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Use of an interlinear?

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Use of an interlinear?

Postby uberdwayne » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:09 pm

I have a few interlinear New Testaments in my library here, and I was just wondering... Among those of us who are learning to read Koine, do you find them useful for anything? As someone who can find his way fairly well through the Greek Text, I find interlinear texts cumbersome and... Just plain annoying! If you don't know greek, then an interlinear is useless to you, and if you know, even just the slightest bit, then it gets in the way.

Is there any justification for the existence of these books?
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby Grochojad » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:24 am

Interlinear Bible got me from "I can get through the text step by step, checking a word or two every sentence" to "I ready fluently, using a dictionary once or twice a page". And it did that while I was reading(fun), not checking dictionaries, not going through grammars for every new verb form(tends to get tedious), and it was also very useful in that when I finally got the learn the paradigms by heart and not simply recognize the forms, it was so much easier having encountered them so many times (I wouldn't have read a fourth of what I read if I had to use grammars and dictionaries instead of having everything in needed on one page). Summa summarum-couldn't disagree with you more.
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby Markos » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:06 pm

I happened to never use an interlinear myself. I find it hard to concentrate on the Greek if the English is right there on top of it. However, I did benefit greatly from Reader's Editions, where the glosses are at the bottom of the page, and diglots, where the English is on facing pages. I have no theoretical objections to interlinears, beyond my general desire to avoid English all together at a certain point. No less an authority than John Locke (yes, that John Locke) was a big proponent of them. I can see where they would work in the early stages of learning Greek.

I would like to see an all-Greek interlinear. A Koine interlinear of Homer would be nice.

My only real experience with an interlinear is with a Spanish/Greek interlinear. I found one is a used book store for $5.00 and could not resist. It was a fun way to brush up on my Spanish, a little of which I have picked up from living in the neighborhood. An ἄρχων, I learned, for example, is jefe.
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:38 pm

An interlinear text is very useful for doing research. I remember while beta testing Accordance 3 in 1997 how pleased I was to discover E. Tov's MT LXX database. As an aid in reading a language you do not know the interlinear gets you started. After you progress you will naturally quit using it. However, linguists working in multiple languages continue to use interlinear text long after they have learned to read without one. I remember eons ago a co-chair of the Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics section at SBL telling me (privately) how she was surprised to see so-and-so show up for a meeting toting an NT interlinear. This interlinear toting linguist/scholar has a very solid international reputation.

Once again, STEP has some very useful features for displaying multiple interlinear texts with the ability to effortlessly change the word order from one language to another. All you do is click on the bible versions code at the beginning of each line/verse and that bible becomes the basis for word order. Check it out. http://www.stepbible.org
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby daivid » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:17 am

Many years before I began to learn Greek I used one to compare two gospel accounts of expulsion of the merchants by Jesus from the temple. For that it was ideal.

Now I agree with Markos, that have the English mixed up with the Greek would be distracting. Nonetheless when I get really stumped by a Greek sentence I wish for a very literal translation (which I imagine iterlinears tend to be).
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby uberdwayne » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:44 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:she was surprised to see so-and-so show up for a meeting toting an NT interlinear. This interlinear toting linguist/scholar has a very solid international reputation.

That is really interesting! I would've thought that someone with such a knowledge of Greek wouldn't require one. Also, that STEP program you recommended is really neat! It even has the Peshitta! Who is developing this?

Daivid wrote:Nonetheless when I get really stumped by a Greek sentence I wish for a very literal translation
I suppose this would work, but for the NT we also have the NASB

Either way, I Still have a few on the shelf, and I've only referenced them for the greek text and not the interlinear functionality. If I happen to use them for their intended purpose, I'll have to post it. :)
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:08 pm

uberdwayne wrote: Also, that STEP program you recommended is really neat! It even has the Peshitta! Who is developing this?


Tyndale House Cambridge Launches Beta-version of Scripture Tools for Every Person (STEP), a new free Bible study resource


http://biblicalstudiesorguk.blogspot.co ... -beta.html

http://biblicalstudiesorguk.blogspot.co ... david.html
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby daivid » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:57 pm

uberdwayne wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:she was surprised to see so-and-so show up for a meeting toting an NT interlinear. This interlinear toting linguist/scholar has a very solid international reputation.

That is really interesting! I would've thought that someone with such a knowledge of Greek wouldn't require one. Also, that STEP program you recommended is really neat! It even has the Peshitta! Who is developing this?

I imagine that someone who has a very good competence in reading Greek will not be able to read it quite as fast as in their native language. If you want to get a quick overview of a text but within that want to be quite sure of the meaning of a few critical passages then to able to switch between the two could be an advantage.
uberdwayne wrote:
Daivid wrote:Nonetheless when I get really stumped by a Greek sentence I wish for a very literal translation
I suppose this would work, but for the NT we also have the NASB

I did a quick internet search and there those who criticize the NASB for not always living up to its literalist aspirations. I tried translating one example - 2 Peter 1.10 - and found it very hard going for me.
That is what I would rather expect. It is the very bits where the Greek texts uses constructions that are alien to English and for which a slavishly literal translation would be helpful is going to be the bits where in any translation aimed at the wider public a less literal translation will be resorted to.
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:50 pm

daivid wrote:I did a quick internet search and there those who criticize the NASB for not always living up to its literalist aspirations. I tried translating one example - 2 Peter 1.10 - and found it very hard going for me.
That is what I would rather expect. It is the very bits where the Greek texts uses constructions that are alien to English and for which a slavishly literal translation would be helpful is going to be the bits where in any translation aimed at the wider public a less literal translation will be resorted to.


A literal translation of some portions of 2nd Peter would unreadable. Did you check out Jay Green and Young's Literal?
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Re: Use of an interlinear?

Postby Ilion » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:11 pm

I have found interlinear very helpful in my very initial stages of learning Ancient Greek.
It is extremely helpful for checking out the inflectional morphology of the given word: the tense, declination, etc.
It is true that can make you lazy, but if one is diligent enough, and instead of always checking the answer, one can start guessing first and then check the answer as to for the morphological analysis of that particular word.

I often visit bible-suite site and found it very useful.
http://biblesuite.com/
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