I am rereading the book Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study, by Frederick W. Danker (Fortress Press, 2003). This is my 3rd or 4th time (having read the original edition of 1960 back 35 years ago).multipurpose-tools-for-bible-study-265x200

Each time I gain knowledge and some tidbit of interesting history and commentary. This one grabbed my attention this morning. After quoting Browning’s “A Grammarian’s Funeral”

So, with the throttling hands of death at strife,
Ground he at grammar;
Still, thro’ the rattle, parts of speech were rife:
While he could stammer
He settled Hoti’s business let it be!
Properly based Oun
Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De,
Dead from the waist down.

Danker continues:

After quoting part of this dirge, Archibald T. Robertson goes on to assure his readers that grammarians are not such dull creatures after all and that they lead happy, normal lives. He then relates how the professor of Greek at Bonn reacted when he received a copy of the first volume of Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve’s Syntax of Classical Greek. He brought it to the seminar and “clasped and hugged it as though it were a most precious darling (Liebling).” His reaction is understandable for a grammar is like a woman who does not make the cover of La Femme—to appreciate her real charm and beauty requires sensitivity and repeated association. (p. 139)

Danker’s comparison seems apt: a good lesson for those dating and for those who doubt the value of Greek grammars.

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