Monday, July 10, 2006

Reviving Latin

Thanks for this blog reference to Mike Aquilina's The Way of the Fathers.

MercatorNet charts the demise and revival of Latin. This is all the more well-timed because I'm in the middle of taking an Honour Specialist Course in Latin/Classical Studies as we speak. Everyday for the last week or so, I meet with 16 other Latin teachers; some who have next to no experience, others who have decades. I'm learning fast to improve my own teaching and enjoying the process.

As a Christian, it is still a mystery to me why we're not encouraging knowledge of Greek and Latin. Now, I recognize we're fighting the same cultural factors which have been eating away at language learning in North America (at least). North Americans are really language-phobes and that makes the prospect of learning a language seem impossibly hard. Yet, how can we forget that the New Testament is in Greek or that the Fathers write in Latin And Greek. Translations are well and good, but sometimes it is helpful to get back ad fontes in the original. Yet, seminary after seminary dumps Greek and Latin. And, then, we wonder why we wind up with crazy biblical interpretations and what not.

This linguistic blindness is, at least, a great a piece of of our tendency to forgetfulness as a society and as Christians. So, I welcome that revival of language learning, both in the secular school system and among Christians. God willing, it will continue.



elin g said...

While we're on the subject of biblical languages, let's not forget Hebrew!!!

Phil S. said...

Well, good point. Hebrew is, actually, even more of a rarity among Christians and is as necessary as Greek and rather more necessary that Latin.

Mind you, I still haven't had time to learn any.