Thursday, November 27, 2014


Knowing Greek

F.F. Bruce (1910-1990), In Retrospect: Remembrance of Things Past (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), p. 293:
I have met students who claimed to 'know Greek' on the basis of their acquaintance with the Greek New Testament; even if that latter acquaintance were exhaustive, it would no more amount to a knowledge of Greek than acquaintance with the English New Testament would amount to a knowledge of English. There is a story told of A.S. Peake writing a Greek word on the blackboard of his Manchester classroom, and one of his students saying, 'You needn't write it down, Doctor; we know Greek.' To which he replied, 'I wish I did.' To know a language, even an ancient language, involves having such a feel for its usage that one can tell, almost as by instinct, whether a construction is permissible or not, or whether a translation is possible or not. Translation is not simply a matter of looking up a word in a dictionary and selecting the equivalent which one would like to find in a particular passage.
Id., p. 145:
I can think of no better foundation than a classical education for the professional cultivation of biblical studies.

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