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Duff's Elements of NT Greek

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Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Auberon » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:52 am

What do y'all make of Duff's The Elements of New Testament Greek? He says he doesn't teach accents in the book because the rules are complicated and they don't aid much in understanding the NT. I call b.s. on that -- won't I eventually need to know them?

Anyhow, I didn't choose this book. I had to get it for a class starting next week. Any feedback would be most joyously received.
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Essorant » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:51 pm

they don't aid much in understanding the NT


I agree.

There are enough difficulties with what is much more important for understanding Greek, the issues of grammar and interpretation. I find it unnecessary and distracting to confuse the issues of accents into that at the same time, especially for a beginner.

I think when one is learned well enough in the more important things, the grammar and interpretation, when he has the general things understood, then it is a better time to make ado about the littler things, such as the specifications about accent.
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby spiphany » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:08 pm

Depends what your goals are. If you're only interested in reading, most of the time you can safely ignore the accents. Not always, however: there are a few cases where the accent can make a difference to the meaning of a word -- distinguishing a noun from a verb, for example -- but context will often help with that, too. Or you can simply learn individual cases as they come up.

If you're at all interested in poetics or composition, you will want to learn the accents eventually, and it's easier to do this at the beginning, if possible.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Auberon » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:20 pm

Thanks, guys.
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby paulusnb » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:19 am

I like Duff's Elements for what it is. Even if I hated it, I believe it would still have a place. Anyone using Duff's is usually at a point where complete mastery of Greek is not the purpose (20 somethings in a Seminary or possible Theology degree). The accents are a distraction from the purpose of the book: to get students reading New Testament Greek as quickly as possible. One could do the same with macrons with latin (my apologies to the macron's cult on this site. May Macrona pardon my children and save their testicles). Is it an inferior way of teaching Greek? Wrong way to look at it. Teaching people with back problems to do sit ups in a different position is also teaching an inferior method. It all depends on the student and the point. I took a French class that focused on reading and not on pronunciation and speaking. Some say a travesty. The point of the class was to get me reading French.

By the by, I do think that Duff's revision is a travesty. Wenham's was better. An example of Duff's issues: Chapter 4 of his books introduces prepositions, 18 of them with their variant translations according to case. As a teacher and student of language for the past few years, I believe this is a major blunder. The students always struggle with the little 3 and 4 letter prepositions and adverbs. Putting them all together is a silly blunder.
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Auberon » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:37 am

paulusnb wrote:I took a French class that focused on reading and not on pronunciation and speaking. Some say a travesty. The point of the class was to get me reading French.


Who would say it's a travesty? If the class is about learning to read French then that is the goal. Hey --did the text book you used omit the accents? (Kidding.)

paulusnb wrote:By the by, I do think that Duff's revision is a travesty. Wenham's was better. An example of Duff's issues: Chapter 4 of his books introduces prepositions, 18 of them with their variant translations according to case. As a teacher and student of language for the past few years, I believe this is a major blunder. The students always struggle with the little 3 and 4 letter prepositions and adverbs. Putting them all together is a silly blunder.


Thanks for the warning. I'll keep my eyes open for that and give it extra effort.

Appreciate your comments.
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Anastasia » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:49 am

I wouldn't worry too much about the accents; realistically, they're not difficult or time-consuming to learn. If you spend a day or two getting the basics, you'll have all you need to translate well.
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Auberon » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:51 pm

I'm in chapter 4 and prepositions. It's not that bad…I put the prepositions and their cases on flash cards and I have half of them memorized already. I don't mind getting them in a big batch—I will have to learn them all eventually. Why not now?

So far the book is reasonably laid out. It has helps in case anyone needs them (e.g., explanations of grammatical terms and a lot of examples). It has a partial answer key, which is helpful in checking my work before class.

I'll write about the book as I have thoughts and experiences with it in case anyone is interested in picking the book up.

Later.
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby paulusnb » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:17 am

Auberon wrote:I'm in chapter 4 and prepositions. It's not that bad…I put the prepositions and their cases on flash cards and I have half of them memorized already. I don't mind getting them in a big batch—I will have to learn them all eventually. Why not now?


I guess I am winy. :D
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Auberon » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:27 pm

paulusnb wrote:I guess I am winy. :D


No, not at all...your reaction is normal. It's a pain in the keister!
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Bert » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:17 am

Auberon wrote:
paulusnb wrote:I guess I am winy. :D


No, not at all...your reaction is normal. It's a pain in the keister!

I did find that having a lot of prepositions and adverbs dumped on me at once confused me, especially because then they are mostly lacking any context. It is easier to memorize nouns and verbs than prepositions and adverbs but even then, having them in context of a sentence makes memory work much more successful.
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Re: Duff's Elements of NT Greek

Postby Cilionelle » Wed May 20, 2009 5:56 am

I like Duff's book. I have the 3rd printing of the 3rd edition, which means that it still has a few mistakes. Otherwise, I've found it quite clear. One of the things that gets me about it though is that the verbs that are introduced in the earlier chapters as having regular present tense conjugations are by no means regular in the other tenses/moods/etc. Like βαλλω. Or ερχομαι.
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