Kathy Mac...

Please introduce yourself here, if you haven't already.
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Joined: December 31st, 2011, 11:42 am

Kathy Mac...

Post by KathyMac » December 31st, 2011, 1:01 pm

Hello, and Happy New Year.

I'm Kathy from Australia. I did a year of NT Greek many, many years ago, and retained enough to follow not-too-technical discussions to some degree, otherwise I never really used it. I recently retired and plan to use my new found freedom pursuing subjects that really interest me, including delving into the LXX, NT and early Christian literature.

I have been revisiting Greek on my own (and saving pennies for a few resources I still need). I've also been attempting some short, simple translations (lot of fun, but questions abound).

I hope to find a place on a formal course in Classical Greek later this year because I keep thinking (in my ignorance perhaps) that I can't understand the language well enough to read texts from the period I am interested in, without understanding its diachronic development (not just what came before, but even what came after) as well as being familiar with different 'types' of Greek, and Greek literature more broadly. For example, I only finally understood itacism when I read an essay by a historical linguist who gave a broad brush overview of the phonological shifts in the language over time. Indeed, while I was taught Greek by a very traditional method (my teacher was in his first year teaching Greek, and still finding his own way I think), I have found linguistic based approaches far more useful in my self-study.

I look forward to reading your discussions.


Stephen Carlson
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Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Kathy Mac...

Post by Stephen Carlson » January 1st, 2012, 9:01 am

Welcome to B-Greek!

I too have come to appreciate more linguistic approaches to Biblical Greek. I hope we all see more of that here. If you have any experiences with that, please feel free to share them.

Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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Joined: December 31st, 2011, 11:42 am

Re: Kathy Mac...

Post by KathyMac » January 1st, 2012, 11:49 pm

Hi Stephen,

Happy to give you some thoughts and experiences - it may help me organise them more in my head to do so! But I am aware that my own background may be unusual compared to today's average Greek student. For example:

(1) I was exposed to inflectional languages as a child through non-English speaking relatives. I suspect less brain rewiring is required for people like me to learn Greek or any similar inflectional language

(2) I learnt other (living) languages at school and university in the long distant past by means of traditional methods – lots of rote learning and grammar and reciting of paradigms - as well as composition and aural comprehension. I also had had opportunity to use them with native and not so native speakers. Audio-visual methods were starting to come into vogue just as I dropped language studies. In hindsight, both what was 'traditional' and 'new' then incorporated linguistic approaches to some degree, even if not explicitly stated. I am not sure everything about the traditional methods I was subjected to was bad or that all of the 'new' methods were good. Of course much else has changed since then too - students' educational background; new tools and technologies; advances in linguistic theory etc. - so I expect teaching and learning methods to be adapted to suit the persons and the circumstances. But I think a few babies got tossed out with the old bathwater.

(3) I didn't really learn Greek well first time round - lack of time and use big factor there - and am largely self taught this time round, with my own idiosyncratic method although I hope to amend that somewhat with formal studies this year.

(4) Aussie English could conceivably be called a koinesized English so I sometimes find (strange) points of contact with koine (or Hellenistic) Greek which (strangely) helps.

Apologies if this has been discussed before, but the first thing I would ask is: why are terms like 'Biblical Greek' and 'NT Greek' still current? There may be some pragmatic reason for keeping them, but don't such terms reflect a sixteenth-seventeenth century mindset when proto-linguists (pre-modern linguists?!) had misunderstood the nature of Greek in the LXX/NT? Doesn't that encourage people to approach the language in the wrong way? Shoud we even be offering courses in Biblical Greek (usually with a focus on the Bible and the Bible alone). I would still ask the same question to those who are studying Greek for pastoral or theological reasons.

I have some other thoughs and experiences - call them "aha" moments that prompted a paradigm shift in my approach to language learning (although that new paradigm still has lots of murky bits!) - but this post is long enough. I will add those thoughts/experiences/questions in the appropriate parts of the forum in due course.

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Joined: January 19th, 2012, 3:20 am

Re: Kathy Mac...

Post by jbbulsterbaum » January 19th, 2012, 4:17 am

why are terms like 'Biblical Greek' and 'NT Greek' still current?
Er...sorry to answer as a newb, but perhaps for emphasis on the peculiarities to those texts themselves? (such as theological significances, allusions in them, similar forms of expression, interdependence on knowing one or another text for another, e.g. lots of old testament background for new testament stuff...) That's all hypothesis, of course; as a new guy I am not interested merely in learning just from the LXX/NT but from a wider corpus as well, to have a much larger grasp of the language in play around that time, before, and beyond.

At the time I was supposed to start some studies at the CCSI place (see my own intro), the instructor there was actually working on very early Byzantine texts that have never before been translated, and were apparently unknown (among some that were known, but were mis-attributed, probably to keep them from being destroyed as works of a heretic or something like that): dang I wish I could have done studies at that time, to learn from the guy. : (
J. Bradley Bulsterbaum.

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