The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

RandallButh
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by RandallButh » June 5th, 2015, 1:49 am

νῦν δὲ δεῖ με πίειν σίκερα ψυχρόν, ὀνόματι....
[img]Image[/img]
ναί, ζῦθος ψυχρός εἴη. καἰ γεύματα μεταβαλλόμεθα, νῦν μὲν προτιμῶ τὸν χλωρὸν Τουβεργ ὡς δὲ προυτίμων τὸν ἐρυθρόν. :)
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RandallButh
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by RandallButh » June 5th, 2015, 2:28 am

PS: Anyone remember a nice old Greek phrase for
על טעם וריח אין להתווכח ?
"on taste and smell one does not argue" (the original has rhythm and rhyme.)

often done in English as French "à chacun son goût".
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Andrew Chapman
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by Andrew Chapman » June 5th, 2015, 5:28 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:The question in pedagogy, as I would define it, is not what is our objectives. I think it's simply the ability to read (the LEVEL of reading is a side question).
I agree that this should be the objective, but many don't, so in that sense it remains a question, it seems to me. Here is one alternative goal of the instruction:
We start with the vexed question of languages - Hebrew and Greek. ... we propose to give students sufficient instruction on this matter to enable them to use the commentaries in an intelligent manner. Much of the trouble in the past has been due to the fact that students have had to struggle and labour with Greek and Hebrew. This has not proved much help to them when they have become ministers because they do not know enough to pit their opinion against the authorities who write the Commentaries. But they have had to waste much time over this. ... What is needed by preachers today is a sufficient knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to enable them to use their Commentaries, and to read the many translations available in an intelligent manner, and to be able to follow the argumentation of the authorities for one view rather than another. No student who comes here - indeed I go further - 99 per cent of students who go any place of learning, will ever know enough Greek and Hebrew to argue with the great professors. So what is needed is this basic knowledge of these languages. [Martin Lloyd-Jones, Inaugural Address at the opening of the London Theological Seminary, 1977]
Andrew
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RandallButh
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by RandallButh » June 5th, 2015, 9:00 am

Of course, that "intelligently read the translations" is not the goal of people who do French or Russian literature.
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cwconrad
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by cwconrad » June 5th, 2015, 9:04 am

Andrew Chapman wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:The question in pedagogy, as I would define it, is not what is our objectives. I think it's simply the ability to read (the LEVEL of reading is a side question).
I agree that this should be the objective, but many don't, so in that sense it remains a question, it seems to me. Here is one alternative goal of the instruction:
We start with the vexed question of languages - Hebrew and Greek. ... we propose to give students sufficient instruction on this matter to enable them to use the commentaries in an intelligent manner. Much of the trouble in the past has been due to the fact that students have had to struggle and labour with Greek and Hebrew. This has not proved much help to them when they have become ministers because they do not know enough to pit their opinion against the authorities who write the Commentaries. But they have had to waste much time over this. ... What is needed by preachers today is a sufficient knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to enable them to use their Commentaries, and to read the many translations available in an intelligent manner, and to be able to follow the argumentation of the authorities for one view rather than another. No student who comes here - indeed I go further - 99 per cent of students who go any place of learning, will ever know enough Greek and Hebrew to argue with the great professors. So what is needed is this basic knowledge of these languages. [Martin Lloyd-Jones, Inaugural Address at the opening of the London Theological Seminary, 1977]
Andrew
I guess there's something to be said on behalf of that "lesser but more attainable objective", but it really looks like a lost cause from this side of the Atlantic. On the one hand, those who do the commentaries don't seem to be regularly citing the Greek text of what they are interpreting. That may be because they don't expect their readers to be competent to pass judgment on their (the commentators') interpretation of the Greek text, or it may even possibly be that they (the commentators) are themselves relying less upon their grasp of the Greek text than upon their judgment based on translations -- sorry to be so skeptical here, but ... On the other hand, seminaries on this side of the Atlantic are increasingly content to teach students "sufficient" rudiments of Greek to go on and do the rest of it themselves in exegesis classes -- if they choose to do so --, or else to teach them how to use Biblical Greek sottware to access "reverse interlinears" and thereby imagine that they are gaining real insight into the original meaning of the text.

