Wednesday, September 23, 2009

William Latimer on Greek

Greek is a complex and many-sided business, as you know, and more than a little involved; and though it is toilsome rather than difficult, yet it needs time, at least until it can be got by heart. Do not think I judge other people’s mental powers by my own slow pace… But neither of you [Erasmus and Thomas More], I think, will say that he ran through these difficulties so fast that after a month or two he could go where he would without a guide; the more so as one meets so many meanders and side-turnings everywhere that they might lead even an expert astray.”

-William Latimer, Letter to Erasmus, January 30, 1517


The picture: Title page of Erasmus' first edition of the Greek New Testament, 1516. William Latimer, a theologian and Greek scholar, assisted Erasmus by proofreading the first edition.

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