Explaining the Greek Verb System

Alan B. Thomas a_b_thomas at yahoo.com
Fri May 31 00:33:00 EDT 2002


To Ward Powers...

I found this paragraph of yours difficult to
understand...

Begin quote

Carl's familiarity with classical Attic and Homer, and
with the history of the language, is a lot greater
than mine. And we shall continue to differ as to the
relative significance to be given to synchronic and
diachronic factors in koine Greek. We are both agreed
as to the importance of the next generation of
students becoming well familiar with koine Greek. I
will continue to focus on the importance of explaining
just what it is that we have in the GNT, introducing
diachronic factors only when they have a necessary
role in explaining what is found in the GNT, and in
applying linguistic analysis to the words of the GNT. 

End quote.

Help me understand your point here.

As a teacher, are you saying it is important to learn
the diachronic factors so you can teach them when
necessary?

Just how will you come to know when diachronic factors
have a necessary role unless you first learn them?!
You cannot perceive them as having a "necessary role"
unless you have studied them first. And not only
studied them, but understand how they influence the
GNT (Koine). But that seems to be arguing Carl's
point.
Wallace seems to include the entire Hellenistic period
(300 BC to 300 AD) as within this "synchronic period."
Isn't that span more appropriately "diachronic" ? I
think Carl's point about the Greek language being in a
state of flux is correct; and I really think that even
within a 100 year period you can notice this flux,
much less a 600 year clip.
Now also, I have read with interest Carl's ideas on
the M/P forms, and really think that such an idea can
only come about by understanding the diachronic nature
of Greek. You cannot simply identify a form as middle
or passive; you have to question whether or not that
is actually the case. I'm not sure Carl can argue his
case within the brief GNT period alone. I consider it
time well spent in learning the GNT if you first learn
the various dialects from which it derives.


=====
Sincerely,
Alan B. Thomas

Unless God provides indisputable, verifiable evidence 
      of His revelation to mankind,
    it must be rejected at all costs....
  ("I did nothing in secret" Jesus Christ)

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