Wes Wood wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:As good an idea as it is, it is not going to sell.
I would have bought it...but I suspect that you are correct. Maybe if you had a blending of exercises the first set with readings outside of the Bible and then transition to Biblical texts this would help to bring people over to the dark side. I would suspect that the students would come away with a sense of accomplishment after they apply what they have learned from the first readings to the Biblical texts.
It is as much about the attitude you want to instill in people as the knowledge you want to impart. I use them frequently myself, but actually, statements like "the word only occurs x times in the New Testament" or "in our literature", are quite meaningless and bordering on the ignorant. Think about it from the point of view of the authour himself. Did Luke, Paul, Mathew, Mark,or John have a limited exposure to Greek? The spelling of even the earliest extant manuscripts is fairly standard (better than mine if I'm not paying attention to it at least), the grammar mostly good.hat suggests a quite broad knowledge of Greek - the literature of the New Testament period or
the literature. We don't know what the standard of the spelling was in the autograph. Likely as not it was closer to the papyri for the less literate and closer to the literary standard for Luke and Paul. Whether that is right or not, what's important is that there was a (ranged) literary standard more or less.
That all implies that the authours wrote in the knowledge of a wider literary context, and by necessity in dialogue with it. They did not write in an esoteric language, for which they had to give a dictionary, a teaching grammar and a reference grammar to those wanted to read it.
But that is the situation that is usually presented to learners of Greek / those who want to read the message in the original language. Technically speaking it is an issue of Intratextuality (the relationship between a text and itself) or Intertextuality (the relationship between different texts), and that is further complicated by the fact that the New Testament is a corpus not a text in itself. Also looking at a particular text (in this case corpus treated as a text), learners have been trained to believe that literature from outside the New Testament can be used as "evidence" for the New Testament - a form of extratextuality (the relationship with things outside the text).
At what stage, could we say that somebody knows a language and the use of a dictionary or a reference grammar is supplementing that knowledge? I guess that at the worst, we would have to imagine an homo illiteratus
who limits of his language are the limits of his day to day to day life, who has poor but understandable pronunciation, who imposes his native speech habits on Greek, but who none-the-less understands Greek as a language. That suggests a pretextual stage in learning.
The question then, is should, Such a person be brought to texts using the New Testament - the target text, go through the process of applying their knowledge of Greek to other texts, then bringing their knowledge of Greek and skill in dealing with a text to their reading of the New Testament. Surely that would be the best approach.
Imagine a German course, first exposure mostly colloquial, then move onto simple literature while continuing to speak, then to Faust. That would be different from reading Faust to understand and learn the German language. In the end, if some asked you, Do you know German?, you could say, I know German, and I have read Faust, rather than only being able to say, I can read Faust.