Do Seminary Greek Professors Know Greek?
In November, 2008, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on teaching Greek communicatively. As an experiment, I began my presentation by passing out a quiz for attendees to take….
Keep in mind that most of those who attend ETS are faculty at colleges or seminaries. There are also a large number of doctoral students, and a smattering of other graduate students. And, only people who currently teach Greek or hope to teach Greek would want to attend a paper on Greek pedagogy. So, my audience was made up of mostly Greek professors and doctoral-level students who had probably taken, on average, 4-7 years of Greek by now and some of whom had been teaching Greek for 20-30 years by now.
After the audience had finished, I collected their quizzes. The average “grade” was 0.4 out 10 correct. Most testees could not answer any of the questions correctly, although they tried. The highest grade was 2 out of 10. Now, this audience included many scholars who had written best selling Greek textbooks and grammars. Of course, I won’t name names!
HT: James McGrath and James Davilla (James D. claims his score was 4/11 plus the bonus question. He says “besides Jewish Hellenistic literature and some Septuagint, I’ve read a lot of Plato, Aristotle, and Neoplatonist texts. I don’t think I would have gotten [the Greek translation of the word] ‘nine’ if it hadn’t been for Plotinus.”)