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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Studying Hebrew and Greek?

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Anastasis
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Joined: 2009/7/1
Posts: 75


 Studying Hebrew and Greek?

I was curious to find out if anyone else here is studying either Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic at this time. I started Greek six months ago now (self-study), started on Hebrew two months ago. Is there anyone else?

 2010/1/3 15:17Profile
wayneman
Member



Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 454
Michigan

 Re: Studying Hebrew and Greek?

I learned the Greek alphabet from a pamphlet and used a Nestle-Interlinear Testament to learn diction and a little grammar. Not a first-rate education but enough to enhance my understanding of the NT somewhat.


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Wayne Kraus

 2010/1/3 15:44Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

I had a couple semesters of Greek in seminary. I've not stayed studied up on it, but might be able to answer a question or two if you have one...


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Jimmy H

 2010/1/3 16:58Profile
Anastasis
Member



Joined: 2009/7/1
Posts: 75


 Re:

Didn't really have a question, I just wanted to see if anyone here studies it or has an interest. Though I suppose if I could think of a question it'd be a good time to ask.

Well while I'm thinking about it, can you think of any items which you probably wouldn't have understood as well if you haven't known the language behind it? What are the benefits you get from it? I think our translations (from my rather limited experience) do pretty well in conveying meaning, but it's good to know what goes on behind the scenes.

 2010/1/5 12:23Profile
makrothumia
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Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 610
Texas

 Re: Studying Hebrew and Greek?

Dear Anastasis,

I was studying Greek, but now I enjoy studying the scriptures with the insights that studying the Greek has provided. There have been endeavors in my life that proved fruitless and a waste of my time. Studying Greek was definitely not one of them. More than anything else we are seeking to know the Lord Himself, not just the words about Him; but, the knowledge of the Greek is one of the main tools of a biblical investigator. With Greek we can read the scriptures like one looking to find the very fingerprints of God. I have discovered much more about my Lord Himself, due to the study of His fingerprints that led to those glimpses into His face as He Himself drew near. The Holy Spirit led the original writers to express a particular truth in a very specific way. The more we are enabled to understand the original writer's specific thought, the closer we are to feeling the very breath of the inspiration he was writing under. Not too many riches in life are found without digging deep. I only studied Greek for the joy set before me, the joy of knowing Jesus. I believe I know Him far better having endured the discipline, than I would have without it.

makrothumia


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2010/1/5 14:24Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

My couple of semesters of Greek have taught me how to properly do a word study. After taking a few semesters of Greek in seminary, I began to see Strong's Concordinance can become one of the worst study tools in the world, especially if placed in the wrong hands. That's not to say it's entirely a bad tool. It's a decent tool, but it's dangerous in the hands of children.

My study of Greek has taught me that word's don't mean whatever definition we want them to mean based off a list of possible definitions and translations as supplied by a concordinance. I've definitely come to see that words have very firm meanings in certain grammatical contexts, and am very appreciative for the sensitivity the grammar demands the student and translator be when handling the text.

So far, generally speaking, Greek has been a help in my studies, though perhaps not as instrumental as my Greek teacher would've liked me to believe it was :-) I've found it most helpful for doing true word studies, studies that are otherwise impossible if all you have is a Strong's. I've at times appreciated the reading the Greek has forced me to embrace, even if at the time I prefered to read it differently in English. It can keep one honest. I've appreciated the uses of the emphatic mood in Greek, which is sometimes lost in English translations. It really let's you know that the author was really trying to drive home a point.

Has it revolutionized my studies? No. I'm not as good of a Greek student as I could be, and do admit it's been a while since I've cracked my grammar or gone through my flash cards. Personally speaking, I've found very literal and rigid translations such as the NASB handle the Greek translation as I would, if not better in many instances. Thus, I've been somewhat lazy and have come to rely more on a rock solid translation such as the NASB, which duplicate much of the work I would have already done. Such a translation goes through great pains to preserve the sense the Greek grammar was trying to convey, and if one reads it aware of this, 8 times out of 10, one can probably guess the underlying Greek grammar without even checking it.


just my thoughts...


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Jimmy H

 2010/1/5 18:36Profile
JoanM
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Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797


 Re: Greek, translations, and meaning

Anastasis asked: "... can you think of any items which you probably wouldn't have understood as well if you haven't known the language behind it?"

[u]Yes,the item logos[/u]: God revealed Himself to me as Jesus Christ as I struggled to wrestle logos ("the thing itself") out of Greek and into English. The assignment in my Greek class was the translation of John 1:1-3 into English. (The class was at a totally God-less college.) I already knew that in Greek (not in any other language) when you gave someone the word by speaking, you gave them "the thing itself". Hebrew has a similar, but not same, idea that you probably know regarding names. Hebrew has a few other ideas about its words, where the meaning of words are found. A lot happened at the tower of Babal.

Anastasis said: "I think our translations (from my rather limited experience) do pretty well in conveying meaning, but it's good to know what goes on behind the scenes."

[u]Translations are helpful[/u]: They convey meaning in some senses, like human knowledge/human wisdom IF you think about what the words say, reason with the words, try them out, etc. Translations focus your mind on something. They are helpful in "conveying meaning" right up to the point of revelation.

[u]Revelation is effective[/u]: Revelation is effective in conveying meaning ("the thing itself" if you were Greek, so to speak).

Anything "we do" to participate in the translation of Word (logos) of God is pure Glory to God. Born-again believers are such translations. The study of Greek and Hebrew, so as to better translate, can be very helpful. Of course it is not at all necessary for revelation.

 2010/1/5 23:45Profile
Anastasis
Member



Joined: 2009/7/1
Posts: 75


 Re:

It’s comforting to see that this is a worthwhile effort, which I suppose is the primary thing that I wanted to learn by starting this thread.

I’ve heard various opinions on the matter. John Piper believes that pastors most definitely should have training in the language, and I think that I agree with him.
Something peculiar I found is that when I read through things in Greek, I don’t necessarily come to a different idea than our modern translations do, but then again I haven’t been doing this long at all.

KingJimmy, what’s a proper word study look like to you? I’ve seen flat wrong conclusions being drawn from a lack of true knowledge. How do you ensure that you draw a right one? Or perhaps, a decent one? NASB? I’ve come to like that translation too :)

JoanM: I’m interested by what you mean with this idea of “the thing itself?” I’m interested to hear an expansion.

 2010/1/13 18:46Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

KingJimmy, what’s a proper word study look like to you? I’ve seen flat wrong conclusions being drawn from a lack of true knowledge. How do you ensure that you draw a right one? Or perhaps, a decent one? NASB? I’ve come to like that translation too :)



Well, the proper way to do a word study is in Greek. You not only have to take into account the word, and the various ways the word has been used, but you also have to take into account the grammatical structure of the sentence. Right now my mind is drawing a blank, but basically, some words mean very different things depending on it's grammatical place in a sentence. So when doing a proper word study, one has to compare HOW the word is used grammatically in other verse.

Additionally, there are some words that are rarely used in Scripture, that one has to consider the usage of a word outside of Scripture. If I can find it, later on I'll post a link to an essay or two I wrote in seminary on some word studies.


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Jimmy H

 2010/1/13 18:58Profile





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