Greek Grammar in GNT

Suedaleg at Suedaleg at
Sat Sep 15 02:55:08 EDT 2001


As somewhat of an amature historian and student of the way we all 
communicate, this has been an interesting thread.  Following is my opinion on 
the idea of "good" or "bad" grammar, and it relates to our understanding of 
what the New Testament writers were trying to say.

In our education industry, we have unfortunately tried for way too many years 
attempted to make young students conform to somebody's idea of what is "good" 
grammar.  This Somebody must have lived somewhere between London and Boston 
(stuck in the middle of the ocean) because this grammar did not really 
address how us Iowans learned to speak English from our parents, and most of 
us were too far accustommed to speaking "Iowan" to permanantly learn this new 

The truth is that grammar should, as much as possible,  describe the usage 
and not used to judge an individual's usage or level of literacy.  If one 
should travel around the English speaking parts of the world you will hear 
many forms of grammar, all of which are easily understood in the location 
where ir is used.  These are all standard for the location.  

If Peter's usage is different from what most of the Grek writers of the 
eastern Mediterranean it should be labled as non-tradition or non-standard 
rather than "bad".  Labeling it incorrectly slanders the writer whose only 
goal is to express himself, and makes it more difficult for the student to 
understand what the writer is trying to express by bogging him in 

I have found that even Paul and Luke used non-traditional forms to express 
themselves and we learn the emphasis by those non-traditional forms.

by the way - poetry is non-traditional language form used to emphasize the 
writer's perception.

Thanks for letting me put in 2 cents.

Dale Greenlee

ps.  Sometime you should read Beowulf in the original English.  Then you may 
understand why I think we should not try to lock ourselves into "standard" 
language.  "Standard" can only describe language, not form it.

More information about the B-Greek mailing list