[b-greek] What knowledge of Greek can and cannot do

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 08:15:33 EST

I think this statement by Alex Hopkins is so simply and eloquently stated
and so important in its seemingly obvious but profound truth that I would
like to pick it out and highlight it lest someone skimming through the
message in a thread of little interest to him or her might miss it:

At 10:07 PM +1100 11/8/01, Alex / Ali wrote (inter alia):
>When I'm teaching students, I sometimes tell them that a knowledge of the
>Greek often enough doesn't enable us to be certain of the exact meaning of a
>passage but it does allows us to discern the boundaries within which the
>meaning lies, so that in these instances we can determine what is a
>reasonable interpretation and what is not, though we may not be able to be
>certain of one interpretation to the exclusion of all others. (I have had
>students who start with the impression that a knowledge of Greek will lay to
>rest each and every question of interpretation they've ever had, and it's
>interesting to watch them begin to realise that this isn't so.)

P.S. Yesterday I had a belated off-list response to a message I had sent
regarding Bill Mounce's new book (I said, "It looks so much like a book
that teaches one only enough to be dangerous!"; the respondent wrote: "If a
little knowledge of Koine Greek is dangerous...lead us to the scholar who
knows enough not to be dangerous!!!!" Here is one (Alex Hopkins) who not
only knows enough but is able to teach his students to know enough not to
be dangerous. I'd also like to think that if B-Greek has a "mission" it is
precisely that: to help students of Greek 'know enough not to be dangerous!'

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/

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:11 EDT