Long-Time Listener, First-Time Caller?

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Adam Olean
Posts: 5
Joined: May 21st, 2018, 3:44 pm

Long-Time Listener, First-Time Caller?

Post by Adam Olean » May 21st, 2018, 3:58 pm

Greetings,

My name is Adam Olean, which just so happens to be my username as well! I began teaching myself Koine Greek in earnest around 2010, especially after acquiring Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. While working through his introductory grammar and memorizing paradigm after paradigm—eventually along with words occurring 10 times and even less in the Greek New Testament, I became rather disappointed with the mediocre results for the countless hours invested. As I shared with someone recently, "I still recall his [Mounce's] list of suggestions for further study at the end of the book. One of them was to purchase a Greek New Testament and to begin reading in earnest—at which I threw up my hands and exclaimed, 'You mean translate?!'" Now I'm actually very grateful for what I did learn and would give a hearty amen to that suggestion (i.e., reading in earnest), but rapidly translating or decoding the GNT in my head is "not [quite] what I had in mind when I first set out to learn Koine Greek." As a student, it seemed odd to me that so many professors and scholars would talk about "reading" when what they really meant was the process of 'translating' (or 'decoding'), often using the terms interchangeably. That's precisely what many (mere) grammar-translation methods are geared for. (And I'm not just talking about the problem of polysemy!)

Well, to summarize the rest of my background, from the Fall 2010 through the end of 2013, I resumed and finished my undergraduate studies at University of Northwestern – St. Paul (via their online program) as a Biblical Studies and Theology major—formerly being a nascent, wannabe film major in 2003–2004 in Chicago, IL. (That's a long story!) Because their biblical language offerings were almost non-existent, I did whatever I could to supplement them. I tried to conduct all of my class readings in the original languages and sought to integrate them into my papers and everywhere else that I could. That's where sites like B-Greek and Biblical Language Center inspired me to keep reading, listening, and even to begin writing and speaking, which I've been working on lately. I currently do quite a bit of teaching in my local church, but I'd also be open to teaching Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew if I ever had the means, opportunity, and experience to do so. Presently I'm pursuing fluency in Biblical and Modern Hebrew, which has been rapidly overtaking my Koine Greek and leaving it in the dust—so to speak! I've warned many students not to begin down the path that I did. Like many of you, I'm interested in both grammar and translation. That said, they should never be conflated, confused, or equated with (nor substituted for) actual reading and speaking fluency—in my most humble of humblest opinions.

Anyway, I definitely appreciate many of the contributors on B-Greek. Some of us have already become acquainted through other channels (e.g., Nerdy Language Majors). Even if I don't have much to contribute, I know that I'll keep reading, following, and benefitting from the discussions!
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Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1246
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Long-Time Listener, First-Time Caller?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 22nd, 2018, 5:26 am

Adam, thanks for introducing yourself. Feel free to contribute any time.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Adam Olean
Posts: 5
Joined: May 21st, 2018, 3:44 pm

Re: Long-Time Listener, First-Time Caller?

Post by Adam Olean » May 22nd, 2018, 11:45 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 5:26 am
Adam, thanks for introducing yourself. Feel free to contribute any time.
Thanks, Barry. You're one of the first ones who comes to mind when I think of exhortations to read Greek broadly and deeply as Greek.
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