Romans 5:20

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 21st, 2013, 12:00 pm

Wes Wood wrote:it is a transcription of an early greek papyrus
That is very interesting because of the presence of the final -ν on ἐπλεονασεν
Romans 5:20 (early Greek papyrus) wrote:... ΕΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΕΝΗΑΜΑΡΤΙΑ ...
It is missing in the text preserved by Codex Sinaiticus, which is about as old as codices can get.

This is a very interesting endeavour you've embarked on. It does cause one to read Greek in a different way, and as David said, it completely kills speed reading. What is the reference for the papyrus you are looking at. I would be interested to look at it too, if it is on-line.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
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Wes Wood
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 21st, 2013, 1:47 pm

It is offline, unfortunately. It is a transcription of Comfort and Barrett's "Text of the Earliest NT Greek Manuscripts." I typed it up for personal use in caps to simulate the type of font that I would encounter in the uncials. I intended it to be a way to ease into looking at those types manuscripts. I hope it will help me get used to seeing the text in all caps and will save me from having to try to decipher the handwriting as well. I believe (but do not have any document in front of me) that the final nu you referenced is a reconstruction of the text. It stands out in my memory, because I thought it was unusual, too. It may or may not have been in the original text, but I am light years away from questioning someone else's informed judgment on the matter. This would be true even if I were looking at the actual papyrus. :)
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Wes Wood
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 21st, 2013, 2:02 pm

I also apologize for the text being cut off. I did not realize it had been until now. I don't know how to edit the original post.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 22nd, 2013, 3:31 am

I understand that your aims in looking that these early texts are not so much text critical as they are a means to improve your fluency in reading Greek, by trying a new and different way of reading. I read some Greek papyri in a class group as Macquarie University, myself like you are trying to do now a number of years ago. In that course however, the first thing that we did was to get the text and try to decypher the hand writing and to transcribe it into "Greek". Perhaps it would have been useful to step back from the task at hand and just read it for what it is in the hand that it was written.
Wes Wood wrote:It is offline, unfortunately. It is a transcription of Comfort and Barrett's "Text of the Earliest NT Greek Manuscripts." I typed it up for personal use in caps to simulate the type of font that I would encounter in the uncials. I intended it to be a way to ease into looking at those types {of} manuscripts.
I guess that you were probably looking at P46, which from what I can see online at Early Bible would need a lot of scholarly emmendation because it is very partial.

If you wanted to take your idea of reading the Bible in the old uncials further, then there are some references to the materials of the Michigan portions of the text on Kevin Scull's blog. A fuller list of manuscripts is available here on Bible Translation.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 22nd, 2013, 10:32 am

Thanks for the links. I will look at them more when I have the time. Usually, I don't have the patience to look at the uncials online. When I end up fighting with the format to see more than a portion at a time and waiting thirty seconds or more for the next page to load, my enjoyment goes down exponentially. I have so little free time for such endeavors anyway that every moment comes at a premium.
You are also correct; my aim is not textual criticism, although I do find the nomina sacra interesting and note them.
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David Lim
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by David Lim » December 22nd, 2013, 9:51 pm

Wes Wood wrote:Thanks for the links. I will look at them more when I have the time. Usually, I don't have the patience to look at the uncials online. When I end up fighting with the format to see more than a portion at a time and waiting thirty seconds or more for the next page to load, my enjoyment goes down exponentially. I have so little free time for such endeavors anyway that every moment comes at a premium.
You are also correct; my aim is not textual criticism, although I do find the nomina sacra interesting and note them.
Oh then you might want to take a look at transcriptions rather than the actual text? Anyway here are some more links:
http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/An ... +start.anv (Navigate to Rom 5:20 and then you can click on the manuscripts that have the verse to see transcriptions, which preserve nomina sacra. I don't know of a way to access it directly.)
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/i/image/i ... 1942765957 (This is from the link given by the summary page accessed from clicking on the drop-down menu in the previous link.)
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 23rd, 2013, 4:33 am

I think one has to keep in mind that the ancient manuscripts that we have were written for people already fluent in Greek. They are not designed to make accessing the text easier for those still learning the language. In fact, I doubt that they were even intended to be read from, but rather rehearsed from, the idea being that the lector / reader / ἀναγνώστης would study the text beforehand, decide upon the proper word division, intonation and phrasing, and then deliver it orally to a largely illiterate congregation. .Sure, the manuscript would be open in front, but then largely as a kind of cue card rather than as a text to be read cold.

So my advice is to take advantage of the reading aids that we take for granted in making text more accessible for private, personal reading. This means word division, punctuation, paragraphing, etc.
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Wes Wood
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 23rd, 2013, 11:56 am

I don't really have much trouble reading greek with fluidity at this point, as long as I know the vocabulary. Right now I have a vocabulary of about 3500 words. I would say about 95% of the time I can use context clues or prior knowledge to get through what I don't know, but I always stop and look the items up. I noticed that lists tend to mess me up, so I intend to go through book by book and learn those items. Paul especially seems to like terms with overlapping semantic domains, and I prefer to be able to discern some difference between them, especially when a translation would not bring it out. My biggest struggle is that I can only read what is there. I can see when other possibilities exist for a text, but I don't have any framework for defintively determining which readings are more likely, less likely, or almost impossible. So for now, I intend to ask questions, comment on other threads when I can, soak up information, and take numerous suggestions and corrections so that I can learn more. As always, thanks!

P.S. I had one semester of NT greek, but I am otherwise self-taught. I have gone through Mounce, David Black (both books on grammar and a few on other topics), Wallace, BDF, and Robertson. I am halfway through Smyth and hope to start looking at discourse analysis materials next. Of course, I am not claiming that I have mastered these materials. :)
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 24th, 2013, 7:35 am

P.S. I had one semester of NT greek, but I am otherwise self-taught. I have gone through Mounce, David Black (both books on grammar and a few on other topics), Wallace, BDF, and Robertson. I am halfway through Smyth and hope to start looking at discourse analysis materials next. Of course, I am not claiming that I have mastered these materials.
The best way to learn grammar and syntax is not to read grammars, but to read Greek. In 30+ years of reading Greek, I have never studied a grammar. What I have done is used various grammars as references when particular issues come up. In my experience, problems can actually arise from studying the grammars before one gains a good basic competency in the language, and a fairly extensive reading base. The tendency is to impose and misuse various rules of grammar (and particularly for people who come to their study of Greek with a theological agenda in mind). Now, I am not accusing you of doing this, Wes, but I am suggesting that your time would be better served by reading lots of Greek first, including texts outside of the NT, and then spending some time in the grammars, if that's what you really would like to do.
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