One More Greek Poll

This poll, of course, assumes that you have to choose between the two. There’s no both, so don’t say both in the comments. If you absolutely had to choose, what would you say?

4 thoughts on “One More Greek Poll

  1. I said reading if I have to choose. But isn’t there analysis in being able to understand what’s being read? Or at least analysis in learning?

    I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point of using Greek to analyze in the sense of grammatical diagramming for exegesis for example.

    I want to be able to read Biblical Greek and have a basic understanding of what I’m reading and be able to understand what commentators are saying.

    I thought I’d reply since I’m in the beginning stages of “learning” Greek.
    Jeff

    1. I’ve taught a NT Greek class to a group of recovering addicts (only one of whom had had any exposure to the language at all). None had a college degree. We “read” Philemon. I gave them three versions – Greek, transliterated Greek, and the J.B. Phillips paraphrase. The favorite word at the end of the course was “splachna.” You can imagine the sorts of analyses we were afforded.

      In a subsequent and much larger class, we “read” John 2-3:21. I supplied the same versions except also the Good News Bible. We started and returned frequently to the movie “The Gospel of John” which Christopher Plummer narrates. I only wish he were reading the Greek.

      But, alas, all of our Greek “readings” were mostly silent. Sure felt like analysis, so I answered “reading” in your poll anyway – which is what I love to do.

    2. Think about it this way.

      We have two forms of analysis that we do when we study Greek:

      1) The close detailed analysis: parsing verse, declining nouns, analyzing case usage, etc.
      2) The broad analysis of paragraphs & larger units and their significance theologically – i.e. Paul’s message to his audience & its relevance for today.

      The first of those could (and should) be replaced by reading.

      Have you ever written an English paper analyzing a piece of poetry or a short story? When you write such a paper you don’t work through the text of the poem analyzing every word, parsing verbs, etc. You simply read it and you just know all those things about the number and person agreement of the verb. There’s no need to ask those questions. And then after you read it, you can go back and look at things closer, trying to determine their significance in relation to the whole poem or story.

      Were we able to simply read the Greek text, we would save significant time in analysis. We’d be able to cut half the analysis out.

      1. 1) The close detailed analysis: parsing verse, declining nouns, analyzing case usage, etc.
        2) The broad analysis of paragraphs & larger units and their significance theologically – i.e. Paul’s message to his audience & its relevance for today.

        The first of those could (and should) be replaced by reading.

        Have you ever written an English paper analyzing a piece of poetry or a short story? When you write such a paper you don’t work through the text of the poem analyzing every word, parsing verbs, etc. You simply read it and you just know all those things about the number and person agreement of the verb. There’s no need to ask those questions. And then after you read it, you can go back and look at things closer, trying to determine their significance in relation to the whole poem or story.

        I was able to do that with one Greek exercise, albeit with only one fairly simple sentence and thought, that’s what I’d like to do someday. Just read it and understand it without being mired in grammar terms at the same time. It was the first time I experienced that.
        Jeff

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