Jonathan Robie jwrobie at
Wed Dec 1 15:14:51 EST 1999

At 11:39 AM 12/1/99 -0800, George Goolde wrote:
> us the language is a means to a very specific end: interpreting the 
>text of the NT and/or LXX.

In fact, this has been my goal in learning New Testament Greek as well.

>None of us should force our theology into our interpretation.  But in 
>honesty, we may decide that something is an objective rather than a 
>subjective Genitive based on other theological understandings.

Actually, the goal of a beginning grammar should be to show that both 
objective and subjective interpretations are possible, and that the Greek 
language per se does not tell you which of these interpretations of the 
genitive - or others - are possible. Some texts show examples of objective 
genitive and examples of subjective genitive, but never clearly state that 
these labels tell us how someone has chosen to interpret a particular use 
of the genitive.

>It is more than a little bit artificial to discuss the Greek text and 
>*pretend* that we have no underlying theological considerations.

To me, it is a goal to be able to read a text and see more than the 
theological presuppositions with which I started. A grammar should expose 
students to the language per se, and to the *linguistic* tools needed to 
determine the range of possible meaning for a text. In this sense a grammar 
is somewhat like a math text - it is helpful to show solved problems where 
all the steps in the derivation are clear, and it is helpful to pose 
questions for the student to work out, but it is no help at all to present 
the student with the solution unless it is possible for the student to 
follow all the steps. Certainly, the goal of a math text is to give 
students the tools they need to be able to find answers to questions, not 
to provide them with answers. To me, the same holds for a grammar.


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