That has a good deal to do with why I raised my original question (with trepidation, I repeat): "What is the objective of "Biblical Greek" pedagogy? What sort of competence in Biblical Greek do "we" (whoever "we" are) really want to inculcate in those who seriously endeavor to "learn" Biblical Greek?
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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)

cwconrad
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by cwconrad » June 5th, 2015, 9:22 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
cwconrad wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:OK.

By the way, I wouldn't mind syntax trees for a few Faulkner sentences I remember reading ...
The Bear, perhaps? It certainly leaves Eph 1:3-14 in the dust.
Faulkner's The bear : Carl's Bugbear.
The truth of the matter is that I consider Faulkner's The Bear a literary classic. Its sustained single run-on sentence encapsulates so much haunting mixed grief and remorse and sinful pride of the American southerner endeavoring to come to terms with his history; it probably should be read in conjunction with Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.
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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)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » June 5th, 2015, 10:15 am

Andrew Chapman wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:The question in pedagogy, as I would define it, is not what is our objectives. I think it's simply the ability to read (the LEVEL of reading is a side question).
I agree that this should be the objective, but many don't, so in that sense it remains a question, it seems to me. Here is one alternative goal of the instruction:
We start with the vexed question of languages - Hebrew and Greek. ... we propose to give students sufficient instruction on this matter to enable them to use the commentaries in an intelligent manner. Much of the trouble in the past has been due to the fact that students have had to struggle and labour with Greek and Hebrew. This has not proved much help to them when they have become ministers because they do not know enough to pit their opinion against the authorities who write the Commentaries. But they have had to waste much time over this. ... What is needed by preachers today is a sufficient knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to enable them to use their Commentaries, and to read the many translations available in an intelligent manner, and to be able to follow the argumentation of the authorities for one view rather than another. No student who comes here - indeed I go further - 99 per cent of students who go any place of learning, will ever know enough Greek and Hebrew to argue with the great professors. So what is needed is this basic knowledge of these languages. [Martin Lloyd-Jones, Inaugural Address at the opening of the London Theological Seminary, 1977]
Andrew
I am a big fan of the great doctor, but when he was wrong, he was really wrong. Here, I think, is one of those places. His whole premise for launching LTS was to provide a place where men with a genuine call to preach the Gospel could get a solid training in the Scriptures and in the 'art of preaching', and where they could be fitted out with the necessary accoutrements for the preaching ministry. The vision was to provide a place of training for these men to equip them for their basic calling without requiring them to jump through impossible academic barriers for which they were not prepared and in which they often had little interest, and sometimes could not afford. To my knowledge LTS has been very successful in this basic mission, and I have some personal knowledge of that success. I think ML-J would say εὖγε!

Why then require Hebrew or Greek at all? Why not let the men pursue their basic program with a focus on the essentials, and for the student with genuine interest in the languages provide a real training instead of a shabby semblance of the real thing? Who said anything about "arguing with the great professors"? (Although ML-J should have consulted them before making some of his bold assertions about the basic meaning of a word.)

I think this is the quintessence of what is wrong with the pedagogy. It is to give a semblance of learning without the real thing - not the intent, I know, but the result nevertheless. The great majority of folks who speak and read and write and taste and enjoy and reflect upon and chatter to themselves in and dialogue using - English, would not do very well arguing with the 'great professors of English' either. Let's face it - the 'great professors' are weird! We love 'em, we need 'em, we go looking for them sometimes - but they're weird. That is not what a language is about for the great majority of us, and Greek and Hebrew are languages.

The result of a policy like that of LTS is too often students who resent being forced through a painful 'learning' experience the content of which they readily forget; students who often portray themselves as knowing the language but who barely ever knew the basic terminology of the meta-language, and a few students who are frustrated because they actually want to know the language and they don't - and they don't know where or how to begin learning it for real.

