QUESTIONS and ANSWERS with NT scholar Prof. Bart Ehrman

by Terry 12 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill


    Enrolement records from the University of Cincinatti confirm that one Frederick William Franz was enrolled at that institution between September 1911 and December 1913. During that time he studied Liberal Arts, Latin, Classical Greek, and also received an introduction to Koine Greek. He left before graduating, making his formal qualifications that of a "College Dropout".

    Crazy Fred's total tuition time in Classical Greek amounted to 21 hours, and that in Koine Greek just 2 hours. It certainly was NOT the two years of intensive studies in Greek, like he tried to portray it was when he wrote his autobiography (see the Watchtower of 1 May 1987). In fact, one could argue that he received just enough tuition in Greek to make him dangerous!

    The point I was trying to make in my original post was that the criticism levelled at FW Franz's lack of qualifications as a bible translator should be:

    (i) The brevity of his formal studies in the Greek language.

    (ii) And also the fact that he never completed the degree course.

    However, the fact that almost all his brief tuition in Greek was confined to Classical Greek should NOT count against him - as according to Professor Ehrman, anybody who understands Classical Greek would have no problem understanding Koine Greek. (In our loathing of the WTS, there is always the temptation to get a bit reckless when criticising such things as the New World Translation. Leave that to the William Schnells of this world!)

    Believe it or not, that is all I was trying to say!

    (As an aside, if you have lived in countries such as Papua New Guinea - as I have - it is not at all difficult to understand how an individual versed in Classical Greek would understand Koine Greek.

    The people who lived along the Gulf of Papua - i.e. on PNG's southern coastline - developed a language called "Hiri Motu", to allow them to be able to trade with one another. The "Hiri" was the annual trading expedition that set out from what is now Port Moresby, to trade with the peoples further around the gulf. The Motu people spoke the "pure" form of the Motu language, and between themselves and the Daru, Keremas and other groups, they developed a simpler form of that same language to be able to communicate when trading.

    After Papua was proclaimed a British Protectorate in 1884, the Administration adopted Hiri Motu as the official langauge of government, as it was already well established as the lingua-franca of the Papuan coast area.

    The relationship between "pure" Motu and Hiri Motu is very similar to that between Classical Greek and Koine Greek - i.e. those who can speak "pure" Motu have little difficulty in following a conversation in Hiri Motu. On the other hand, if you can speak only Hiri Motu, don't even attempt a conversation in the pure form of the language!)


  • JWdaughter

    I had a year of spanish and a decent grade and I can barely ask where the bathroom is. I doubt that everyne is as incompetent as I am on the subject, however, there are some other realities of the NT that are more significant than merely translating it. I think this info about the greek and the translations in general though is very interesting.

  • garyneal

    Terry, how did you get on this blog? I would like to join too if it is possible.

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