[B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears

Terry and Gail Cook cookie99 at fuse.net
Tue Oct 6 13:48:23 EDT 2009


I've been studying Greek for about 6 years and feel quite confident in my 
understandings of participles, infinitives, adverbs, sentence construction, 
etc. I can generally recognize the common words. However, there are a number 
of words I don't recognize. I don't recognize them because they're 2nd 
aorist or because they're an unusual form that seldom comes up or some 
similar reason. I also don't recognize words because they're infrequent. 
There are hundreds of hapax legomen in the GNT. Paul is fond of compound 
words that he seemingly "makes up."
Also, Greek word order and various ellipsis make reading Greek difficult. 
So, I try to sit down and read the New Testament but in very short order I 
discover a word I don't know. Then another, and then another. I set the book 
down; reading Greek has just become unfun.
So, I have at the ready a diglot or an interlinear to help me. I happily 
begin to read and enjoy and when I come across a word or words I don't 
understand I glance at my aid. I realize this word for word gloss is not the 
be-all and end-all of the Greek but it gives me something to continue with. 
I then gladly keep going. Now, have I really hampered my abilities to read 
Greek? Don't be absurd. Chances are the next time I come across that 
particular word I'll remember it. If not the next time then maybe the time 
after that. Sometimes I write down words and after reading I look them up in 
a good lexicon to see the various meanings and forms.
My point is is that I'M READING the Greek and enjoying it, AND, I'm 
learning! as time has gone on I'm able to read bigger chunks. Maybe I'm just 
recognizing the words and simple glosses that I remember from last week and 
not "thinking like a Greek" but that's o.k.
Terry Cook
sDg


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ken Penner" <kpenner at stfx.ca>
To: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 1:23 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears


> Let's not be snobs. The key question is whether the interlinear leads one 
> to use more Greek or less. Does the interlinear make you lazy or otherwise 
> hinder you from exercising your Greek muscles? Then avoid it. Does it make 
> you able and excited to read more Greek? Then use it.
>
> Of course, it's better to read straight Greek than use an interlinear. But 
> all else being equal, I'd rather see someone using an interlinear than a 
> translation.
>
> Ken
>
> Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
> St. Francis Xavier University
> Antigonish, NS
> (902)867-2265
> kpenner at stfx.ca
> http://people.stfx.ca/kpenner
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of James Bowick
> Sent: October 6, 2009 11:08 AM
> To: James Spinti
> Cc: B-Greek
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears
>
> Just to stir the pot...
>
> There are many out there who are seeking to gain a little better
> understanding into their sacred text.  Many have neither the time, nor in
> some cases the ability, to learn the language. While it is no doubt true
> that the use of an Interlinear is absolutely no substitution for learning
> the language, I would argue it is a pretty good substitute for strict
> dependency on English translations.
>
> For those who would object that such folks are not qualified to be 
> thinking
> about the Greek text, let me ask you at what point we are? Surely, it is
> important that all of us understand our limits and what we know we can do,
> and cannot do.  And it is true that the further you go the more you become
> aware of those limits.  But the same could be said of Bible interpretation
> in general. Is a student after one semester able to make an observation 
> from
> the Greek?  One year?  Two years?  Or do you need to be a proficient 
> reader
> before you are able to use Greek in your own spiritual development?
>
> As I said, just stirring the pot - and advocating for those for whom an
> interlinear is the closest they will ever get. Give them a voice in the
> academy?  Perhaps not.  But stop someone from dabbling into Greek with a
> Strong's concordance and an interlinear?  Surely not. I would be curious 
> to
> know how many of us, some now with Ph.Ds, got their first taste of Greek,
> and got hooked on it, through such tools?
>
> James Bowick
>
> On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 9:02 AM, James Spinti 
> <JSpinti at eisenbrauns.com>wrote:
>
>> I saw Con's post and was thinking a nice bonfire was in order. Then I
>> remembered that most interlinears are electronic now; I don't want to
>> cause toxic smoke, but perhaps a few electrons should be rearranged?
>>
>> At the very least, if you must use electronic cheat-tools, turn off the
>> automatic pop-up so you have to think  before the answer appears. I was
>> appalled when I first started using electronic tools at how quickly I
>> came to depend on them--even after reading Greek for 25 years. My Greek
>> got worse, not better because of the auto-parsers.
>>
>> Another old curmudgeon,
>> James
>>
>> ________________________________
>> James Spinti
>> Marketing Director, Book Sales Division
>> Eisenbrauns, Good books for more than 30 years
>> Specializing in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies
>> jspinti at eisenbrauns dot com
>> Web: http://www.eisenbrauns.com
>> Phone: 574-269-2011 ext 226
>> Fax: 574-269-6788
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Carl Conrad
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 6:41 AM
>> To: B-Greek
>> Subject: [B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears
>>
>> 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-som
>> e-lines/<http://readbetterpreachbetter.com/2009/10/06/keep-your-greek-testing-som%0Ae-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
>> B-Greek <http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek%0AB-Greek> mailing list
>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
>> ---
>> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
>> B-Greek <http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek%0AB-Greek> mailing list
>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
>>
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
> 




More information about the B-Greek mailing list