Monday, July 30, 2007

Back Online!

Hi everyone.

I know I've broken rule #1 governing all bloggers--namely, you have to write every week. As you can determine below, it took me a while to learn about Unicode in order to put up a Greek text without computer gibberish. Anyway, I've just broken the ice learning how to do it, so I hope from here out to be more active on this blog posting as I continue to learn Unicode and the formatting features of Blogger, which, by the way, are not very simple to someone as computer-illiterate as I am.

I have also made another update for this blog. I've changed the description of this blog to include an element about the Christian worldview. That is, I want to incorporate the Christian worldview since I make judgments about all matters of life through this perspective. It is the supreme worldview and the only one which makes rational sense of this universe. In keeping with the words of Paul who wrote, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God," my goal for this blog is to glorify the Lord through the learning I gain from philology by offering my thoughts for the benefit of others.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Composition or Not?

While I attempt to figure out how to do unicoding (if this is a true word), let me talk about our most recent NT Greek course which just ended less than two weeks ago. It was my second time around teaching the course at The Master’s College for the degree completion program.

I was quite satisfied with the progress of this class. At the end of their 16th week, they were working at a level far beyond the point I was at the end of my 16th week of beginning Greek. This I attribute to the fact that going through Machen’s grammar, I challenged them to do the English to Greek composition exercises for homework each week, with special attention given to accenting. I mostly required them to translate English to Greek exercises since I felt the Greek composition exercises would trump anything they could learn by merely translating Greek into English on a weekly basis.

I am a firm believer that learning accents must be an integral part of beginning Greek and that composition cannot exist without it. Unfortunately I didn’t learn accents until the second year of seminary when I finally hit a brick wall and my learning could go no further without conquering “the beast.” I was able to get by for several years without them, but it was detrimental to my grasp of the language.

Excluding composition from beginning Greek is common place around the theological circles I’ve been in these last several years. When I was a beginning student, it wasn’t required, much less learning the accents. Mounce’s popular grammar excludes it entirely. Wherefore, future generations of theological students will not have a command of the language anywhere near as strong as their secular counterparts in classics programs, which, to my knowledge, all require composition studies.

“What’s the big deal about composition if all I want to do is translate the New Testament?” People ask this question quite often. In reply, I have a quote from Charles E. Bennett writing in The Teaching of Latin in the Secondary School. Though he addresses the importance of Latin composition, the principles apply to Greek as well:

Before making any comments upon this exercise, let us get well before us, if we can, the purpose of Latin composition. Why is it to be studied in the schools? What does it accomplish? The field may be partially cleared by stating, first, what it does not accomplish, at least in the school, namely, an ability to write continuous Latin with fluency and ease. Whatever be the purpose of the study, it cannot be that. For I am convinced no one ever does learn to write Latin of this kind in the school by any method of study yet devised, despite the occasional prescription of an ability to write simple Latin prose in the entrance requirements of our colleges. In fact, even in the college itself the ability to compose continuous Latin prose is a capacity acquired by but few, --chiefly those who specialize somewhat carefully in that classical field.

What, then, is the purpose and function of Latin composition in the secondary school? So far as reason and experience enable me to judge, the study of Latin composition is primarily intended to increase the accuracy, breadth, and certainty of the pupil’s grammatical knowledge, --more particularly his knowledge of syntax. He first learns the Subjunctive of Purpose, let us say, or the Gerundive construction, by learning to recognize these idioms when he meets them in his reading. But this is only partial knowledge. A completer knowledge of the Subjunctive of Purpose or the Gerundive construction is acquired when the pupil learns to employ these in actual phrases of his own making. He then sees these constructions from a new side, and a practical side. The act of constructing sentences which contain these, fixes his mind more intently upon the construction than ever before. His knowledge of it is fuller and surer. Hence it is primarily as contributory to a better knowledge of the grammar, that the study of Latin composition is of value.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ηα[ ] \ { ͗ ͗ ͑ ασδφασδ͑σδφα ͗ ασδφασδφ / ασδφα ? ασδφασδ

'asdf ὀυ ὀυ οὐκ γινώσκω τὸν υἱ̑on

σδφασδφasdfa asdf

ασδφασδφα γεντι

εἱς μία ἑν


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Under Construction

Hi everyone.

I've just realized that the Greek text is coming out in gibberish. I'm gonna have to find a new font to use. I may have some ideas, but if anyone has a suggestion, please let me know. I previously used BibleWorks Greek, but it would only appear right on a computer with this font already installed.