25 June 2008

blast from the past: egregious greekin'

(From 11/2007)

Watched a few minutes of Pastor Melissa Scott on the TV last night, and boy was it bad! It caught my attention because she was working on a big whiteboard with the Greek text of the New Testament, and I've always enjoyed my Greek.

I got a hint that she didn't know what the hell she was talking about when she pronounced a psi in a word as a pi several times. But then she pulled a ridiculous stunt.

"Pastor" Melissa Scott had two Greek words on the board, euangelisasthai (a form of the word "to tell the good news") and iasasthai (a form of the word "to heal"). Then, emphatically circling letters, she showed how the words both end in -sasthai, alleging that the commonalities made it impossible to "spell 'the Gospel' without 'healing'!"

Her website claims that she knows 20 languages, but I can testify that Greek is not one of them. The -sasthai ending has nothing to do with the root meaning of the word. It is an aorist infinitive ending and does not control the meaning of the term itself. It would be like saying that "helped" and "opened" are similar because they both end in "-ed".

In the Greek words that she was trying to dovetail, the parts of the respective words that govern their core meaning are the first part, not the last part, of the words. The root of iasasthai is ia-, not -sasthai. And the same principle holds for euangelisasthai.

The sad part was that her audience actually stood and applauded her when she demonstrated this nonsense. Some people know just enough Greek to be dangerous.


mirrororbx said...

Pastor Melissa is one to challenge people to look further deeper and she leeds you there with those kinds of sermons so read between her lines if you can...What would she be making mistakes for? Maybe so people will have the great joy to find truth on their own...God would and does work like this...

jason miller said...

That is a poor justification for ridiculous exegesis and flat-out untruths about her linguistic abilities.

Kimberly said...

You drew me in, Jason...if up too late, she will be on and everything about the event cracks me up...esp. the music. I am so confused about what is going on there...(of course the Greek mistake is above me, but what is the point of how it is presented anyway?) Bless their hearts...and Blessings on all you're doing!

jason miller said...

Hi, Kimberly--unfortunately for Melissa Scott's congregation, the error I noted is not just a "mistake," but a flat out incorrect understanding of the basics of the language!!! It's like she knows how to read the Greek letters, she can pronounce them and look up what the basic meaning of a word is, but has no idea what's going on grammatically!

Eat a shrimp poboy for me!