammatical expertise that the writers and
readers/hearers of the New Testament probably had attained?

Is he saying the even the hellenistic grammarians were unable to articulate
their own understanding of Greek? If so, what chance do we stand 2000 years

I am not at all familiar with the writings of Josephus, but I understand
that he was a "well-educated" Jewish historian (whose writings we have in
Greek only ?? ). To those who have read his writings, are his writings
noticeably different (grammatically superior) from those of the "Galilean
fishermen" of the NT? (Similar to the difference in the writings today of
the average fisherman or truck driver from that of, say, William F. Buckley

How many believers of the first century even had the capacity to hack their
way through Hebrews 6?

Sorry for rambling! I guess I see the NT in a different light, since even
the contemporary hellenistic grammarians were "confused."

Thank you,

Mark Wilson

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