From: Jonathan Robie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 16:48:15 EST
At 02:29 PM 11/1/2001 -0500, Trevor Peterson wrote:
>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
>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
>these resources? Ideally, they should learn Greek outright, but that is not
>always possible for various reasons. What then?
This depends a lot on the reasons that people are learning Greek. Every
month or so I get email from people asking how to spell and pronounce the
Greek word that corresponds to some English word such as "righteousness".
These people clearly just want to impress people with the trappings of
knowledge that they do not possess.
For someone who is learning for the right reason, I think that some
resources are harder than others. Learning the alphabet is not hard. Louw
and Nida is not hard once you know the alphabet and have someone show you
how to use it. For that matter, someone who knows the Greek alphabet well
can already get useful information out of Danker.
Most people who are willing to pay careful attention to those things that
are within their grasp are also on their way to grasping a bit more.
>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
>Dangerous Thing! Any ideas for follow-up lessons?
Let me quote from my Little Greek site (http://www.ibiblio.org/koine/):
A "Little Greek" is someone who is still learning Greek. The phrase
originated when someone on the B-Greek Mailing List suggested that "a
little Greek is a dangerous thing". I replied that I am a Little Greek, and
I am dangerous, but so are some of the Big Greeks. Most Greek grammars say
a few things that are completely wrong, and most noted authorities on the
Greek language have said at least one stupid thing. But there is good news:
even Really Incredibly Awesome Big Greeks can be Little Greeks too, as long
as they realize one thing:
ECOMEN DE TON QHSAURON TOUTON EN OSTRAKINOIS SKEWESIN, hINA hH hHPERBOLH
THS DUNAMEWS hH TOU QEOU KAI MH EX hHMWN. (2 Cor 4:7)
Those who don't know aren't dangerous; those who insist they do know are
very dangerous. This is just as true for Really Big Greeks as for Little
Greeks. Each of us knows only in part; if we want to profit by studying
Greek, we must have the humility and the patience to learn one step at a
time, to be corrected by others, and be open to the Spirit who guides us in
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