[b-greek] Re: Grammar

From: c stirling bartholomew (cc.constantine@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Mon Feb 26 2001 - 15:54:38 EST

on 2/26/01 10:56 AM, Bill Starkey wrote:

> My first NT Greek teacher used Machen. After 20 years and seeing what came
> after it, I still say that it is the easiest way to introduce NT Greek.
> Machen uses a very simple approach. It is not a "pretty" book with pictures.
> That could be the reason teachers don't use it today!


Simple for whom? A few years ago I used to recommend E.V.N. Goetchius as the
the most intelligent approach to teaching NT Greek. I soon came to realize
that Goetchius was simple for me since I had been studying structuralist and
post-structuralist linguistics for about six years before picking up
Goetchius and he was speaking a language I understood. I don't make this
mistake now. E.V.N. Goetchius is not simple.

Machen speaks the language of the 1920's Princeton Seminary student, who had
learned Latin in grade school. He is hopelessly dated in this respect and
would be just about the optimal bad choice for a gen X or gen Y student.

Having said this I would not recommend any of the contemporary authors of
the Zondervan school of biblical Greek either for a different set of
reasons (see the archives) which I will not try everyones patience by going
into again.

Before someone asks, I do not have a recommendation to make on a first year
NT Greek text. I really don't like any of them very much. Almost all of them
promote ideas about the relationship between formal language features (case,
verb inflection, etc.) and semantics which reflect a 19th century view of
language. This is a topic which has been discussed before at some length.

I don't teach Greek and never have. People who teach have a much better idea
of what will work in the classroom. However, on the subject of Machen I can
say with out fear of contradiction that the current student (mid 20's) is
going to have to perform exegesis on the English text in Machen. This is not


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

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