Do you think Greek should be taught in Christian schools?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Plain Old Bill, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    After taking part in many conversations on this board and reading yet a great many more I have noticed that a lot of people don't have the foggiest idea about how to read Greek or where to learn.
    The pastors and seminarians are constantly saying,"if you knew the original languages ",or if "you knew Greek". You know what, those are vary valid statements.
    I think it would be a good idea if Greek and Hebrew were taught in Christian schools,espescially Greek.This would be a good idea for pastors to pass along to the school principles of thier Christian schools.These languages could at least be offerred as electives at the Jr. hi & Hi school levels.
    What do you think?
     
  2. gb93433

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    Matthew Henry started taking Greek at ten years old.
     
  3. Marcia

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    I agree -- Greek should be taught!
     
  4. Phillip

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    Another agreement. Greek should be taught. Hebrew---I dunno. Would be nice, but take a lot of resources in finding teachers capable. Of course, children are known to learn multiple languages without confusion when they are very small. This is the time to learn a language, not like me, since I can't even remember the name of a visitor at church for five minutes.

    Greek should be taught at the same time English grammar is so that the comparisons can be made. Believe it or not the children will keep them seperate.
     
  5. IveyLeaguer

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    Good idea. Maybe 3 years of Greek and 1 of Hebrew.
     
  6. donnA

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    Thats like saying if you don't know Greek you can't read and understand the bible, I must be stupid then.
     
  7. HankD

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    Greek, yes.
    Hebrew, yes.
    DonnA stupid, no.

    HankD
     
  8. donnA

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    Hank, some seem to think if you don't read greek you can't correctly interpet scripture, and can not intelligently descuss it because you have no real understanding of it. As if what they beleive automatically over rules what I beleive, not based on scripture, but based on th fact they read greek so they know for sure what it means, and I don't.
     
  9. HankD

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    Yes, this is true. God gives gifts to men and gifted men to the Church.
    Those on both sides of the gifts often forget by whom and for what pupose they are given to us.

    Mark 9
    34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
    35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

    HankD
     
  10. Plain Old Bill

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    Donna,
    I have to agree somewhat with what you say,not because it's true but because of perception.
    My Greek is very weak so I am working on it again.I get tired of being beaten over the head with the Greek card.The only way to overcome that is to learn the language again(did'nt learn it that well the 1st time).Besides it will only help and is something I should have been more diligent about the 1st time anyhow.
    The reason for the post is to overcome several objectives:
    1. The eletist attitude projected by those who have mastered the language. I don't think this is done on purpose,it is more of a natural outflowing.
    2. It can only benefit those who take the time to learn. We can only be blessed by it.
    3. It will not hurt one bit to be a common language for Bible believers. We will have first hand knowledge of what is said.
    4. It doe's not hurt to study to show ourselves approved in another language.
    5. The intimidation factor is removed.
    6. More Christians will have 1st hand knowledge of what God says to us.
    7. Think of how much better equipped and prepared our children who have been brought up with the language will do in Bible colleges and seminaries.

    I know there are plenty of language helps and studies available but nothing beats 1st hand knowledge.
    Sadly your last entry doe's reflect the attitude of some which is a good reason to teach Greek in Christian schools.
     
  11. gb93433

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    If anyone has noticed the writing level among people has gone down tremendously since this same time in the last century. A student was also required to take more math and science in high school at the turn of the last century then today to be a carpenter than what is required to get into most universities.

    When I was teaching high school it was usually momma and daddy who gave their child everything except motivation and discipline who were the loudest complainers.

    I still hear the same complaints from students at the univerisity for a short time until they realize I don't curve the grade or give partial credit. What I have actually found is that once they realize I expect them to learn and they must study then their grades go up. They learn more and their grades improve. The look on their face is much different too.

    Students will learn what we expect them to learn. When I was in Finland the high school students there took nine classes. Most of the American students take 6 or 7. When was the last time a high school student was required to learn APA. MLA or Turabian in English. Some foreign countired expect their university students to learn Greek as part of their training. One of the main leaders of the JW's in Germany several years ago became a Christian by studying his Greek NT and comparing it to what he had been taught.

    If we want to keep people ignorant and dumb then we should expect little.

    Years ago I had a student thatwas the top wrestler in the state. His grades were poor enough and he could not wrestle by is junior year. By the time his senior year came he was told he would not graduate. So he started taking a class at the junior college. He had me for class along with an English teacher who expected a lot. His first semester grades were A's and B's. Those were the highest grades he had ever gotten the hardest he had had to work. He was proud of his achievement. He told me that was the hardest he had ever worked and the hgihest grades he had ever gotten.

    Prov. 12:1 "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid."

    Prov. 13:18, "Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored."

    Prov. 15:32, "He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding."

    As parents if we expect our children to be disciplined then we must be disciplined too. A teacher who expects a lot from the students must be better disciplined than those teachers who expect little.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    By the way in case anybody is interested here is a site to learn Greek for Free unless you want crdit.
    http://www.ntgreek.net
     
  13. gb93433

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    Don't kid your self, some claim to know Greek but only know enough to be dangerous. Those who know Greek well know that the vast majority who make claims of knowing Greek really know very little. They would be better off not knowing any and reading their English Bible.

    When I was a student I often asked my Greek professor in private about something a preacher said and his response often revolved around the idea that the person didn't know Greek and then he would tell me what was right.

