One of the dangers of learning Greek is that after a while you feel like you have a handle on things and don’t need to keep reviewing grammar. Then over time you lose some of the nuances of the language and start letting a broad, general understanding govern everything you read.
Take for example the imperfect. It always designates a continuous action, usually in the past. Right? We learn that in first year Greek, and then in second year we are introduced to the concepts of narrow-band and broad-band imperfects. In other words, the imperfect is always continuous albeit for shorter or longer periods of time.
In the narrow-band, Daniel Wallace lists uses such as progressive (the default) and ingressive (beginning to do something), and then broad-band such as iterative (repeated action), customary (habitual action not necessarily tied to one point in time), conative (desiring or attempting to do something), and then the weird use of the retained imperfect in indirect discourse.
The point is that all of these indicate a continuous action in one way or another.
Seminaries and grad programs that train pastors, and the academics who teach in those programs are very concerned about proper hermeneutics. We want pastors to have the very best training so that God’s word is handled properly and that preaching proceeds from the authoritative teaching of the text rather than from human cleverness or tangential ideas. This is as it should be since we seek to teach with the authority of God’s Word. My question is, why do we not show the same interest in assuring that children are taught with the same care?
It has been my practice over the years to work with the Children’s education program in my church to evaluate curriculum and train teachers for the pre-school through elementary grades. What I find in curricula is consistently shocking from a hermeneutical standpoint. I should hasten to say that curricula are often excellent from an educational standpoint—for that is the expertise of those producing curriculum. In the area of hermeneutics, however, the violations of sound method are frequent and obvious. I have identified five basic fallacies that appear repeatedly: