Moving beyond New Testament Greek

Two new Yahoo! discussion groups that aim to encourage reading Greek outside the New Testament box both look good.

1. From Dr. Jim West I learned of the recent creation of Reading the Apostolic Fathers, whose moderator, David McKay, writes:

This group is for people who would like to expand their facility in reading New Testament Greek by reading through The Apostolic Fathers, whose writings appeared a little after the completion of the New Testament.

And he continues in his inaugural e-mail:

This group is for people who would like to improve their Greek by reading something other than the New Testament, and a few of us hope to read through some of the Apostolic Fathers, commencing with the Didache. I'm up to chapter 3, but the first few chapters are short!

I'm reading from Michael Holmes' Apostolic Fathers: Greek texts and English translations, but you can access the Greek text at ccel.org, with the Didache being available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/apostolicfathers/.

[But the link appears to be bad; it's actually here.]

Why read The Apostolic Fathers? They are an important source of information about the early days of the church immediately following the New Testament period. Some people think they give us insights on how to interpret the New Testament, while others think they show how quickly the church strayed from the path.

Why read them in Greek? There's something about reading a book in its original language, if you are able. Even if you're a beginner, like me, you will gain something you can't get from a translation.

It is hopefully a way to improve your knowledge of Greek and increase your enjoyment of reading the NT in Greek.

. . . and I found what he had to say next a bit shocking . . .

F F Bruce and J I Packer have pointed out there's something odd about thinking you can read Greek, if you can actually only read one book in Greek! Packer is rather scornful of people who translate the NT who have never read anything else in Greek, but he candidly admitted that most of his ESV translation colleagues are in this boat!

I am shocked! just shocked! Evidently the ghost of the idea of Holy Ghost Greek is still roaming the halls . . .

2. From Brandon Wasson at Novum Testamentum I learned of the commencement of Greek Geeks, moderated by Bryan Cox, who writes:

Greek Geeks is a discussions group for those who have learned or are in the process of learning ancient Greek, classical and/or Koine, and would like a place to discuss various aspects of the language. Discussions of any type of ancient Greek works are welcomed and encouraged.

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If you're new to Greek, ask questions and don't be intimidated. If you've been around Greek forever, share a bit of your knowledge and experience by helping to answer some questions. Have an idea for a topic, project, trivia, game, or whatever, then speak up and let us all hear about it!

Good luck and Godspeed to both groups!

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