Wes Wood wrote:I would start with Koine Greek outside of the Bible itself. My primary reasons for this, and these two are by no means exhaustive, would be that you can avoid the interactions that will occur if you translate familiar Bible passages, and you can develop an appreciation for terms that have broader usage than are frequently considered while translating the New Testament as a novice.
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:I am so familiar with the text in either language that its hard to separate predisposition from direct experience.
I would agree with you that to move on from where you are at they would be good Koine authours.Thomas Dolhanty wrote:Soon be time for Joesphus and Philo and Epictetus!
As good an idea as it is, it is not going to sell. Young people are driven and open to change, that is no different in the Church. From their (maybe not still your at 30) point of view the middle aged are in a rut, and the elderly are some between dotage and an escape (speaking generally of course). Of course, from the middle aged's point of view they getting better / more practiced / comfortable at what they do. Mark Twain's 14 - 21 is similar to 1st to 4th year of seminary for some. Point being, if someone has a head full of idealism and "I'm going to learn Greek to read the New Testament" and he is offered a beginners' textbook based on a mixture between the easy reading works of Longinus, Chariton and Achilles Tatius and the works you have mentioned, how's that going to go down? Anyway, you can imagine for yourself the reactions. The "crises" of faith that usually beset theological students as the small ideas they have suddenly become larger than they can personally handle or even relate to would perhaps for some be mirrored in the expansion / realisation of the extent of the horizon of Greek.I agree with Stephen Hughes that if I were to design an approach to learn "Biblical Greek" I would start with Koine Greek outside of the Bible itself.
From hindsight we have, we might be able to see that the Gospel narrative (story) is really quite close to the popular novel, and that the teaching (asides in the narrative context) are similar to some degree in style to philosophical dialogue that we could draw from Epictetus. And we see that a good preparation for reading the Acts would have been Philo and Josephus. Of course there is no reason to not include New Testament passages in that as well. For further exploration there is a whole gamut of Classical literature to bring students to a mature (educated) status in their Greek. But from the point of view of a beginner with a zeal to read THE book ..... I don't know if many could be convinced easily. Given the options, "Do you want to struggle with Greek for a while, then pick up the New Testament and read with some fluency OR Do you want to struggle with the New Testament and eventually gain some fluency in reading that work?", I don't know how students would decide.
To add the dimension that they would be taught in Greek to as large an extent as possible would seem reasonable to some and way out there to others. But that would be a normal thing in most other language instruction senarios.