    About 20 years ago I studied under as master craftsman who has some of his work on display in the Smithsonian. He is one of the best in the world. At times I would hear others who did not know him say that he was arrogant. When I met him for the first time I found that to be quite untrue. In fact the encouragement he gave me was incredible. In fact as I got to know him I found him to be quite a caring man. He played tennis with some of the students at lunch too.

    There is a big dfference between having a confident direction and arrogance. People who are ignorant often equate confidence and arrogance. Too often the ignorant expect the knowledgeable to listen to them. When it is the ignorant who should be doing the listening. Too often people sitting in the pew expect the preacher to listen to them when they should be listening and learning from their pastor.

    The ignorant will often never learn any more than they do now (which is very little) because they will critique the teacher rather than listen. A person who is a learner spends a lot of time listening rather than telling others what they know. How can they be learning when they are talking and not listening?

    How do you tell if a stick is crooked? You lay a straight one next to it.
     
  14. MTA

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    Teaching Jr. and Sr. High school students to effectively read and write English is a much better use of their time and their parent's tuition dollars.

    What is the value of such a program for the majority of these students? How many would ever find learning Greek and/or Hebrew beneficial?
     
  15. Plain Old Bill

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    GB43433,
    Does that mean you think teaching Greek in Christian schools is a good idea or not?
    If so,Why? If not,Why?
    The idea in having Greek taught as a common foriegn language in Christian schools is to help increase ones knowledge and depth of understanding God's Word.This also helps to decrease the picture of a priestly class.How often do we hear our pastors referring to the Greek in thier sermons.
    While some talk about the good old days when Greek and Latin were commonly taught (to the privilaged)many (the masses) were totally illiterate.These were the good old days for a privelaged few and the bad old days for everybody else.Ignorance can be overcome by learning,it is stupidity that lasts forever.
    Why not raise the bar and teach our children these languages when they are young?Why not give them this advantage? Think of the world class mentoring you recieved from that craftsman and how lucky you were to recieve it.How many have an opportunity like that?
    Teaching Greek in Christian schools is something pastors can do something about instead of complaining. It is a positive step.
     
  16. Charles Meadows

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    Don't kid your self, some claim to know Greek but only know enough to be dangerous. Those who know Greek well know that the vast majority who make claims of knowing Greek really know very little. They would be better off not knowing any and reading their English Bible.

    GB is right. I'd be thrilled if kids these days actually knew English!

    To KNOW Greek or Hebrew, or any foreign language is no small matter. Having had a year or so of basic Greek in seminary may prepare one to lead word studies - but it does NOT add up to KNOWING the language well enough to exegete competently! These people know, as the say, just enought to be dangerous.

    That being said I have no problem with teaching kids basic foreign languages - but I think we're better served mastering English first. Now I'm not saying learn English and only then start another language - I'm saying fix the system so kids actually are taught REAL English grammar and then work on the others.

    Kids in Europe usually know several languages by the time they're done with high school!
     
  17. Plain Old Bill

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    Incredible how easy it is to get off topic!
    Look,Christian churches and thier pastors,congregations,and school principles are responsible for the quality of education. Of course they should learn the English language well.So let us complain about the lack of any training in any school Christian or public. Above all let's complain.Let's be sure we never fix anything.Let's be sure we never improve anything.Above all let's not teach Greek in schools because then we won't be able to lord our language skills over those who don't know any greek.
    Listen guys greek is not a holy language to be taught only to "baptist priests" who go to seminary or Christian colleges.
    "Kids in Europe usually know several languages by the time they're done with high school". Gee I wonder where they learn them?
     
  18. Bro. James

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    Observations from a NT Greek novice:

    Took one year of seminary level 1st year grammar at night in a sunday school room--30 years ago. The instructor had a Minor in Bible languages from a seminary.

    Have used Greek lexicons and interlinears.

    Learned that "baptism" is a transliterated word--the word "baptizo" in Greek means "immerse, dip, plunge"; not "sprinkle or wash".

    (That one will change your doctrine.)

    Unable to translate and read from a Gk. NT.

    Greek can be self-taught to a point--without an Oxford/Cambridge instructor. Most of what we learn is on our own anyway--once the basics are established.

    Using "nuances in the grammatical constructs of the Greek" to prove a Bible doctrine is an intellectual "smoke screen" which tends to cast doubt on the verity of the Scripture.

    Scripture interprets Scripture-- in the same language--especially for those still on "milk".

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  19. MTA

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    I don't think it is off topic at all. Sure, many kids in Europe know several languages . . . all of them are practical languages used in business and to converse with their neighbors in adjacent countries (remember most European countries are no larger than our states here in the U.S.)

    The point is that if we cannot teach Greek any better than we do English, then why even suggest it? Of course I am generalizing, but I have read and graded too many papers of college students that cannot even put together simple sentences. It is really disheartening and it does not appear to be getting any better.
     
  20. Plain Old Bill

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    Dear MTA,
    You just brought something to mind.Have you ever watched a program called Street Smarts.Often they ask people who are teachers or education majors questions and thier answers are pitiful.

    So what we have going on now is American children going to schools being taught by uneducated teachers who learn from who in college? Where do we start correcting these problems?My answer would be to raise the bar.Get our teachers better educated by thier college professors so they can better teach thier students in the Christian and public schools.Bible colleges can increase thier language requirements. They can test on hard skills instead of the Bell Curve.College and seminary professors can give some Pro Bono time to Christian schools to teach language skills since it is as much thier "calling" as it is thier livelyhood.
     

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