[B-Greek] Con Campbell on Interlinears

Sarah Madden sarah.r.madden at gmail.com
Tue Oct 6 17:36:04 EDT 2009


Ken --
You have identified the problem exactly: Are you using it as a tool -- or as
a crutch? However, often the newbies kid themselves into thinking they are
going to use this crutch just for a little while ... and yet they continue
to develop bad habits that will not, in the long run, help them read Greek.

Sarah

On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Ken Penner <kpenner at stfx.ca> wrote:

> 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)
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
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-- 
Sarah ><>
sarah.r.madden at gmail.com
work: 301.429.8189



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