Hey folks. Glad I came across this site as I often have questions pop up in my mind as I study my Greek but have no one to ask. I've been pestering Bill Mounce a lot over the months since he has a page on his website where people can ask questions but since he's a busy guy he can only give short, simple answers, which is an issue because I'm rather detail-oriented and like to ask very detailed questions. Nice to see guys like Decker and Buth here who seem right in the middle of the scholarly realm of Greek studies. I joined because I have some questions on the proper historical pronunciation that I'm hoping someone like Buth can answer. I also have some questions on word formation and things of that nature that I'm hoping anyone who is willing can answer.
Might as well tell you a bit about me:
I'm an aspiring Bible scholar or apologist. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do yet, or what field to aim for yet. Nor am I sure if I should even bother becoming a Bible scholar because there are apparently almost no jobs for PhD students these days, so I'm told. All I know is that I have an almost unhealthy passion for studying and learning the Bible and all kinds of philosophical and apologetical topics, and the church and the world still seems to need people to teach them.
My passion began over a few years ago when I was battling a very dark depression and just did not want to live anymore, due to a combination of family issues and being treated rather poorly or neglected by just about everyone, and lack of meaning and direction in life. So one day as I lit up a cigarette I just threw out a sort of prayer without thinking, just begging for some sort of magical force or being or alien or anyone who was listening to just reveal him/her/itself to me and show me some love and give me meaning in life. Next thing I know, I suddenly noticed that my depression had just somehow vanished over the past couple weeks, and that all the thinking I was doing where I had been trying to figure out the world and find meaning in life had suddenly shifted towards more theological and apologetical things (e.g. there had to be some powerful transcendent creator being of some sort and a someone who defined what good and evil was). This then led me to learn where the Bible came from and to actually read it. I then became convinced of the Bible's reliability and Jesus' resurrection, and the more I continued studying the Bible, Bible background info, philosophy, apologetics, etc. the more passionate and fascinated I became.
So I opted to attend Bible College, where I basically was the only one who never came out of my room because I was actually doing all of my Greek homework! The Greek courses were electives for my program so I did not need to take them, but I want to learn the original languages anyway. I took all 3 courses that my school offers (Greek 1, 2, and the final one is simply "Greek Exegesis"). They were my best courses and I got nearly 100% on every quiz and exam.
But there were some problems with the courses. The textbook we used for the two intro courses was brutal (Summers' Essentials of NT Greek) because it is basically an abridged version of the first edition, and doesn't really explain things that much nor does it explain anything clearly. And the workbook for it was littered with errors. Our class ended up so frustrated that one student called the publisher to demand a refund. Our teacher also skipped over a bunch of things and told us to not bother learning a few other things because the info was outdated which I am now finding not to be the case. So I ended up confused over some things.
In the Greek Exegesis course, we had a new teacher who is very scholarly minded, and figured that we all had the time to read Wallace's gigantic Beyond the Basics textbook while translating entire chapters of John's gospel per week while reading Fee's NT Exegesis book. That didn't happen, we all ended up skimming through half of Wallace's book, and in class we were supposed to go over what we read in Wallace but ended up only covering our translation homework. So I don't feel like I know intermediate Greek yet, which means I'll probably be mostly confined to the beginner's area around here.
Currently I got a hold of Mounce's Basics book, partially for review and partially to unlearn a few wrong and confusing things that I just mentioned, and been studying it or doing grammar and vocab practice for half hour nearly every night after coming home from work. I like Mounce way better than Summers because Mounce focuses more on HOW word formation occurs instead of just rote memorizing hundreds of forms. I also took the liberty of trying to learn how Greek was properly pronounced in the Koine period, and came across Buth's website. David Miller (who I noticed also attends this forum) created a pronunciation handout chart based on Buth's work that I've pretty much mastered now, but has also raised a few questions.
So that's where I am at this stage. Hopefully I can learn a few things form you guys, and eventually be able to teach others some day.