Underlying Maryn Lloyd-Jones' comments is a basic premise, I believe, which is just flat wrong!
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Andrew Chapman
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by Andrew Chapman » June 5th, 2015, 11:47 am

I have noticed a tendency to talk about gaining 'skills' in 'using' the biblical languages, without any mention of actually reading them. An example is the in many ways excellent article by Jason DeRouchie (‘The Profit of Employing the Biblical Languages: Scriptural and Historical Reflections’, Themilios 37.1 (2012): 32–50) http://tgc-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/t ... df#page=34:
grasping the fundamentals of Hebrew and Greek neither ensures correct interpretation of Scripture nor removes all interpretive challenges. It does not automatically make one a good exegete of texts or an articulate, winsome proclaimer of God's truth to a needy world. Linguistic skill also does not necessarily result in deeper levels of holiness or in greater knowledge of God. Why then do we need some in the Church who can skillfully use the biblical languages?
This article gives four reasons: 1. Using the biblical languages... [pp 33-4]

For the Christian minister who is charged to proclaim God's truth with accuracy and to preserve the gospel's purity with integrity, the biblical languages help in one's study, practice, and teaching of the Word. Properly using the languages opens doors of biblical discovery that would otherwise remain locked and provides interpreters with accountability that they would not otherwise have. The minister who knows Hebrew and Greek will not only feed himself but will also be able to gain a level of biblical discernment that will allow him to respond in an informed way to new translations, new theological perspectives, and other changing trends in Church and culture. With the languages, the interpreter's observations can be more accurate and thorough, understanding more clear, evaluation more fair, feelings more aligned with truth, application more wise and helpful, and expression more compelling.

In light of the above, I offer the following action steps to readers of all vocational callings:
1. Seminary professors and administrators. Fight to make exegeting the Word in the original languages the core of every curriculum that is designed to train vocational ministers of God's Book. ... [p.50]
I did a search for the word 'read' in the article and found it only in quotations from earlier generations.

Andrew
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cwconrad
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Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by cwconrad » June 5th, 2015, 12:06 pm

Andrew Chapman wrote:I have noticed a tendency to talk about gaining 'skills' in 'using' the biblical languages, without any mention of actually reading them. An example is the in many ways excellent article by Jason DeRouchie (‘The Profit of Employing the Biblical Languages: Scriptural and Historical Reflections’, Themilios 37.1 (2012): 32–50) http://tgc-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/t ... df#page=34:
grasping the fundamentals of Hebrew and Greek neither ensures correct interpretation of Scripture nor removes all interpretive challenges. It does not automatically make one a good exegete of texts or an articulate, winsome proclaimer of God's truth to a needy world. Linguistic skill also does not necessarily result in deeper levels of holiness or in greater knowledge of God. Why then do we need some in the Church who can skillfully use the biblical languages?
This article gives four reasons: 1. Using the biblical languages... [pp 33-4]

For the Christian minister who is charged to proclaim God's truth with accuracy and to preserve the gospel's purity with integrity, the biblical languages help in one's study, practice, and teaching of the Word. Properly using the languages opens doors of biblical discovery that would otherwise remain locked and provides interpreters with accountability that they would not otherwise have. The minister who knows Hebrew and Greek will not only feed himself but will also be able to gain a level of biblical discernment that will allow him to respond in an informed way to new translations, new theological perspectives, and other changing trends in Church and culture. With the languages, the interpreter's observations can be more accurate and thorough, understanding more clear, evaluation more fair, feelings more aligned with truth, application more wise and helpful, and expression more compelling.

In light of the above, I offer the following action steps to readers of all vocational callings:
1. Seminary professors and administrators. Fight to make exegeting the Word in the original languages the core of every curriculum that is designed to train vocational ministers of God's Book. ... [p.50]
I did a search for the word 'read' in the article and found it only in quotations from earlier generations.

Andrew
This certainly makes one wonder whether "reading" a Greek text is being understood as presupposed for the endeavor to interpret that text or as a different skill altogether. It certainly does not seem to be presupposed for interpretation of a text in those seminaries where a few weeks' study of Greek is the prerequisite to courses in exegesis. I suppose this bears on the distinction between "acquaintance" or "familiarity" with a language and "knowing" or "speaking" a language.
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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)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Location: west coast of Canada

Re: The Objective of “Biblical Greek” Pedagogy

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » June 5th, 2015, 12:08 pm

cwconrad wrote:The truth of the matter is that I consider Faulkner's The Bear a literary classic. Its sustained single run-on sentence encapsulates so much haunting mixed grief and remorse and sinful pride of the American southerner endeavoring to come to terms with his history; it probably should be read in conjunction with Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.
Yes. Same here. And not just that great 'sentence', but his other work also. It is almost a half century since I first read "As I Lay Dying" and still many of the Impressions remain. Such a master at etching vivid pictures into the imagination through the written word.
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