[B-Greek] To Diagram or not to Diagram

Ken Penner ken.penner at acadiau.ca
Tue Mar 14 10:13:54 EST 2006

I agree with Carl: reading is preferable to diagramming. It gives you a feel for the language; nothing else can substitute for reading.

To maximize your sense of how the text flows and works together, I recommend reading quickly. This means don't spend too much time in the lexica. If you need to look up a certain word in depth, you can do so after reading the passage. 

To make the reading flow smoothly, it is helpful to have a basic sense of all the vocabulary before looking at the passage. For this reason I developed Flash! Pro XP (link below). It allows one to acquire vocabulary selected from a passage (for both the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible).
One memorizes the basic glosses of the words in the primary text, then reads the passage smoothly, adjusting one's understanding of the words to the context.
Pros: the flow of the reading is maintained, permitting the literary and rhetorical force of the text to be seen. The reading is enjoyable rather than frustrating!

Ken Penner
Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic vocabulary memorization software: 

Alan asked:
> > I would like to get the opinion of the group regarding my next step.
> > Should I continue to work with the grammar that I have and increase my 
> > vocabulary . . . maybe for another year? Or should I proceed to work 
> > on diagramming? Will diagramming assist me with my understanding of 
> > the Greek language?

Carl replied:
> I would say: as far as you can, simply read (making generous 
> use of the lexicon, as Randall says) straight ahead. Read 
> chapters or whole works at a time as much as possible; don't 
> restrict yourself to single verses or paragraphs. You need to 
> familiarize yourself with each author's style and distinctive 
> vocabulary, which is to say: you need to acquire a 
> familiarity with the way that author "talks," just as you do 
> when you meet new persons and must familiarize yourself with 
> their ways. 

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