[b-greek] Greek 101 drop outs

From: Rob Somers (robsomers@golden.net)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 19:56:53 EST

    Well, I have enjoyed scanning through all the thoughts regarding this
matter of why so many students drop out. I have a few thoughts (not that
they are all that important, but hey, this *is* a discussion group... =P)
    Firstly, I think it is definitely true that many students drop Greek, as
it is a lot of work to do. You can't pick up a language with no effort
involved. Some students don't feel they have the time to spend on that
amount of effort. I suppose that a boring teacher could affect how much a
student sticks at the Greek (I remember that I did well in my high school
courses where the teacher was genuinely interested in helping me learn --
but I do not know what it is like to have a boring Greek instructor -- both
of them now have been very interesting men to learn from), but I think the
responsibility lies more on the student -- how much do they really want it?
If you really want something, you will get it if you can.
    I wish there were more instructors like my first year Greek teacher --
my second year classmates joke that he is comparable to a Marine Drill
Instructor. He had this nasty habit of testing us every day -- and on the
big tests, everyone was afraid to finish the test before the appointed time,
for if there were blank spaces on the sheet, and one of us handed it in, we
were told to sit back down, and finish it. But as hard as our instructor
was on us, it was all worth it (all of my classmates this year agree) -- we
are breezing through second year Greek (I use the word 'breezing' very
loosely -- it is still a lot of work!)
    As far as students becoming pastors, and then never using their acquired
skills in Greek, I am quite baffled by this --- sure nobody cares if a
pastor has Greek or not, but that should not stop the minister from doing
everything that he can do to understand God's word, so he can give the flock
something to eat. I remember I was at my friends ordination a couple of
years ago, and the man who preached the message had some words of wisdom for
my newly ordained friend -- he told a story of how different churches
apparently write to Billy Graham, and ask him if he knows of any good
pastors who do not know Greek -- they get so sick of hearing 'in the Greek
it says...' I make it a point to leave that phrase out of my preaching. On
the other hand, I think there are a lot of weak sermons, by not using the
Greek, as the pastors lose a lot by not using the original language. I
personally use it every time I prerpare a sermon (I know that there are many
things that I do not grasp, as my skill level in the language is not as high
as many, but there is also much that I can grasp, and no, I am not patting
myself on the back). There are several good reasons to use the Greek like
this regularly. For my own benefit, I use it, as I understand that the only
sure way to really get a grip on a language is to use it constantly -- I
have worked hard to get what I have, and I do not desire to lose it.
Secondly, this word of life that we hold forth is too precious to twist or
put into it meanings that God's Holy Spirit never intended.
    Anyway, I have rambled on enough, and I am sure that I have not said
everything I wanted to. I will likely think of the other things as soon as
I hit send.

Rob Somers

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