Wes Wood wrote:I still believe that if I were to call myself "intermediate" I would be giving myself too much credit.
"Intermediate" is a brush with a very broad stroke.
Wes Wood wrote:I must admit that I am sad to see this come to a close. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have had to try something new, and I want to offer my thanks to this forum at large and to Stephen Hughes and Dr. Conrad specifically for all the help and encouragement along the way.
In my experience of Greek at least, texts do not always come to a close (completion) as we have done here. The prescription given at University was flexible
to some extent, and as we reached the end of the term (later semester) things were often shortened or rushed through.
I realise you are not unacquainted with study and the requirements of college life, but let me give you some idea of how this text (that we got through in about a month and a half) would fit into the workload of a full-time student. In a 19 week semester (in fact 15 after loosing 2 to mid semester breaks and 2 to exam preparation and exams), at intermediate level, this text along with 3 or 4 others by the same authour would be read in a 1 hour per week class (one of Monday to Thursday at 9am).
Off the top of my head, besides Lysias, the classes on the other days at lower intermediate level consisted of Sophocles or Euripides, Plato and Homer, with another 2 hour class for grammar and unseens on Friday morning. So our study would be made up of reading 3 or 4 texts concurrently on different days of the week with an approximate ratio of 5:1 - preparation time outside class : class participation time. At a rough guess then, this text would take up 4 or 5 hours of class time, so totally 20 to 30 hours of work.
At intermediate level, students worked from well indexed "school texts", with more translation "crib notes" rather than the hints which I have tried for the most part to structure for you to apply your current knowledge of New Testament Greek, or to get you thinking in some way or other. That is in contradistinction to what happened at advanced level, where in some cases we were simply given a photocopy of the OCT and left to find our best path through it. In the case of Homer we were just told which book to read for the next week's class when we would discuss issues arising from the reading rather than going into line-by-line details as we had done with Homer at intermediate level. The amount of (handwritten in those days) notes that the lecturers had in front of them (and hence the amount of preparation they had done over the years to teach) at advanced level was phenomenal. The issues covered were not limited to language, but also included other things needed to understand the texts. In a very few cases, there are passages in a text that answer some historical question, but generally speaking, "understanding a text" has a different meaning in Classical Greek classes than in Theological college classes.
Most students that I studied with at University, who were reading Greek for their Bachelors degree also read Latin (one as a minor the other as a major), which was timetabled in the following hour or after an hour's break. I opted for Modern Greek (evening classes) as a double major rather than the Latin. Taking a double major with advanced options in both subjects actually took up most of my degree, and I only had little time left for other subjects or to participate in archery & marksmanship activities.
What I wanted to do - but only sometimes had the time to do - in this presentation was to show that certain words and syntactical structures associated with them
that occur only once (or rarely) in the New Testament, and are often rushed through (almost
overlooked) by un
intelligently translating them word for word into intelligible English do
in fact have syntactic parallels in the wider Greek literature. One of the purposes in quoting the New Testament passages throughout the discussion and in a few cases in the hints was to encourage such parallelism in thinking. We all see μέν ... δέ ... and think syntactic structure, but in other cases understanding the syntax is treated as optional, especially when a word-for-word rendering makes sense anyway. In the case of finding parallels for this speech, a lot of those things that seem to be sui generis
in a New Testament context, came from Luke, Acts and Hebrews. If we had (or if later we do) read some different works, we would (will) find parallels for different passages. Recognising that there is
a recognisable structure in what we are reading adds a perspective that would otherwise be lacking.
One good way to recognise structures is to actively use them in composition, and (where appropriate) in conversation.