Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Exploring Albert Rijksbaron's book, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction, to see how it would need to be adapted for Koine Greek. Much of the focus will be on finding Koine examples to illustrate the same points Rijksbaron illustrates with Classical examples, and places where Koine Greek diverges from Classical Greek.

Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2012, 8:35 am

I was eating lunch with Stephen Carlson, and I mentioned that I wish there were a New Testament version of Rijksbaron. He replied that the biggest issue would be finding good New Testament examples for each section instead of the wide ranging classical ones, and that B-Greek might be a place to do that. If we had a good set of examples, there might not be much need for a new book.

Would that make a good project? Suppose I started a subforum like Ken Penner's Septuagint subforum, and we read through Rijksbaron one chapter at a time, discussing the chapter and loooking for good New Testament examples. Would that be interesting and useful?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby RickBrannan » May 31st, 2012, 9:18 am

Rijksbaron has been on my mental "yes, I need to read that" list for a long time. I'm interested, but don't know the degree I'd be able to interact. I have a feeling my intentions aren't an accurate reflection of my eventual participation.

Is there a reason for limiting to Greek NT? Couldn't one also use the Apostolic Fathers, some of the LXX deuterocanonicals, and perhaps even Josephus and Philo? I can definitely see focusing on the GNT as the primary corpus, but when it doesn't have great or even good examples, why not spread out a little into other somewhat contemporary "early christian literature" (to use BDAG's phrase)?
Rick Brannan
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Logos Bible Software
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2012, 9:24 am

RickBrannan wrote:Is there a reason for limiting to Greek NT? Couldn't one also use the Apostolic Fathers, some of the LXX deuterocanonicals, and perhaps even Josephus and Philo? I can definitely see focusing on the GNT as the primary corpus, but when it doesn't have great or even good examples, why not spread out a little into other somewhat contemporary "early christian literature" (to use BDAG's phrase)?


I think adding the authors you suggest would definitely be good.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 31st, 2012, 10:08 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:Would that make a good project? Suppose I started a subforum like Ken Penner's Septuagint subforum, and we read through Rijksbaron one chapter at a time, discussing the chapter and loooking for good New Testament examples. Would that be interesting and useful?


YES :D Since the book is pretty cheap, we should perhaps strongly encourage that people posting on it have the book.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby MAubrey » May 31st, 2012, 11:08 am

Oh come on, guys!

You're seriously damaging the marketability of my thesis... :o
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby MAubrey » May 31st, 2012, 11:27 am

But in all seriousness. It's a great idea. And I'll participate.
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Louis L Sorenson » May 31st, 2012, 1:27 pm

I've thought and mentioned that this same sort of project would be a good addition to Smyth's A Greek Grammar by adding a Koine Section to every section. I think Perseus makes the XML of smyth available.
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » May 31st, 2012, 1:49 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
RickBrannan wrote:Is there a reason for limiting to Greek NT? Couldn't one also use the Apostolic Fathers, some of the LXX deuterocanonicals, and perhaps even Josephus and Philo? I can definitely see focusing on the GNT as the primary corpus, but when it doesn't have great or even good examples, why not spread out a little into other somewhat contemporary "early christian literature" (to use BDAG's phrase)?


I think adding the authors you suggest would definitely be good.


I think one of the biggest large scale problems in Koine studies is that people speak about Koine when they actually speak about NT Greek. In my opinion using NT as a sole corpus for Koine is akin to selecting 500 pages of random Evangelical Christian (or from some other viewpoint) texts from different authors and say "This is what 2000's English is". Adding LXX to NT would be akin to adding a modern English Bible to the other Christian material. We would surely see what English approximately is, but could we write a grammar for it and call it English Grammar?

Of course there's no such problem if we limit our studies on purpose and say so. But here's the important logical question: is the corpus itself enough for defining the grammar used in that corpus? For lexicons it's taken for granted that we have to use all available literature from the period to affirm the word usage in NT (even though the other literature isn't always explicitly quoted). Why not for grammar?

This is a bit offtopic. But my answer to Rick's question would be yes, and beyond.
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » May 31st, 2012, 1:52 pm

MAubrey wrote:Oh come on, guys!

You're seriously damaging the marketability of my thesis... :o


Don't worry! If it's published in book form and under $25 I promise to buy it.
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Re: Rijksbaron and the Greek New Testament

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » May 31st, 2012, 2:04 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:I was eating lunch with Stephen Carlson, and I mentioned that I wish there were a New Testament version of Rijksbaron. He replied that the biggest issue would be finding good New Testament examples for each section instead of the wide ranging classical ones, and that B-Greek might be a place to do that. If we had a good set of examples, there might not be much need for a new book.

Would that make a good project? Suppose I started a subforum like Ken Penner's Septuagint subforum, and we read through Rijksbaron one chapter at a time, discussing the chapter and loooking for good New Testament examples. Would that be interesting and useful?


Yes and yes, it would.

At first I felt that Rijksbaron is too difficult and not informative enough. But the more I read his book the more I appreciate it. Yes, it requires more from the reader than e.g. Wallace. But it's rewarding. And the writer's good understanding about the subject matter shines through. Sometimes it seems that especially selection of the examples is a work of a genius. That, of course, makes selecting and explaining good NT (or rather Koine) counterparts challenging.

I see also one big problem. This would easily lead to pressing Koine into the same mold than Classical Greek. It would be easy to neglect counter-examples. It would be easy to loose different nuances. This requires highly competent project leaders.
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