Is the level of Koine Greek taught in baptist seminaries truly that low?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by mioque, Mar 17, 2006.

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  1. mioque

    mioque
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    "After speaking with scores of “Greek experts” and preachers who frequently reference the Greek, and having been fluent myself in 3 foreign languages, I have never met one who could even say, “Hello, how are you doing?” in Greek, much less have a complete knowledge of the language.  What they do know is how to use a Greek/English dictionary or lexicon to tell them what the Bible “really means.”  It would appear then that the dictionary has become their final authority rather than God’s word."
    http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/KingJamesBible.html
     
  2. TCassidy

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    Γειάσου, πώς κάνετε;
     
  3. TCassidy

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    Ένα άλλο επιχείρημα KJVO που καταρρίπτεταϊ! :D :D
     
  4. rbell

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    please, oh please, let's not give this faithfulword "pastor" (using that term VERY loosely) any free publicity.
     
  5. Charles Meadows

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    Γεια σας.

    I think most modern Greekers would ask "Τι κάνετε;" but I guess "πώς κάνετε" also works!
     
  6. PastorSBC1303

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    Pastors study and learn Greek to be able to interact with the Biblical text. Last time I checked no one had to know how to say "Hello, how are you doing?" to interact with the Biblical text.
     
  7. Charles Meadows

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    Good point PastorSBC.
     
  8. Pastor KevinR

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    and who says Baptists don't speak in tongues? [​IMG]
     
  9. mcdirector

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    I wonder if Mr. Anderson will change his essay now. He obviously has met one person who can say, Good morning, in Greek -- even if it is a cyber person.
     
  10. 4His_glory

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    Exactally the point that needs to be made.

    Though when I was in Greek class, my friends and I used to come with greetings and such just for the fun of it. We would construct sentances to help us better understand grammer and remember our vocabulary.

    I would like to ask Mr. Anderson if he even studied NT Greek. I have a hunch the answer is no.
     
  11. mioque

    mioque
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    The one pastor at our church who has great fluency in Koine Greek (the man does all his private NT reading in it) didn't pick up those skills in a seminary, but at a mostly secular university.
    I have no idea how thorough the Greek lessons are at normal baptist seminaries in the US.
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

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    They are as thorough as the person taking the class wants them to be. The class and the professor equips the student with the skills to know Biblical Greek. How far a student takes it is up to them.

    I have several pastor friends that can pick up the Greek NT and read from it and even several who use their Greek NT in the pulpit (Obviously they translate it as they go).

    I also know some that have taken the classes and have retained nothing from them.

    Personally, I am somewhere in the middle. I cannot pick up my Greek NT and read straight from it and translate. I have to take my time and use all of my tools. But I can get it done.
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    I'll say it again in this thread.

    A pastor is a shepherd not a linguist. A university professor's level of Greek knowledge is simply not feasible for the average pastor. And the average believer needs first and foremost a spiritual leader who will exhort him/her from the pulpit and help him/her in time of need. The ability to explain generative grammar and verbal aspect thoroughly is much less important here.

    I think a little knowledge of basic Greek and a healthy respect for the errors of overzealous dogmatism will serve the average pastor just fine.
     
  14. Hope of Glory

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    In my personal observations, the level of Greek required for seminary students has declined over the years. I know a many who has a Masters from DTS who knows exactly one word of Greek. I think this lack has led many to not look at exactly what the Scriptures are saying, and instead depend upon the teachings of man.

    That being said, one thing I learned while in the Navy is that understanding a language and speaking a language are two entirely different things. I worked with people who could translate from Russian into English perfectly, but could not form a simple sentence from English to Russian.
     
  15. DeclareHim

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    I wouldn't think that the ability to speak Greek is that big of a deal. I would think the ability to read it would be enough.
     
  16. Charles Meadows

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    But language is shaped and used by those who speak it. Having a "lexicon knowledge" of a language is only half of knowing it. I think this realization is important because so much more goes into the interpretation of a passage than just the lexical meanings of its various words. The rigid "lexicon" approach to the Greek NT leads to some bad interpretation when used by those with insufficient experience.
     
  17. Hope of Glory

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    Understanding a language and speaking a language are two entirely different things. Well, not entirely different; you do need to be able to understand it to speak it. (This goes for both vocal and written "speaking".) A person can understand a language completely, without any error, and yet not be able to speak a language. I knew a man from Turkey once who could understand anything I said, but could not ask me a simple question.
     
  18. Charles Meadows

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    No I don't think so.

    Understand a language, yes somewhat. But to have a deep understanding of idiom and colloquial nuance no.

    I think this comes into play some in exegesis - since one who does not have a thorough knowledge of NT Greek as well as some idea about modern and classical Greek probably ought not be expounding authoritatively about the Greek NT, correcting the biblical translators where he/she sees fit.
     
  19. Hope of Glory

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    Then, that's where you would think wrong. At one point in the past, the Navy trained people (CT's, if I remember correctly) only to translate incoming messages. They did an outstanding job. Until one day, and admiral wanted to send a message to a Russian captain, at which point the Russian translator (actually, a CT, I believe) told him that he could only understand, not speak the language. The admiral thought this was ridiculous, but checked into it, and it was the way they were trained. He instigated changes that made it so they would also be taught to translate into their specific language. It's two entirely different processes, and you have to be able to understand the idioms both ways.

    Now, I don't think you could speak a language without being able to understand it, but I could be wrong about that.

    As an aside to languages, I have always done well when communicating with those who speak English as a second language. So, there was this guy at a place where I used to work who could not understand the person on the phone. Knowing that I could do well with those who did not speak English well, he put me on the phone. I finished talking to the lady, and completed the transaction, at which point, they inquired where she was from. Boston.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Then, that's where you would think wrong. At one point in the past, the Navy trained people (CT's, if I remember correctly) only to translate incoming messages. They did an outstanding job. Until one day, and admiral wanted to send a message to a Russian captain, at which point the Russian translator (actually, a CT, I believe) told him that he could only understand, not speak the language. The admiral thought this was ridiculous, but checked into it, and it was the way they were trained. He instigated changes that made it so they would also be taught to translate into their specific language. It's two entirely different processes, and you have to be able to understand the idioms both ways.

    Now, I don't think you could speak a language without being able to understand it, but I could be wrong about that.

    As an aside to languages, I have always done well when communicating with those who speak English as a second language. So, there was this guy at a place where I used to work who could not understand the person on the phone. Knowing that I could do well with those who did not speak English well, he put me on the phone. I finished talking to the lady, and completed the transaction, at which point, they inquired where she was from. Boston.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Having lived in Japan for almost 25 years, I can testify that Hope of Glory is on the money here. I have known many Japanese who were poor in speaking English but excellent in hearing and reading. The Japanese school system for many years taught strictly English grammar and left the students to fend for themselves in conversation.

    If we cannot understand a written language well unless we speak it also, no one will ever be able to understand Latin (well, except for maybe a few obscure Jesuits!), ancient Egyptian or any other dead language. And Koine is a dead language!

    Having had experience in classical Japanese as well as the modern version, let me assure you that an ancient language and a modern version of the same can be quite different! And that is why we have the original koine NT and there is also a modern Greek NT. :cool:
     
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