Sunday, July 01, 2018


I Wish I Did

F.F. Bruce (1910-1990), In Retrospect: Autobiographical Remembrances (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), page number unknown:
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.'

Dear Mike,

The converse of A.S. Peake's "I wish I did" might be "Well, I do!", which oddly enough came from the lips of Bruce himself.
With the Croom Robertson fellowship ... he had sufficient to support himself at the University of Vienna, where he went to do postgraduate research under Paul Kretschmer. Kretschmer was Professor of Indo-European Philology and an expert on the development of the Greek language. During his year Bruce studied Greek, Indo-European and the Hittite language. We should note at this point his mastery of a wide range of languages; apart from the expected command of Hebrew, Greek and Latin, as a book reviewer he later handled titles in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish. And on one occasion during a Manchester faculty meeting. R.P.C. Hanson, then Professor of Theology and an authority on St. Patrick, was arguing that students did not need to to know the biblical languages; in support of his case, he argued that although he taught a course on Patrick, he did not know Middle Irish. Bruce responded "Well, I do!"
Tim Grass, F.F Bruce: A Life (London: Paternoster, 2011), pp. 27-28.

Best wishes,

Eric [Thomson]

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