Introducing Bob Vorick

Please introduce yourself here, if you haven't already.
Bob Vorick
Posts: 8
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Location: Cary, IL

Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Bob Vorick » February 11th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Greetings, I've been working on creating a NT study Bible where the study notes are the transliterated Greek text, and the index is a compact reverse concordance (based on the transliteration rather than the English), aimed at people with limited knowledge of Greek. It has taken me a long time, but is now "finished". As a by-product, I also created an "inverted" version, with the original Greek as the main text, and an "interlinear" approach to the study notes (lemmas, Strong's, parsing, etc.). Finally, the print-oriented version proved too cumbersome to carry, so I ended up converting it to Amazon Kindle (and EPUB) format. Is that something that would interest anyone in this group? Would I be out of line to post the link to my project's website and where it's available? Naturally, I highly value any input or feedback I would receive from anyone on this forum, but being new, I'm not certain of all the rules and standards here.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 12th, 2018, 6:39 am

Well, I do note that you have introduced your product, and not yourself. I would put information on this in either the "cool stuff" or "projects" forum. Please note that B-Greek is for people who are actually students of the language (at all levels, from beginning to expert), and that the purpose is actual discussion of language related issues, again from the perspective of actually studying the language.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3678
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
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Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 12th, 2018, 8:28 am

The policy is basically to ask me before posting links to anything commercial. Feel free to do so in a separate thread, as Barry suggested. I'd be interested in understanding the goals - what is the value of transliterating the Greek, and what do you do to try to convey the syntax of the sentences?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Bob Vorick
Posts: 8
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Bob Vorick » February 12th, 2018, 7:59 pm

Thank you for your responses, Barry and Jonathan; you both raise different issues. Here is more about me and why I'm here.

I didn't say much about myself because I don't find myself all that interesting. My familiarity with Greek doesn't go much beyond seeing transliterated Greek words mentioned in lay-oriented resources and looking up Strong's numbers in concordances in order to find other Biblical uses of a given Greek word. So my desire was to find (or request) a transliterated interlinear, and a transliteration-based concordance. Needless to say, there's nothing like that out there (that I've found), and there are significant challenges to creating one.

As to the value of transliterated Greek, I think it is more accessible (easier to comprehend) for people without the drive or desire to learn native Greek, which is why it's so prevalent in basic Bible study guides. I don't know how to convey the syntax through the transliteration, and so I depend on the parsing codes provided by others, and the translations themselves. I don't have a desire to create my own translation, but to provide an additional step between existing translations and the original text, to help others dig a bit deeper.

A little more about me is that I lead small Bible studies (I don't teach university courses), and I have a background in modest database and web programming, so it seemed a simple thing to propose (a study Bible format, with transliterated Greek as the study notes). Oh, and one additional criteria is that I didn't want the solution to be computer-based, because there are already many tools sufficient for that purpose. I wanted something in print (or, barring that, in Kindle or EPUB form), which would be easy for non-scholars to pick up and use without any training or previous experience.

So why am I here? I came initially to find high-quality, public-domain Greek texts. I've since found those, but ended up programming my own transliterations of Greek words (since different sources transliterated differently, and not completely). I would like someone who understands Greek better than I do to review my work and offer feedback and suggestions. It seems that the people in this forum certainly fit that criteria.

So what do I have to offer? I now have a means to create a variety of Biblical Greek-based documents in both Kindle and PDF formats (and optimized separately for each platform). If those would be helpful to anyone reading, studying, or teaching Greek, then I would be eager to provide them. I don't know that I can provide anything that doesn't already exist in a better form, but I have the flexibility to create some unique materials, such as an "uncial" version (all caps, no spaces), or a custom interlinear, or a custom concordance, if anyone here would be interested in such things. I would have thought that most of the needs of this community would already be met by existing software applications, but I occasionally see someone in a thread express their desire for a Kindle version of some resource or other.

I've been working on these concepts largely alone, and I desire to pursue a dialog with other interested parties. I would like feedback on what I've done from people who know more than I do, and to receive requests for what else I can do. Is this the right place for that? If so, I can provide links and attachments that may explain this better than I've attempted to do here.

