Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's all Greek to Me!

Mrs. Luther (Forty-Two), has decided that as part of her approach to homeschooling she is going to teach the children foreign languages. Now admittedly neither of are great shakes at any modern language, I only remember enough Spanish to ask two important questions, May I have a beer and where's the bathroom. However, we both have some knowledge of the classical languages and we were in a discussion as to which would be the most benefit and immediate use for young Lutherette. Well, I immediately thought as Latin is the language of the Antichrist not much use yet. So, I had to think is Hebrew of more immediate value or is Koine Greek? They each have their advantages and their disadvantages.

Hebrew is a straight forward language with an uncomplicated sentence structure. However, the Hebrews are worst than the Germans for forming compound words. One word easily expands into four words. Plus, you have Hebrew poetry which throws out all the grammatical rules plus some necessary words to ease understanding.

Greek on the other hand is a far more complex language. However, learning this language will prepare a person for learning more modern languages, plus you can read the New Testament, always good. I think I am leaning towards Greek and I think Mrs. L is too, but she is still waffling so I wouldn't be surprised to hear she wants to teach young Lutherette, Spanglish.

Anyhow, Greek does have a major advantage of Hebrew as far I am concerned and that is Concordia Seminary has all of Dr. Voeltz's Beginning Greek Lectures on video podcast at iTunesU. A tremendous help since while I do still try to practice reading Greek, I do not know it well enough to teach. If you are interested in things Theological Concordia's iTunesU page is worth checking out as they have a fast growing collection of audio and video resources.


The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

The Bluedorns at have a great argument for why Greek over Latin. They also have a great curriculum for introducing young kids to the alphabet and to beginning vocabulary and work into a regular curriculum.

Their daughter put together two beautiful picture board books for teaching young kids the Greek and Hebrew alphabets. My daughter had it down within a couple of weeks. They are called "Itty Bitty Baby Learns Greek" and "Itty Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew."

Bruce Gee said...

When we began classical homeschooling our oldest son, he began with koine Greek, but soon moved to Latin. He eventually came back to the Greek (He graduated from the U of Wis. a few years ago with a Latin/Greek double major), but the Latin was more helpful in teaching him Latin and English grammar.
I'd suggest a great read before deciding: E.Christian Kopff (An LCMS Lutheran professor in U of Boulder) wrote a book some years ago entitled THE DEVIL KNOWS LATIN. Great apologetic for the teaching of Latin. It might balance off that Bluedorn argument a bit.