The Value of Greek


I’ve heard about as much Greek Word study material as I care to for quite a good while, I think. Because of this, I found a few points from a recent blog post from Greek Professor and author David Black very refreshing.

 

What Greek Teachers Won’t Tell You

  • Greek is not the only tool you need to interpret your New Testament. In fact, it’s only one component in a panoply of a myriad of tools. Get Greek, but don’t stop there.

    NOTE: It’s not even the most important tool. Historical context is FAR more valuable.

  • Greek is not the Open Sesame of biblical interpretation. All it does is limit your options. It tells you what’s possible, then the context and other factors kick in to disambiguate the text.

    NOTE: Amen

  • Greek is not superior to other languages in the world. Don’t believe it when you are told that Greek is more logical than, say, Hebrew. Not true.

    NOTE: hmm…. interesting.

  • Greek words do not have one meaning. Yet how many times do we hear in a sermon, “The word in the Greek means…”? Most Greek words are polysemous, that is, they have many possible meanings, only one of which is its semantic contribution to any passage in which it occurs. (In case you were wondering: Reading all of the meanings of a Greek word into any particular passage in which it occurs is called “illegitimate totality transfer” by linguists.)

    NOTE: Words are building blocks. Sentences/clauses complete a thought. We mustn’t pack too much meaning into words.

  • Greek can be learned in an informal setting. The truth is that you do not need to take a formal class in this subject or in any subject for that matter…

    NOTE: It ‘can’ be learned informally, but more often it is not learned formally.

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One thought on “The Value of Greek

  1. Pingback: In the Original Greek… « Abraham's Seed

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