Reading Greek, other than biblical.

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Mon Aug 21 10:25:29 EDT 2000

At 2:58 PM +0100 8/21/00, Maurice A. O'Sullivan wrote:
>On the IOUDAIOS-L list, Jane Harper recently posed this question:
> >>
>I am, as they say over on B-Greek, a Little Greek, and what I have I
>don't want to lose, but I'd rather work on something other than the
>Greek NT.  My two candidates at this point are Philo's "Questions on
>Genesis" and Josephus' Antiquities.  Which, in your opinion, would be a
>better choice?
>This produced quite a number of interesting, and knowledgeable, replies.
>If Jane is currently reading this list, perhaps she could summarise these
>for us?
>otherwise, the archives are available at:
>Start on Aug 19 with the "thread"  Re: Strange Question,
>Unfortunately, it then switches to " Reading Philo or Josephus?" and yet
>again changes to: " Reading Jewish- Hellenistic Greek "

Interesting indeed, particularly Jim West's comment "(who, btw, [says Steve
Mason} never stirs up apathy)" to the effect that "Josephus is more
interesting and Philo will only give you a headache." Josephus is certainly
easier to read, as narrative is generally easier than exposition or
discussion. I'll agree too that Philo "will give you a headache," but I
think the effort to read Philo is well repaid. As for what's interesting,
chacun à son goût: I found the treatise on the creation narratives (De
Opificio Mundi) fascinating for what it shows of Hellenistic Jewish
interpretation of those first three chapters of Genesis.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at 
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