Hello from William Stroupe

Please introduce yourself here, if you haven't already.

Hello from William Stroupe

Postby WStroupe » January 10th, 2013, 2:13 am

My interest in the Greek language and grammar stems from frustration with English as a tool for effective communication on one hand, and fascination with the power of NT Greek to express precise thoughts and ideas on the other hand. I am starting quite late, and under my circumstances I know I'll never become a scholar, but I want to understand as much of the language as I can. Joining this forum seemed to me to be a good move. I hope everyone will be patient with me as I learn the rules and the ropes and learn to fit in here.

I am intensely interested in theology, because to me a deeper understanding of Greek is not an end in itself - it is a means to understand more clearly what exactly we are being taught by the Scriptures. I want to know the Lord's mind, to the extent I can as a puny and imperfect human. But I will make every effort to confine my questions and posts here to the language, and keep my theology to myself, except where I need to posit some fundamental 'what-ifs' (elemental ideas) that would be at a very low level, directly linked to the Greek grammar itself in a particular verse.

I don't wear my feelings on my shirt cuff, as it were. You can be very direct and straightforward in correcting me if I err in any way. I want to learn. Without real learning and advancement, a person is biologically alive but dead by any real definition. I want to be alive!
William J. Stroupe

"God's Word is alive and exerts power..." Hebrews 4:12
WStroupe
 
Posts: 13
Joined: March 19th, 2012, 4:18 pm

Re: Hello from William Stroupe

Postby cwconrad » January 10th, 2013, 8:39 am

I've read your self-introduction with interest, partly because what you've written reminds me of myself and my intellectual proclivities of half a century ago or so when I was perhaps closer to your age now. Now much older myself, although not necessarily wiser, I can tell you what's happened to those proclivities in me, although your experience may well be very different from mine.

All my life I have been a passionate student of ancient Greek language and literature and am still learning to make more sense of some elements of the language that I didn't understand so well earlier. I have my doubts about the oft-expressed claim, one which you have also voiced, that Greek is much more precise in its distinctions and nuances. That may be true about the Greek verb with its expansive range of available precise inflectional distinctions of mood, tense, voice, etc. -- although even here recent threads in this forum have brought to light the perilous ambivalence of middle-passive voice forms and the highly controversial subject of verbal aspect in the tense-aspect system of Greek. The syntax of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives is often enough hard to explain even when the meaning of a phrase is pretty well understood -- we not infrequently refer to the "aporetic genitive" as a subcategory of adnominal genitive in Dan Wallace's GGBB whose name aptly betrays the grammarian's embarrassing inability to offer a satisfactory account of how the genitive works in such-and-such a particular text. The fact is that languages are different from each other rather than "better" than each other. I rather doubt that there are formulations of thought in Greek that cannot be converted into perfectly intelligible expressions in English, even if some significant aesthetic features of style or metaphoric idiom require radical transformation in the hermeneutical process.

With regard to theology, I must confess that my youthful profound application to it has has faded considerably with the passage of years, the more so in my later years. I realize that my experience is not that common, but the fact is that I've come to believe that there are questions to which all answers are speculative and hypothetical and that, for me at least, the more profitable matters to reflect upon are humane and moral problems rather than divine ones -- or that it is more profitable to pursue divinity in the human interrelationships of persons than in abstractions transcending human experience.

I won't pursue these matters any further here or in the public forums and subforums of Biblical Greek. But you will note that we really do avoid theological discussion in our subforums and that such matters as what the preposition διὰ + acc. can mean or how it can be translated are not likely to find answers in broad general terms but rather with reference to particular texts and contexts.

At any rate, I will offer you my own warm welcome to the BG Forum.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1298
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Hello from William Stroupe

Postby WStroupe » January 10th, 2013, 3:11 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, cwconrad. I appreciate it very much. It is true that my tendency is still to look at issues at a level that is a few steps above the Greek itself. With everyone's help I'll learn to focus at the lower levels associated with the language itself. Then on my own time I can employ the knowledge gained here to the upper levels of thought more associated with doctrine and theology.

As for my age now which you alluded to - I'm 60. Probably haven't lost all of my idealism in spite of my age, but I have lost the more radical elements of it. :roll:

I might be coming from somewhat of a different direction than you describe of yourself, in that human relationships and experiences have disillusioned me to a considerable extent (I don't think a guy can get to 60 without that happening to some extent), but the spiritual relationship between myself and my Creator has not only survived all of that, but thrived - so I am anxious to make all I can of that relationship, while at the same time making the most of those in the human realm as is possible and practical. I'm no hermit, but I simply don't count on the rewards of human relationships nearly as much as I used to. I've got quite a few 'battle scars' from those relationships and I guess I've readjusted my priorities accordingly.

It isn't that I don't try in the realm of human relations - as a matter of fact I put forth earnest effort.

As for Greek itself, I think the most exciting aspect for me is the way in which one can combine the elements of the language with the context of a particular verse or expression and discern a very lucid and deep thought or idea that is being conveyed. This is entirely fascinating to me. I just have to learn to confine my posts here to the lower levels - the language elements.
William J. Stroupe

"God's Word is alive and exerts power..." Hebrews 4:12
WStroupe
 
Posts: 13
Joined: March 19th, 2012, 4:18 pm

Re: Hello from William Stroupe

Postby cwconrad » January 11th, 2013, 9:14 am

Well, I guess I have misjudged -- you're only twenty years younger than myself! Suffice it to say that we are not quite on the same wave length, after all, or so it would seem. I confess I've lost interest in theology as a speculative enterprise; as for the Greek, my own experience of the more interesting and significant Greek texts is of complexity and multivalence; for example, every reading of Sophocles seems to bring a new illumination rather than merely a confirmation of an earlier understanding; so too I find complexity and multivalence in significant Biblical texts. There's always more to learn, I think; I endorse Solon's avowal: γηράσκω ἀεὶ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1298
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Hello from William Stroupe

Postby Lee Moses » January 12th, 2013, 1:34 pm

William, I enjoyed reading your posts here, and commend your intentions and ambitions. I look forward to reading your future questions and contributions--Welcome!
Lee Moses
 
Posts: 17
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:09 pm

Re: Hello from William Stroupe

Postby WStroupe » January 12th, 2013, 4:31 pm

Thank you, Lee!

Right now I'm feeling a bit nervous about running afoul of some of the rules, so your encouragement is very much appreciated. I surely don't want to damage in any way the high standards upheld here. I hope I can contribute in some small way and do my part to make this forum a good experience for others. We all have something very important in common - love and respect for the Greek language, and for the Bible.
William J. Stroupe

"God's Word is alive and exerts power..." Hebrews 4:12
WStroupe
 
Posts: 13
Joined: March 19th, 2012, 4:18 pm


Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron