What Now?

Resources and methods for teaching and learning New Testament Greek.
Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: What Now?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 1st, 2015, 1:38 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm not as convinced as some that conversational Koine is particularly important ... I'm sure you'll hear people disagree vehemently ;=>
Do you imagine that their disagreement will be expressed in Greek or English? Μήτι ὑπονοεῖς διαφωνεῖν αὐτοὺς Ἑλληνιστί;
None of the studies I would refer to were written in Koine Greek, and I don't really have the vocabulary to discuss this question in Koine. We could invent some vocabulary along those lines, I guess, but a native speaker of Koine wouldn't understand the vocabulary we invent, and there's already a perfectly good language for writing and discussing such studies.
That was posed as a joke actually.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: What Now?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 1st, 2015, 1:51 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:Thanks to all! These replies have been really helpful. So I'm seeing pretty much everybody say that I should dives straight into lots of reading. Would y'all recommend taking a more advanced grammar study also, or just focus on learning from the text?
A more advanced grammar study is fine as long as it's in the context of reading lots of Greek so that you can experience that grammar.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: What Now?

Post by Chris Servanti » December 1st, 2015, 1:53 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Chris Servanti wrote:Thanks to all! These replies have been really helpful. So I'm seeing pretty much everybody say that I should dives straight into lots of reading. Would y'all recommend taking a more advanced grammar study also, or just focus on learning from the text?
A more advanced grammar study is fine as long as it's in the context of reading lots of Greek so that you can experience that grammar.
Okay, so what grammar would y'all suggest?

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: What Now?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 1st, 2015, 2:12 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:Thanks to all! These replies have been really helpful. So I'm seeing pretty much everybody say that I should dives straight into lots of reading. Would y'all recommend taking a more advanced grammar study also, or just focus on learning from the text?
You can learn from grammar books and practice on the text. Both are good.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Ask yourself what was lacking in your Greek, that didn't allow you to read "fluidly"? Master those points, learn that vocabulary, then move on to another passage, and do the same again.
I mean master the points of grammar.

Let me go on (ad on :lol: ) a little further. Unfortunately, there is no ready way to find texts with particular grammatical patterns. That sort of indexing is a real need. By sending you into texts the downside is that you will encounter grammar in "random" order. Identifying the grammar and finding a reference to look into it further is not an easy thing to do. A number of the questions posed here concern the identification of grammar in passages, and giving references to standard works, explaining the grammar, or giving other examples. Any of those three are the ways are good. When you are doing your own reading, you will need to put that information together for yourself.

To relate that back to the New Testament, there are many grammatical points and constructions around verbs in the New Testament that occur only once. Finding parallels for them outside the New Testament is not an easy task. Grammar patterns are like vocabulary items, learning 50% of them will get you by in reading 90% of the time. About 20% of constructions occur just once and are more often than not overlooked in teaching grammars. They can be explained in situ in the context of texts.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: What Now?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 1st, 2015, 3:05 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:I think composition is very useful, especially composition based on authentic ancient texts. Find someone to criticize what you write. I'm definitely still working on this. Few of us are expert at composition.
Be careful with composition. ;)

If a kid draws a likeness of a $20 dollar bill from their memory with lots of imagination, he can use it to play shop with his playmates. If an adult follows an authentic model, and produces a very good likeness of the same note with just some little variation, he could be arrested for counterfeiting. :lol:

Different criticisms come with different competencies.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Location: Durham, NC
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Re: What Now?

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 1st, 2015, 5:14 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Unfortunately, there is no ready way to find texts with particular grammatical patterns. That sort of indexing is a real need.
But if you look at Biblehub.com, the ICC, Expositor's Greek, and Meyer commentaries provide a fair amount of information on the grammatical patterns found in a given text. Zerwick and Grosvenor is another useful aid, keyed to Zerwick's intermediate grammar.
Stephen Hughes wrote:By sending you into texts the downside is that you will encounter grammar in "random" order. Identifying the grammar and finding a reference to look into it further is not an easy thing to do. A number of the questions posed here concern the identification of grammar in passages, and giving references to standard works, explaining the grammar, or giving other examples.
So Chris, how good are you with computers ;->
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: What Now?

Post by Chris Servanti » December 1st, 2015, 5:30 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:By sending you into texts the downside is that you will encounter grammar in "random" order. Identifying the grammar and finding a reference to look into it further is not an easy thing to do. A number of the questions posed here concern the identification of grammar in passages, and giving references to standard works, explaining the grammar, or giving other examples.
So Chris, how good are you with computers ;->
Pretty good, but clearly I would have to know the names of the grammatical terms I was trying to search for.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: What Now?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 1st, 2015, 5:50 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:By sending you into texts the downside is that you will encounter grammar in "random" order. Identifying the grammar and finding a reference to look into it further is not an easy thing to do. A number of the questions posed here concern the identification of grammar in passages, and giving references to standard works, explaining the grammar, or giving other examples.
So Chris, how good are you with computers ;->
Pretty good, but clearly I would have to know the names of the grammatical terms I was trying to search for.
Knowing the names generally comes with understanding what the names signify. You need to be told them. Either the references that Jonathan recommended, or if they don't help ask.

The reason you are learning Greek for will determine how up you need to be on the terminology. Are you learning Greek to explain nuances of grammar, where enormous importance is placed on minute detail, well you'll need to have a very good command of the meta-language.If you want to use Greek to prepare sermons, you'll need to recognise the terms, so that you can follow what others are saying in commentaries. If you want to use Greek in, you need a few of the more familiar terms, so you impress people and so give credibility to what you are really trying to say.

I used to be good with the terminology, but I've forgotten a lot of it now. That doesn't make me read any slower. Just knowing grammatical terms is not enough, it is also useful to list or at least notice the patterns they follow.

You need to know the terms to look in the index, yes. Recognising the form is usually enough to start looking - indices are arranged so you can see a dative (for example), then subdivided into many smaller parts, for different types of datives.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

RandallButh
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Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: What Now?

Post by RandallButh » December 1st, 2015, 5:56 pm

Fluidness (Fluency is not really possible) in the Koine dialect,
How do we know that fluency is not possible? Have you learned another language to fluency as an adult?
I also hope to make a program like Duolingo and make a course for Koine because the Duolingo way of learning is quite effective if it were coupled with video lectures for more in depth grammar. This all has to do with a serious flaw I see in the teaching of Biblical Greek: Either they teach it form a purely analytical method (aka seminary) or from a completely anti-analytical "absorption" method (aka living koine). Neither of these are the best way to teach a language. The student must both learn real grammar and put it into practice via reading and writing. That's how we should treat Koine - there's no way around the grammar, but if you want to be fluid you must read, write, speak and listen to it.
Have you read the grammar notes in Living Koine Greek 2a and 2b?

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: What Now?

Post by Chris Servanti » December 1st, 2015, 6:44 pm

RandallButh wrote:
Fluidness (Fluency is not really possible) in the Koine dialect,
How do we know that fluency is not possible? Have you learned another language to fluency as an adult?
I also hope to make a program like Duolingo and make a course for Koine because the Duolingo way of learning is quite effective if it were coupled with video lectures for more in depth grammar. This all has to do with a serious flaw I see in the teaching of Biblical Greek: Either they teach it form a purely analytical method (aka seminary) or from a completely anti-analytical "absorption" method (aka living koine). Neither of these are the best way to teach a language. The student must both learn real grammar and put it into practice via reading and writing. That's how we should treat Koine - there's no way around the grammar, but if you want to be fluid you must read, write, speak and listen to it.
Have you read the grammar notes in Living Koine Greek 2a and 2b?
Answer A. Ummm... Technically no because I'm 16. But I have reached a pretty high level with Spanish* (only started that about a year ago). Why I say that Fluency is not really possible isn't because it's technically not possible, but because no-one (maybe excluding you) has ever done it in recent times. (However I reserve the right to be wrong in this area from ignorance)

Answer B. No, I didn't even know it existed sorry. But even with those grammatical notes, how many people have only used the Living Koine method and actually reached a fluidity level in Koine? From what I've seen, some of the best results are very limited communication (this may have more to do with the limitless of the courses than the substance). Living Koine is great for supplementing a course, but I think I would be utterly lost if I hadn't read the grammar (this could just have to do with my learning style). You see, I don't think either way is sufficient; dry translation is not going to get you speaking or reproducing the language well, and pure absorption won't get you there either (especially with grammar as difficult as Greek's). What we have to do is find a way to wed these two manners of study.

Also, I think maybe teaching Greek as a second language may not be wise. A reasonable grasp of Spanish, French or Russian will do wonders for the study of Greek. At first I doubted this idea because I really wanted to dive into Greek, but my pastor told me that if I wanted to do well I should really take a romance language first (and a proper understanding of English grammar is important). He was absolutely right, when I came back to Greek after reaching a fluid level of Spanish it was like my eyes were opened, and although Koine is not easy, it was much easier.

I've wondered this for a while; it seems like you're at the top of the list when it comes to people being able to speak Koine. How would you describe your level?

*By "Pretty High Level" I mean that I can read a simple translation of the Bible without taking much longer than reading the English and can read pretty much anything secular without much difficulty unless it uses lots of jargon. I have started to think in Spanish. I can speak and write Spanish very well. And as for my listening comprehension... well... I'm growing ;)

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