Why Study Extrabiblical Greek Texts?

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Why Study Extrabiblical Greek Texts?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 21st, 2015, 7:05 pm

ed krentz wrote:
The perceptive, extensive reading of ancient extra-biblical Greek beyond NT and LXX will give one more security in reading biblical texts.
If nothing else reading Attic Tragedy certainly makes even 2nd Peter look simple by comparison.

RE: Concordia and LCMS I had several friends from that world in that era (1972-75).
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Why Study Extrabiblical Greek Texts?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 22nd, 2015, 6:52 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Not sure what reading Greek Tragedy is worth for anyone involved biblical studies. Personally I took up Greek Tragedy because I was exposed to the Grene-Lattimore Sophocles at an early age. It's not easy going on your own. Reading with someone else online didn't really help me that much since you read at different speeds and people from half a world away don't have the same problems you do.
2. Reading Greek tragedy is always profitable, curmudgeonly criticism aside!
Perhaps that is something that needs to be put to the test. Just from noticing the frequency of references in the dictionary, the amount of over-lapping vocabulary and the similarity of style, it would seem that other genres would have to be considered more similar, but then again something different is a good way to understand what place the NT had in the textual scene of that time.
Please see Ed's reply. For those of us who do it, it does not need to be tested. We know.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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cwconrad
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Re: Why Study Extrabiblical Greek Texts?

Post by cwconrad » February 22nd, 2015, 8:05 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Not sure what reading Greek Tragedy is worth for anyone involved biblical studies. Personally I took up Greek Tragedy because I was exposed to the Grene-Lattimore Sophocles at an early age. It's not easy going on your own. Reading with someone else online didn't really help me that much since you read at different speeds and people from half a world away don't have the same problems you do.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:2. Reading Greek tragedy is always profitable, curmudgeonly criticism aside!
Stephen Hughes wrote:Perhaps that is something that needs to be put to the test. Just from noticing the frequency of references in the dictionary, the amount of over-lapping vocabulary and the similarity of style, it would seem that other genres would have to be considered more similar, but then again something different is a good way to understand what place the NT had in the textual scene of that time.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Please see Ed's reply. For those of us who do it, it does not need to be tested. We know.
For what it's worth (maybe as much as SH's comment?), reading the GNT often strikes my own sensibility the same way that a Sophoclean text does -- like a shimmering surface displaying some fresh aspect every time one looks back at the same lines.

(I marvel at the traction this thread has sustained.)
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Why Study Extrabiblical Greek Texts?

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 22nd, 2015, 10:20 am

cwconrad wrote:I marvel at the traction this thread has sustained.
Let me add to its protraction.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Perhaps that is something that needs to be put to the test.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Please see Ed's reply. For those of us who do it, it does not need to be tested. We know.
That was a non-specific encouragement / invitation for you - the "we" (in the terms you have expressed) - to read a text with others on the board - the not-"we" and share your knowledge with them. And it was at the same time directed at the not-"we", to test tradegy.

The age of elitism is over - television then now the internet has put paid to the concept of experts as authority figures, and reshaped them as information handling experts, not depositories - fighting to keep the older (pre-rise of the knowledge economy) model will put the subject into obsolescence. What is lacking in the new economic model is practical skills - and ultimately they will be more knowledgable. Sharing of knowledge is easy, sharing skill is very human and requires application. As with popular sports, there needs to be a ground-swell of interest to keep them viable. National cricket teams are strong in countries were cricket is played on the street corners and in the schools, and it is a topic of everyday discussion.

If the "we" team wants to forfeit that match, I'm willing to read Aeschylus' Prometheus Vinctus, as being the easiest tragedy - both for my sake and the readers. As with the other texts, it will do as much to expose my ignorance as it will be an opportunity for GNT readers to engage with another extra-Biblical text. As things stand now, the reading of Xenophon Oeconomicus will stop at chapter 6, but that won't neccessarily be in the the immediate future. Reading PV would only be using a school text with a bit of help though, and only a selection. I don't see that there would be any problem with running two or more readings in parallel. I see the forum as being less synchronous than the old board / list used to be, so people interested in the topics (in this case texts) could pick them up at any time in the future, even if they are posted now.
cwconrad wrote:For what it's worth (maybe as much as SH's comment?), reading the GNT often strikes my own sensibility the same way that a Sophoclean text does -- like a shimmering surface displaying some fresh aspect every time one looks back at the same lines.
A true reflection of our human condition that has remained unchanged and ever changing throughout our history.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Why Study Extrabiblical Greek Texts?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 22nd, 2015, 3:28 pm

cwconrad wrote:reading the GNT often strikes my own sensibility the same way that a Sophoclean text does -- like a shimmering surface displaying some fresh aspect every time one looks back at the same lines.
Absolutely. Sopholces never fails to reward magnificently the effort put in to read him. I recently both read and listened to (youtube) comments by Harold Bloom concerning a book by Cormac McCarthy about which he made similar remarks. He said something like, you may be put off by the violence and the grim world view of the author but you need to persevere in reading because it is only after becoming familiar with the work that you begin to appreciate the depth. That's a loose paraphrase. Bloom wrote the preface to the 25 year anniversary edition of Blood Meridian.
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