Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Classical Composition

A couple of years ago at our church, my dad did a Bible study that dealt with the book of Proverbs.  As part of the study, he explained some of the literary devices used in the book.  It certainly elevated our understanding.  He has mentioned the literary devices in other books of the Bible too-- Revelations, for example, is written in apocalyptic style.  Knowing this fact can completely change the interpretation.

This is why I am so excited about progym.  Last week I listened to a talk given by Jim Selby, author of Classical Composition.    He mentioned how some students in his school were able to identify the different figures in one of Paul's letters, and realized that he must have been educated using Aphthonius' progym.  Mr. Selby said the progym was pervasive, crossing both cultural and language lines in the ancient world, so it is very possible some New Testament authors were educated this way.

Wouldn't it be great to grasp the literary meaning of  "rest in Christ" and "we are no longer the servants of sin"?

I would really like to learn and teach something like that.

Update:  I did some more searching and came up with a 2002 discussion (authored by Karen Glass) of Charlotte Mason, narration and progymnasmata.  It is in a yahoo group, but it pulled up when I did a search, so here is the link.  BTW, the yahoo group contains ten issues of "Magnanimity", a newsletter put out by Karen "for those interested in the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason and classical education".  The messages can be read without joining the group.  

I am also reconsidering our grammar.  With my oldest, I used Winston Grammar in the elementary grades, with a chaser of Our Mother Tongue in junior high/high school, but my younger two seem to be stuck in Winston Basic.  I think it just doesn't have enough context for them.  So I have printed out the first Master Book of KISS grammar to see if it will be a fit for us.

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