[b-greek] Re: New "Baby Greek" book by Bill Mounce

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 14:51:01 EST

At 2:29 PM -0500 11/1/01, Trevor Peterson wrote:
>Carl wrote:
>>I wonder why this "catalog description" makes me so skeptical? It looks so
>>much like a book that teaches one only enough to be dangerous!
>But it does raise an interesting question: What can/should a person learn
>about Greek who does not actually know enough and does not plan to learn
>enough to translate Greek? There are a lot of tools and commentaries that are
>designed at least in part for those who do not know Greek. Granted, it must be
>done with caution (we already know how dangerous a little Greek can be!), but
>is there a productive way to educate laypeople who want to make use of some of
>these resources? Ideally, they should learn Greek outright, but that is not
>always possible for various reasons. What then?
>I'm not saying I have many answers; but it seems like we should have enough
>experience on this list to brainstorm a little bit about what is and is not a
>good idea. Let me get the ball rolling with lesson #1: A Little Greek Can Be a
>Dangerous Thing! Any ideas for follow-up lessons?

Yes. More Greek. And more and more Greek, until it's no longer dangerous
(which may be about that time that it also hurts!).

Actually however, it really depends upon temperament, I think, more than
upon learning just "the right amount" of Greek. It depends upon a degree of
prudence and diligence to keep probing in those tools Trevor mentions. It
means being very careful about making public pronouncements about "what the
Greek REALLY means" (or why all those translators have gotten it all
wrong!). It means using this precious tool to enhance one's own
understanding of the Biblical text rather than to set out at once to be a
teacher on the basis of it.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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