Particle Consistency

cwconrad
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Re: Particle Consistency

Post by cwconrad » May 26th, 2016, 6:14 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
cwconrad wrote:One of these is the unquestionable loss of academic status of ancient Greek, probably more in the United States than in other countries. I think it is also true that Biblical Greek has suffered a significant loss of academic status in seminaries, this also probably more in the United States than in other countries.
I was not aware of either of these trends. What is the reason for this? Lack of interest? Budget cuts?
In the U.S. I think that the ideal of the "Classical Education" that was dominant a century ago is not dead but that it survives only in a few elite schools; the conception of a "liberal education" has fared a little, but not a whole lot better. Humanities generally survive in an academic community that is dominated by science, technology,professional legal and medical study and utilitarian business education. In sum, Classical education, which includes the academic study of Greek language and literature, survives primarily in elite institutions that can afford to sustain them. In the seminaries, the study of Biblical languages is not dead but it has been effectively marginalized in many. While to be sure some denominational schools continue rigorous training in the Biblical languages, many of them have made them electives and/or condensed them into one-month crash courses that are prerequisites for upper-level elective courses in exegesis. The rationale for this is that the Bible can be studied in adequate translations and that the curriculum is better filled out with matters of greater importance to pastoral service, especially in view of the fact that acquisition of genuine competence in Greek and Hebrew requires considerable expenditure of time and effort; there is a calculation of relative values of different kinds of pastoral competence, and the question of how much knowledge of the Biblical languages contributes to competent and adequate pastorship is taken seriously. I am not arguing the merits of this rationale, but I think I am stating more or less the case that is made for it.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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