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

From: Harry W. Jones (hjbluebird@aol.com)
Date: Fri Nov 09 2001 - 19:59:26 EST

Dear Carl,

I just wanted to publicly say that we really appreciate
the help that have been so unselfishly giving us, in
improving our understanding of New Testament Greek.
I have notice you always try to answer the questions
that come to the list and possibly only missing those
for which time does not permit you to answer. And in
answering the questions I have noticed also that you
avoid using complex technical words that one would more
possibly find in a thesis.

Harry Jones

> 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/

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