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Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Posted: May 6th, 2011, 9:46 am
by Jonathan Robie
B-Greek is about Greek texts and the Greek language, and most of the forums in B-Greek require a working knowledge of Biblical Greek; that is:
  • recognition of inflected forms of verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs
  • recognition of standard syntactic structures
  • a grasp of principal parts of common irregular verbs, and the ability to recognize them in a text
In the Beginner's Forum, we welcome beginners who do not yet have a working knowledge of Biblical Greek, and are actively working to learn the language. We want to help. Even basic questions about the meaning of the Greek text are welcome in the Beginner's Forum, and there's no shame in mistakes. Beginners will be gently pushed toward learning these structures over time, pointed to textbooks and other aids that will help them, and coached in how to see these structures in a text. Learning a language is all about learning the structure signals, so we will try to help you learn what these signals are and how to recognize them in a text.

Even in the Beginner's forum, general questions or opinions about doctrine or the meaning of the English text are not welcome. Sometimes we may encourage beginners to postpone questions that are over their head at their current level of understanding.

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Posted: May 20th, 2011, 9:44 am
by Jonathan Robie
Carl Conrad has created a test that you can use to determine whether you have a working knowledge of biblical Greek, as we understand it here. A few guidelines for the test:
  • Feel free to use a lexicon for some unfamiliar words, but this is otherwise a closed-book text.
  • This is a self-test. Use this to determine where you stand.
  • If you flunk the test, feel free to participate in the Beginner's section, and to ask for advice on how to improve! Tell us how you've studied so far and what motivates you, we'll try to help out.
  • If your posts clearly show you are having difficulty, and you are disrupting the conversation for more expert members, we will ask you to restrict yourself to the Beginner's section. We do not consider this test proof of competence, since we don't know how you got your answers, and there are ways to find the answers without actually being able to read Greek.
With those caveats, here's the test:
cwconrad wrote:A Test of Fundamental Biblical Greek Proficiency

This test consists of several questions to be answered about each of five texts drawn directly from the Greek New Testament. You are not asked to translate any of these passages, but you are asked to explain the constructions in which some of the key words in each passage function.

1. (Luke 10:34) καὶ προσελθὼν κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον, ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ. 35 καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν αὔριον ἐκβαλὼν ἔδωκεν δύο δηνάρια τῷ πανδοχεῖ καὶ εἶπεν· ἐπιμελήθητι αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὅ τι ἂν προσδαπανήσῃς ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ ἐπανέρχεσθαί με ἀποδώσω σοι.

In what respects are προσελθὼν, ἐπιχέων, and ἐπιβιβάσας like each other; how do they differ from each other?

Explain the grammatical case of αὐτοῦ in the phrase ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ.

Who is the person to undertake the action indicated by ἐπιμελήθητι?

What is the mood of προσδαπανήσῃς and why is it that mood?

What does ἐν τῷ ἐπανέρχεσθαί με mean?

2. (1 John 3:10) ἐν τούτῳ φανερά ἐστιν τὰ τέκνα τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὰ τέκνα τοῦ διαβόλου· πᾶς ὁ μὴ ποιῶν δικαιοσύνην οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ὁ μὴ ἀγαπῶν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ.

What is the grammatical subject of the first sentence of this passage?

Explain the reason for the grammatical form of φανερά.

What is the function of the phrase ἐν τούτῳ in the passage as a whole?

3. (Rom. 3:21) Νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ πεφανέρωται μαρτυρουμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν, 22 δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας.

Does the word πεφανέρωται have reference to time past, present, or future? Explain.

Explain the reason for the grammatical form of μαρτυρουμένη.

Explain the grammatical form of πιστεύοντας and the construction in which it appears.

4. (Heb. 11:4) Πίστει πλείονα θυσίαν Ἅβελ παρὰ Κάϊν προσήνεγκεν τῷ θεῷ, δι᾿ ἧς ἐμαρτυρήθη εἶναι δίκαιος, μαρτυροῦντος ἐπὶ τοῖς δώροις αὐτοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ δι᾿ αὐτῆς ἀποθανὼν ἔτι λαλεῖ.

Explain the usage of the grammatical form of πλείονα.

What is the present-tense form analogous to προσήνεγκεν?

What is the implicit or explicit subject of ἐμαρτυρήθη?

Explain the usage of μαρτυροῦντος.

How is ἀποθανὼν related to λαλεῖ?

5. (Acts 2:5) Ἦσαν δὲ εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ κατοικοῦντες Ἰουδαῖοι, ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔθνους τῶν ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν.

Explain the grammatical case of Ἰερουσαλὴμ.

Explain the grammatical case of ἔθνους.

What is the subject of this sentence?

Explain the grammatical case of τῶν in its context.

Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Posted: February 20th, 2014, 2:40 pm
by Andrew Chapman
I do recommend this test to those like myself who have learnt a little Greek, but never taken any test or examination in the subject. Thankfully, I was able to find a kind gentleman who was willing to have a look at my answers and correct me in a couple of places, but I was wondering if it might be helpful, if it is to be a self-test, to have answers available to those who have completed it.


Re: Policy: B-Greek does require Greek

Posted: January 24th, 2015, 1:08 pm
by Jonathan Robie
A word to those who think that looking at an interlinear tells you what the original Greek says.

It doesn't.

In fact, if you don't know the language any good translation is usually a better way of understanding the original, and comparing a few translations will tell you where there may be interesting issues. If you're shocked by the differences between translations and the interlinear, be suspicious of the interlinear first. Without the grammar, you really can't understand the original language, and an interlinear doesn't give you a clue about the grammar.