[B-Greek] "result" expressed by adverbial participles?

Eddie Mishoe edmishoe at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 20 12:11:27 EDT 2010

It almost seems like an obligation to defend Dr. Wallace's book GGBB, and I do think that Carl is well aware of our differences. I really do not think Wallace in his book under stresses the need to evaluate any word/phrase/clause in the context in which it appears.

Secondly, Wallace is often faulted for explaining Greek nuances using English grammatical terms, but I'm really not sure what other way there is to communicate a second language. 

To address Carl's opening comment, "I think we've noted in other instances that Wallace's categories and 
subcategories are based upon interpretation of the context rather 
than on anything inherent in fundamental semantics of a construction."

Here, Wallace is acknowledged for his use of the "context" to bring about nuances of the Greek construct. His "interpretation" is simply his explanation of the inter-relationship among context, words, phrases, grammar, syntax, semantics. Again, I know of no other way to explain a Greek text to a non-Greek speaker than his approach. And "Yes," I believe a native Greek mentally goes through what Wallace suggests, only as a native speaker s/he is able to do this in a nano-second or two.

Carl knows as well as others who have paid attention to my previous comments out here that I think Carl's knowledge of Greek surpasses that of Wallace, and an other scholar. But for the life of me I just can't understand his comments about GGBB and Wallace's methodology. Explaining Greek concepts with English terms is perfectly legitimate and often the only way to teach a second language. Greeks had to determine if a participle was used as Purpose or Result; we do too. Wallace is simply explaining what is going on behind the scenes, in the mental processes of understand a text.

So, I do believe that a native Greek speaker had to run through a list of adverbial participial functions to interpret correctly what was written or said. In other words, the native Greek guy goes through the categories and subcategories at a blinding mental speed, quite able intuitively to eliminate most categories in a moment's time, whereas those learning Greek have to go down the categories and subcategories line by line until you reach the level of a Wallace or Carl (I'm not omitting Buth or many others, I'm just using these two as examples).

On this comment by Carl, "they seem designed to train the student to identify readily which 
category or subcategory of usage one has encountered and so avoid 
thinking through the contextual factors in every exegetical analysis"

I think this statement fails to take the book as a whole. Nowhere does Wallace lead one to "avoid thinking through the contextual factors..." Wallace is simply putting the microscope on one aspect of grammatical analysis. This seems a bit unfair to say. 

Let me conclude that I've not found many who agree with my assessment of Wallace so take my comments with caution. Every time I have this exchange with Carl I feel like I am overlooking the obvious, that I'm misunderstanding something so basic as to preclude us from having a rational discussion over this. I really think what I am saying is simply Grammar 101; that is what is so perplexing to me.

As I've said before, if you have to choose between my comments and Carl's, go with Carl... every time. You will be far better off. Obviously you can tell that I've found GGBB of great help to my understand of Greek, even thought I rate myself as a sophomore, a perpetual student who has few instincts when it comes to grasping grammar.

Eddie Mishoe


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