Basic Dictionary Skills

Stephen Hughes
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Basic Dictionary Skills

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 2nd, 2014, 8:59 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Catherine Brown wrote:Just the same way that when jews are spoken of in the gospels, it means someone from the tribe of Judah as thats what the greek word means
Please have a look at the thread about understanding Ἰουδαῖος.
On the meaning of Ioudaios, David Miller has written the most comprehensive investigation I've seen (a 3-part series in Currents in Biblical Research).
See http://gervatoshav.blogspot.ca/2012/06/ ... pdate.html
and http://gervatoshav.blogspot.ca/2014/02/ ... ng-of.html
I brought that Ἰουδαῖος up in the hope that the most rudimentary dictionary reading skills could be employed in finding the meaning of Greek words.

The "next level" after the dictionary is scholarly articles.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by cwconrad » March 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:\I brought that Ἰουδαῖος up in the hope that the most rudimentary dictionary reading skills could be employed in finding the meaning of Greek words.

The "next level" after the dictionary is scholarly articles.
I'm one of those who don't have much confidence in "rudimentary dictionary reading skills" -- I think too many are using a minimal lexicon and looking for any quick gloss that will assist their code-breaking text-reading process.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 2nd, 2014, 8:56 pm

At a certain level of aptitude, avoiding / moving on from the code-breaking is a good thing, I agree.

But here, in this case, for an absolute beginner who knows the meaning before approaching the Greek, then looking in the dictionary for a meaning is better than "guessing" it.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by cwconrad » March 3rd, 2014, 6:48 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:At a certain level of aptitude, avoiding / moving on from the code-breaking is a good thing, I agree.

But here, in this case, for an absolute beginner who knows the meaning before approaching the Greek, then looking in the dictionary for a meaning is better than "guessing" it.
"Absolute beginner"? You mean, one who hasn't even mastered the Greek alphabet? (There are such people who dabble in Greek texts.) A lexicon is of little use to that person.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

David Lim
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by David Lim » March 3rd, 2014, 7:22 am

cwconrad wrote:"Absolute beginner"? You mean, one who hasn't even mastered the Greek alphabet? (There are such people who dabble in Greek texts.) A lexicon is of little use to that person.
With today's technology, people can click on hyperlinks to get from an English word to 'the Greek word that belongs to it' in a 'lexicon' like Strong's without needing to learn the Greek alphabet. Some people even pay for software to do that for them. ;)
δαυιδ λιμ

cwconrad
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by cwconrad » March 3rd, 2014, 7:52 am

David Lim wrote:
cwconrad wrote:"Absolute beginner"? You mean, one who hasn't even mastered the Greek alphabet? (There are such people who dabble in Greek texts.) A lexicon is of little use to that person.
With today's technology, people can click on hyperlinks to get from an English word to 'the Greek word that belongs to it' in a 'lexicon' like Strong's without needing to learn the Greek alphabet. Some people even pay for software to do that for them. ;)
Right! Lexica, grammars, commentaries ... Machina omnia vincit!
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 3rd, 2014, 11:18 am

cwconrad wrote:
David Lim wrote:
cwconrad wrote:"Absolute beginner"? You mean, one who hasn't even mastered the Greek alphabet? (There are such people who dabble in Greek texts.) A lexicon is of little use to that person.
With today's technology, people can click on hyperlinks to get from an English word to 'the Greek word that belongs to it' in a 'lexicon' like Strong's without needing to learn the Greek alphabet. Some people even pay for software to do that for them. ;)
Right! Lexica, grammars, commentaries ... Machina omnia vincit!
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I remember some years ago, when Bible software was first becoming available, arguing against individual (who actually had some competence in the languages) who maintained that such software would make learning the languages obsolete. I predicted that wouldn't be the case, and so far I'm dead right (being live wrong is only an advantage in driving). What I continue to see is people who use the software and come to conclusions that are completely erroneous, simply because they do not have the broader framework in which they can properly interpret the factoids that they are getting. Even in the Star Trek universe, the universal translator didn't always get it right...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Stirling Bartholomew
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Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 3rd, 2014, 12:16 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I remember some years ago, when Bible software was first becoming available, arguing against individual (who actually had some competence in the languages) who maintained that such software would make learning the languages obsolete. I predicted that wouldn't be the case, and so far I'm dead right (being live wrong is only an advantage in driving). What I continue to see is people who use the software and come to conclusions that are completely erroneous, simply because they do not have the broader framework in which they can properly interpret the factoids that they are getting.
We can rant and rave about bible software, but the seminaries have made it a requirement. You can't survive without it. It is used both in the classroom and for assignments.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

cwconrad
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Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by cwconrad » March 3rd, 2014, 2:50 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:[We can rant and rave about bible software, but the seminaries have made it a requirement. You can't survive without it. It is used both in the classroom and for assignments.
No, I don't think that the seminaries can be looked to to sustain professional or meaningful competence in ancient Greek; while there are a few theological institutions determined to do that, it's the academic institutions -- the universities -- that will bear the responsibility. It's not just a matter of Biblical Greek, after all, but of ancient Greek altogether.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 640
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Basic dictionary skills

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 3rd, 2014, 3:35 pm

cwconrad wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:[We can rant and rave about bible software, but the seminaries have made it a requirement. You can't survive without it. It is used both in the classroom and for assignments.
No, I don't think that the seminaries can be looked to to sustain professional or meaningful competence in ancient Greek; while there are a few theological institutions determined to do that, it's the academic institutions -- the universities -- that will bear the responsibility. It's not just a matter of Biblical Greek, after all, but of ancient Greek altogether.
20 years ago almost to the day, I was chatting with a Fuller (Seattle extension) student who had been in the MDiv track for nine (9) years and had yet to take any biblical languages. I am tempted to bowse the curriculum at Princeton Th. Sem. to see what they do but most of schools now hide the details of courses until you are logged on as a known student.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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