[B-Greek] Looking for a quote

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon Mar 27 18:16:00 EST 2006

Two issues are here now in this thread,
and more profound than some may realize.
I'll comment after each.

>>"for a pastor not to know Greek makes about as much sense as
>> a professor of French literature not knowing French."

Now try to imagine a professor of French literature who could not give
a lecture about the authors Dumas or Flaubert IN FRENCH, or less
academically, who could not give you directions to a good restaurant
in the city or explain what they did over the weekend. Then try to
find a seminary professor who can give a lecture about Paul or
Josephus in KOINH ELLHNIKH, or give directions and describe a family
weekend (fluently, or where the words at least trickle out of the
mouth, granting generous amounts of patience), and you may see that
the situation is even worse than you imagined.

> I'm sure we shouldn't be having this conversation on this list, but FWIW,
> I wonder what he'd have made of all those apostles and NT writers who
> didn't have any Hebrew?! :-)
> Doug Chaplin

davar aHer // another view:
This appears to be referring to twentieth century authors not fluent
in Hebrew or conversant in mishnaic Hebrew studies writing about the
disciples and Hebrew. The apostles all knew Hebrew quite well if not
mothertongue. Unless they weren't first century Jews in the Land
listening to a popular teacher tell parables and explain scripture and
how to live -- but then they wouldn't have been disciples. (PS: all
Jewish disciples in the first century spoke good Hebrew and there is
no record that Yeshua` vetalmidav were any different. There is good
internal evidence in the Greek gospels that would support such a
picture. It did distinguish locals from foreigners, as Acts 22:2 seems
to imply. Or what? You think Gamliel [Gamaliel] or Yochanan ben Zakkai
[John son of Zachaeus] didn't teach in Hebrew? Or a disciple like
Shaul [Paul] didn't follow and participate, fully and easily? The
following 1st century GALILEANS appear to have taught in Hebrew:
Yochanan ben Zakkai, Hanina ben Dosa, Halafta, Hananya ben Teradyon,
Eleazar ben Azarya, Tzadok, Elisha ben Avuya, Yose ben Kisma, Yochanan
ben Nuri, Eleazar ben Parta, Eleazar ben Teradyon, Yose ben Tadai of
Tiveryas, Zakkai of Kavul, Yose ha-Gelili, Abba Yose Holikofri. Do you
want to drop Yeshua` and crowd from the list? [Tongue in cheek: we
certainly don't want to add the Qumran/Essene folk, because they were
based in the south, but we could add the Galilean politician
Anyway, I suspect that those folk had no trouble telling parables in
Hebrew or would be able to give you directions around town in Hebrew
(or Greek or Aramaic), or explain what happened over the weekend.


Randall Buth
Randall Buth, PhD
ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
randallbuth at gmail.com

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