Verses which need to be read in the Grk

Gary S. Shogren gshogren at sol.racsa.co.cr
Fri Jan 1 10:56:51 EST 1999


Part I: May I suggest some longer passages as favorites --

1. The christological passages are usually rich linguistically as well as, 
obviously, theologically. Often though to be hymnic:  Col. 1:15-20; Eph 1; 
Heb 1:1-4; 1 Tim 3:16
2. The book of Revelation in the Greek is an experience (it's something to 
see in the Vulgate as well)
3. Romans 1:18-32; ch. 5-6; 12
4. Anything out of Mark - Mark 2, for example - to get a feel for his 
style
5. 2 Thess 1, with NA-27 cross-references and an LXX at hand!
6. James 3
7. 1 Peter 1-2

Part II: I've spent a few years now disallusioning my Greek students about 
what Greek will do for them. I now have a discussion scheduled into 2nd 
year Greek, "Why study Greek?", because after a while they realize that 
there is no magic knowledge that I will impart to them in a Gnostic 
fashion. It's sad to think that the majority of new Greeks know all about 
Greek from the half-truths and linguistic nonsense that they hear from 
teachers, preachers, pop literature, etc.

Even on B-Greek I've been amazed to see people confessing the formula

"1. The English translations all say x (an English word that translators 
thought approximated the meaning and sense of the Greek in that context)
"2. But the Greek REALLY means y (simply another English word, often 
ill-fitting in this context, often not idiomatic English, perhaps 
multi-hyphenated, offered as the "true" meaning [that is, the mythical 
English equivalent] of the Greek word)."

Although I'd sooner lose my right hand (well...left hand maybe) than lose 
Greek for study, devotions, pleasure reading, I get tired of hearing 
"But...what does the Greek REALLY say?", implying that there's a different 
story in the Greek, and, I guess, implying that the English translators are 
either unable or unwilling to leak that knowledge out.

In English, Greek, whatever - it's still the same story-line! But I'd still 
rather read it in the original, just like I prefer Shakespeare in English 
and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Spanish.

¡Felizaño Nuevo!

Gary Shogren
Costa Rica



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