[B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears

Martin F. Daly pastor at ruggleschurch.worthyofpraise.org
Tue Oct 6 10:13:49 EDT 2009

I seldom feel I have anything worthwhile to contribute to the 
conversations on this list, but gladly read and weigh the posts.
At the risk of displaying my ignorance I have two comments and one question.

1.)I didn't find that my ability to read began to stick until I was 
forced to parse and translate every word for an independent study I was 
doing. The process was painstakingly slow, but gradually (ever so 
gradually...) little things I began to recognize as words or forms I had 
looked up before. My biceps began to take shape. I still am a 90 pound 
weakling, but I'm off the couch.

2.)I parse and translate one verse a day from the New Testament, not 
more, because I found that I was getting discouraged with lack of time 
to do more, and so would end up doing nothing.
I am slowly working my way through John's gospel and will decide where 
to go when I complete that. I use an online site to copy and paste the 
greek text into Notepad, save it as Unicode, and then cut and paste into 
my blog. This removes all the "parsing info" but leaves the Unicode 
text. I then go through each word and do my best using only my UBS4 
Greek New Testament and my grammar book tables.
After I complete my work, I check it against the parsings of the online 
site. I have found the online site to be wrong on occasion, and I have 
found that I was wrong on more occasions, but the process causes me to 
think, work my biceps, and hopefully improve. This process takes me from 
20 min. to 1 hr. each morning, about 5 mornings a week.

The question:
What other methods/ processes to people use to maintain and improve 
their ability to read and understand? I mean specifically, not generally.

En Xapis,
--- marty ---

Carl Conrad wrote:
> That old curmudgeon Clay Bartholomew once described his posts to B- 
> Greek as Molotov cocktails stealthily-tossed into the public square to  
> create a stir. Things have been relatively quiet on B-Greek for a day  
> or so, wherefore it seems worth noting that Con Campbell, about whose  
> "Basics of Biblical Greek Verbal Aspect" I have raised some questions  
> heretofore, has posted a nice remark about interlinears in a blog post  
> at:
> http://readbetterpreachbetter.com/2009/10/06/keep-your-greek-testing-some-lines/
> = http://turl.ca/tkkf
> Says Professor Campbell:
> "Just as performing bicep curls without using your biceps is  
> counterproductive and lame, so too is reading Greek without using your  
> Greek.
> "Instead of using the primary ‘muscle group’ needed to read Greek—your  
> memory!—the interlinear allows you to underwork your memory and rely  
> on the stronger ‘muscle group’—the printed English vocabulary sitting  
> right there under each Greek word.
> "So, go ahead and burn that interlinear. Or, at least, give it to  
> someone you don’t like very much."
> Of course, there is hardly any danger that we shall be seeing a  
> bonfire of the interlinears in the near or distant future; things like  
> that have a long lifespan.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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