What language?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Havensdad, May 17, 2010.

  1. Havensdad

    Havensdad
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    Master of Theology programs in Church History (most of the good ones, anyway) require one to be competent in Greek, Hebrew, and one of the following: German, French, or Latin.

    Which of these three would be the most profitable? I would assume that it would be Latin, since Latin was the "academic" and theological language well into the reformation. Is this accurate?
     
  2. TomVols

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    For my money, yes. However, German never hurt anyone. Lot of theological writings in German, so why not have both in your pocket to be safe.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Havensdad Reponse

    Hello HD,

    I hope you are well. What would be most profitable is the language(s) one needs to do the work in the original contexts where that person is going to work. Typically the required language is just a "tool" to be used like a carpenter would use a hammer or saw. The end product is research or a building such as the case may be.

    So it seems a bit vague to me. What direction the researcher wants to go should govern what "tools" they require to do the primary research.

    For instance, when I did my PhD work at The University of Memphis in Rhetoric, I had to do 5-9 hours in Rhetorical Backgrounds, History, and especially Rhetorical Criticism in order to do the research in my chosen field.

    These and other cognates were considered my "research language." If I had wanted to do original research in Aristotle, I would have had to do Classical Greek also. So from my small vantage point that is what I have seen and experienced.

    "For what it is worth!" :smilewinkgrin:

    rd
     
  4. Havensdad

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    I understand, but depending upon what area of Church history one was delving into, there could be four or five relevant languages. Since I am no super genius, that is going to be able to learn that many languages any time in the next 10 years, that is not really an option.

    If it helps, the focus would probably be in the area of early Reformation History.
     
  5. jaigner

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    Either Latin or German would be your best bet.

    Tons of theological writings in German, but also many core doctrines described in Latin.

    Being of German descent, of course, I would go with German.
     
  6. Martin

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    I agree, I think Latin would be best. Btw, I've heard it is a very difficult language to learn. Anybody know?
     
  7. TomVols

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    I would equate it somewhat with Greek. Get through the "fog", you're fine, but the deeper you go the harder it is.

    (That makes me want to poll on who thinks Greek is easier than Hebrew or vice versa)

    Having a good English vocabulary helps both, as much of our language has Greek/Latin etymological derivations.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    Die Duetsch ist sehr gut.

    Le français est aussi préférable, si l'histoire n'est pas aussi largement utilisé.

    Essentially you have to figure out what your focus is going to be during your cognate studies. If you are doing patristic studies Latin is ideal. If you are doing Continental Enlightenment in Europe, German is better.

    What is your focus period and what do you plan on doing your thesis on? That should dictate the language.

    My PhD required two languages and I chose German and Latin for them since my field was utilizing research in both areas. :)
     
  9. Havensdad

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    I have actually been looking into it, and everyone is saying that for someone who knows both Greek and English, it is a breeze compared to other languages. Not sure how accurate that is.
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    Language Reponse

    Frankly gentlemen, English is my foreign language. :tongue3:

    And to que off of what a brother said before, a good basic "bone head English" course can immensely improve your language skills when you take a new language--either written or spoken.

    "That is all!" :thumbsup:
     
  11. Havensdad

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    Now if I could just find an online, or South Texas Seminary, which OFFERED Latin classes...
     
  12. Humblesmith

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    Like other's have said, it depends on where you want to do your work. Lots of theological stuff in German, and that's where the current liberal mess got going in full swing.

    That said, my vote would be for Latin. There are libraries full of excellent work in Latin that is being slowly lost with no scholars to read them, and fewer evangelical scholars.

    As for South Texas, if you can make it to Houston, St. Thomas has good latin classes. Not sure about any online.
     
  13. Havensdad

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    I can do Houston (bout a 40 minute drive), but man...I am not sure I could take classes at a Catholic Seminary, and keep my mouth shut.
     
  14. TomVols

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    Languages shouldn't make you have to aim and fire :)

    Do a google on "online latin" courses. I found several. Some may be HS level, but at least that's a start.

    http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/cp/catalog/latin.html

    http://www.correspondencestudy.ufl.edu/College.aspx?course=603

    http://www.fortlewis.edu/community_culture/extended_studies/online/default.aspx (Scroll down to bottom)
    http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/~econrad/lang/latin.html

    Unfortunately, the University of Tennessee (the real UT since you live out there in Texas) doesn't offer online/DE courses in Latin :smilewinkgrin:
     
  15. jaigner

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    Smart Catholics are interesting and insightful to study with. Just don't say anything about the pope.
     
  16. preachinjesus

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    I'd recommend RosettaStone stuff for classes. It actually is a great way to learn a language (i.e. German) and be able to learn for life. It is not nearly as expensive as actual classes. :)

    Oh, and if you're interested check out BH Carroll Institute or the Southwestern Baptist Seminary extensions in Houston. They might offer something occasionally.
     
  17. Havensdad

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    Do you know where I can get a discount on it? 500 bucks for software? My goodness!
     
  18. Humblesmith

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    St. Thomas is the university. There is a separate seminary, Saint Mary's, that is across town..........it's different. The university, while Catholic in origin, is just another school, like the myriad secular ones. The latin classes should be just latin. If you're really interested in the language, they'd be able to do as good as anywhere you'd find. They also have a decent philosophy PhD.

    But I'm with you about the theology. I'm not sure they'd keep me around long in the theology classes.
     
  19. jonathan.borland

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    I'd go with Latin for church history if you're talking about interacting with the primary source material, with German if you simply want to know what others have said about the primary source material.
     
    #19 jonathan.borland, May 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010

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