Now that I've explained my background and my purpose, would it be okay for me to raise these issues (more directly and specifically; i.e., with URLs) in the "projects" forum? If this is too far "off topic", then I understand. I'm not seeking to get banned before I've even started to participate, but I think this could hold a lot of potential for a lot of people.

Thank you for your consideration.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 12th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Hi Bob - you can feel free to post the URLs, but I'd be surprised if people on this forum are going to be all that enthusiastic. Most of us are already skeptical about interlinears because they don't actually help you understand what a Greek text says, you would usually be better off using normal English translations if you aren't going to learn Greek. That's because much of the meaning of a language is in the syntax, which an interlinear does not describe. And there are already interlinears that offer transliterations.

You can learn to read the Greek alphabet in about an hour, which enables you to do things like look up words in a paper dictionary.

So here's my worry: the main use I can think of for transliterated Greek texts is to enable people to pretend that they know something about Greek by making it easier for them to pronounce the words, which might impress someone. But I can't think of how it would help them actually understand anything useful better. Am I missing something?

I mean, if you aren't going to learn even the Greek alphabet, why not read the text in English?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Bob Vorick
Posts: 8
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Bob Vorick » February 12th, 2018, 9:56 pm

Hi Jonathan, thank you for inviting me to post about my project. I understand that people on this forum may not share my enthusiasm for it. I also know that interlinears in general are not very popular, but I think this format is a step forward from English-based concordances and using Strong's numbering system to identify Greek words. If there are others who share this view, then I hope to connect with them. If not, then I know that there are already many other excellent resources currently available. - Bob
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Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1763
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 13th, 2018, 6:24 am

Or, to state it more directly, interlinears are the spawn of Satan and using them unravels the fabric of the universe and causes mind shattering paradoxes. Did I mention they create the illusion of knowing the language without actually knowing the language and hinder the acquisition process for students who are supposed to be learning the language? :shock:
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Bob Vorick
Posts: 8
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Bob Vorick » February 13th, 2018, 10:55 am

I wasn't certain of all the rules and standards here, but I am now.
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Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3678
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 13th, 2018, 11:16 am

Bob Vorick wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 10:55 am
I wasn't certain of all the rules and standards here, but I am now.
You are still welcome to post the links, but I'd like to try to explain a little more from my perspective. The goal of reading anything in the original is to be able to appreciate what gets lost in translation, but that requires knowing the language, and understanding the syntax is crucial. Consider what happens when someone who does not know Greek tries to read the following verse in an interlinear:


Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 10.08.23 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 10.08.23 AM.png (31.55 KiB) Viewed 2124 times

If you can't read Greek, that's really quite random. But if you stare at it long enough and try to relate it to the English words, you can come up with random interpretations and convince yourself that you have gained deep insight into the original Greek - without understanding the original Greek at all! Reliable English translations and commentaries have sorted through the reasonable interpretations for those who do not know Greek, and will give much better insight into what the text actually means. In my experience, some of the shakiest interpretations come from people who know Strong's numbers and theological arguments and manage to read things into the original Greek that the translations do not support.

So here's my question to you: what does your resource do to protect people from falling into that trap?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Bob Vorick
Posts: 8
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Location: Cary, IL

Re: Introducing Bob Vorick

Post by Bob Vorick » February 13th, 2018, 2:43 pm

My resource starts with the full English translation (or the original Greek) as the main text; the interlinear features are tucked away in the footnotes, in order to facilitate further investigation regarding individual words. It also includes a condensed comprehensive concordance (an index, without the surrounding context), that lists every usage of every Greek word in the Bible (by transliterated lemma in the English version, and by Greek lemma in the Greek version), all within a single Kindle document (or rather sizable PDF). This promotes the practice of using Scripture to interpret Scripture, through extensive word-based cross-references, rather than enabling support for inaccurate interpretation caused by focusing on isolated words in individual verses (which I think was the concern you raised in your question).

While I agree that true mastery of the actual Greek would be even better, I think this can be a powerful resource for people who haven't or won't acquire that, for various reasons. That may not appeal to members here, but it takes people with knowledge of Greek to provide and validate that for others.

If you would like to see a Greek version with an exhaustive (and hyperlinked) concordance (i.e., index, with or without definitions) but without the interlinear footnotes, that could be created for the Kindle as well. There's a lot of flexibility in the tool used to create this resource, that can meet a variety of Bible study needs.
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