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Postings from April 2001
Re: Larry's Apocalypse 1
From: Larry Wall
April 6, 2001 10:22
Re: Larry's Apocalypse 1
Message ID: 200104061718.KAA15260@kiev.wall.org
David Grove writes:
:  Strongs is pure Koine. I'd think Larry would be more of the Ionic
: type. <g>
You might say I get a charge out of Homer. :-)
Actually, I've done more Attic than Ionic. And I haven't done enough
of any of them to get very far from my lexicon. But I started Greek at
Seattle Pacific, and they've always stressed learning classical Greek
first, even if you're planning to concentrate on Koine later.
So I tend to stick with my Liddel and Scott, even when reading Koine.
Even though I don't believe that a word's current meaning is defined by
its etymology, I find that knowing the history of a word helps to keep
one from reading meanings into a word that were probably not layered
onto the word until afterwards. Apocalypse is such a word.
Teachers of Koine have a bad reputation for being sloppy about these
things, but I have to say that my Greek teachers did not, even when
they were teaching Koine. In particular, I vividly remember a lecture
by Ed Goodrick, Professor of Greek at Multnomah, in which he said:
Most Greek words are vanilla words. I want you to remember that.
Many of you will go out from here and become preachers. Someday
I'll come visit your church, and you'll be up there preaching a
stirring sermon to your congregation. And in order to fire the
people up, you'll say that the Greek word "dunamai" means
"dynamite". I warn you that if you do, I will stand up in the
middle of your sermon and shout, "It does not!" and then I'll sit
back down. So don't do that. You must always remember that
"dunamai" is a vanilla word. It simply means, "I can."
So anyway, I stick with Liddel and Scott, who do a decent job of
covering Koine where it needs covering. If I want a strictly NT view
of the word, I might occasionally dip into Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich.
My Strong's got used too many times as a booster chair, and died the
death, and I haven't bothered to replace it.
Though I'm old enough to remember the saw: Strong's for the strong,
Young's for the young, and Cruden's for the crude. And much though I
despise making fun of people's names, the saying had some truth to it.
Incidentally, Prof Goodrick was coauthor of the first NIV concordance,
which was, as far as I know, the first that was computer-generated.
Well, enough of that. Back to the future.