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Postby Mindy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:27 am

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Re: Revelation?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:40 pm

Mindy, I'm not sure of your point, but from a strictly language point of view, I would agree that learning Greek from the book of Revelation would not be the best, since the Greek is rather "non-standard" even for the Koine of the period and it contains a number of solecisms.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:34 pm

Mindy,

Someone not familiar with the writings of Second Temple Judaism who reads the Greek text of the Apocalypse (Revelation) for the first time struggles with the language, structure and logic of the book. The syntax is not complex. This so-called apocalyptic genre needs to be studied by reading other texts. The grammatical anomalies are less difficult than what you will encounter in the syntax of Paul's letters.

Certainly we don't want to use the Apocalypse as a textbook example of koine. The current thinking on the syntax and grammar of John's Apocalypse has diverged significantly from a century ago. It is now fashionable to say that the author follows a different set of rules.

I wouldn't recommend the Apocalypse as an introduction to koine. On the other hand, if someone wanted to read the book I wouldn't discourage it.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:17 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Mindy,

Certainly we don't want to use the Apocalypse as a textbook example of koine. The current thinking on the syntax and grammar of John's Apocalypse has diverged significantly from a century ago. It is now fashionable to say that the author follows a different set of rules.


"A different set of rules..." What an interesting way of saying that he makes errors even from the perspective of other writers of the period.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby jeidsath » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:39 pm

I have never read Revelation in Greek. I read it often growing up. As an adult though, I'm a member of a more mainstream Protestant denomination that really doesn't know what to do with it. Wariness -- even a mild skepticism -- is a Church position on Revelation that is widespread today and throughout history. Perhaps I could even call it the default position.

The examples that I've seen of bad Greek in Revelation don't seem bad enough to do learners any harm though.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:09 pm

jeidsath wrote:I have never read Revelation in Greek. I read it often growing up. As an adult though, I'm a member of a more mainstream Protestant denomination that really doesn't know what to do with it. Wariness -- even a mild skepticism -- is a Church position on Revelation that is widespread today and throughout history. Perhaps I could even call it the default position.

The examples that I've seen of bad Greek in Revelation don't seem bad enough to do learners any harm though.


I read it as part of research on a paper for persecution in the early church, after spending a lot of time reading Thucydides and a course in Greek orators (especially Demosthenes and Isocrates). It was a bit of a shock to the system, to say the least.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:17 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Mindy,

Certainly we don't want to use the Apocalypse as a textbook example of koine. The current thinking on the syntax and grammar of John's Apocalypse has diverged significantly from a century ago. It is now fashionable to say that the author follows a different set of rules.


"A different set of rules..." What an interesting way of saying that he makes errors even from the perspective of other writers of the period.


I don't read everything that is published on the Apocalypse, but in the last couple of decades there have been several monographs on the language of the Apocalypse which promote that approach. I didn't invented it. I don't even have an opinion on it.

Postscript:

I suspect we have misunderstood the intention of Mindy's post. I detect a subtle thread that ties the elements together. Somethings going on there which I have failed to grasp.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:35 am

Mindy wrote:"σοφοῦ παρ’ ἀνδρὸς προσδέχου συμβουλίαν"?

It needs to be tested.

The schoolmaster didn't know that it is not always true.

But this is true: "μὴ πᾶσιν εἰκῇ τοῖς φίλοις πιστεύετε".

It's sad to hear that one of the Chinese teachers of Hebrew on the internet was converted from Christianity to Judaism. Now I understand why.

The spelling mistake (πιστεύεται) on the original tablet actually occurs in some places in somr manuscripts of the New Testament. You mentioned that you've been to England. Did you visit the British Museum when you were there? I've heard it's large.

I guess that the school master put them together into the same exercise because, when read together, they are a balanced way of handling the advice we get from others.

There is a difference in the way that New Testament Greek is taught online to the way that you described how you are following the communal reading of Hebrew. The model of language education, which the western educational system has promoted until recently is rather distilled or abstracted from life and persoal experience - learning by grammar tables and vocabulary lists. That might seem a little dry at times, but it is effective if you stuck with it. If you are feeling the separation of faith and language, as you work through your Greek grammar exercises, there is a book (which I haven't had a chance to buy yet) called 52 devotions on the Greek New Testament, or some similar name.

Mindy wrote:For language's sake, visiting Jewish websites doesn't mean believing Judaism.

Jesus may not have belonged to one of the particular schools of Judaism that is practiced now, but was non-the-less Jewish. The allusions and interpretations of the Bible (Old Testament) make up the majority of the New Testament. The Christian way to read the Old Testament is to follow the way that the authours of the New Testament read and interpreted it. Jesus is recorded on many occasions as teaching his disciples and others how to read and interpret the scriptures. Belief in Jesus means accepting his way of reading the scriptures. The "Christian" way of interpreting the Old Testament is based on the way Jesus explained them. Specifically, the epitome of the Christian way to read the Scriptures is expressed in John 5:39.
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Postby Mindy » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:27 am

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Re: Revelation?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:01 am

Mindy wrote:Here is the message received:

"Mindy,

It seems to me you are making good progress. If you get inspired to read something more substantial than individual verses, I’d be willing to try and answer any questions you encounter. I started reading chapters of the New Testament after about one year of the kind of study you are currently doing. Reading paragraphs and chapters is just like reading verses except you learn more. Your comprehension goes way up when you comprehend larger portions. My first complete book was the Revelation of St John. Not a great choice because the grammar is very Semitic. I eventually got so I could read the whole book in one session. I read it perhaps four or five hundred times.

greetings, "

I have never worked through the Book of Revelation word-by-word or verse by verse, but I have read through it - maybe not in one session. Taking things step-by-step, you will be able to work up to reading new texts at sight. I spend an average of about an hour a day writing and rewriting out phrases and sentences in Greek. I think that writing out lines is a beneficial way to learn a language.

The Greek language in the Book of Revelations is or may be a patois of some sort. Even an unofficial versiin of a language is rule governed and spoken in a consistent way by its speakers. Many people who learn languages during a migration experience first learn the language of the street. I don't think anybody would say that it is cruel to let recent arrivals to a country to learn the most colloquial varieties of the language first. Obtaining fluency in any variety of a new language is a great first stage in learning that language.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:32 pm

Mindy wrote:Here is the message received:

"Mindy,

It seems to me you are making good progress. If you get inspired to read something more substantial than individual verses, I’d be willing to try and answer any questions you encounter. I started reading chapters of the New Testament after about one year of the kind of study you are currently doing. Reading paragraphs and chapters is just like reading verses except you learn more. Your comprehension goes way up when you comprehend larger portions. My first complete book was the Revelation of St John. Not a great choice because the grammar is very Semitic. I eventually got so I could read the whole book in one session. I read it perhaps four or five hundred times.

greetings, "


Hey, Mindy, his advice about reading connected texts is excellent. I don't think he's necessarily asking you to do Revelation, just saying that's what he did, and I agree that it's not the best place to start. For the NT, my first such reading was Mark, and I think that's preferable for a number of reasons (a lot of people prefer John, either the gospel or the epistles). Also, considering that you are working through C&S (my college textbook when I started Greek!) you can also consider doing some reading outside the NT, such as Xenophon, which will also help your reading of Greek in general, and thus biblical Greek, greatly.
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Postby Mindy » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:09 pm

blotted
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Re: Revelation?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:34 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:The Greek language in the Book of Revelation[s] is or may be a patois of some sort. Even an unofficial versi[o]n of a language is rule governed and spoken in a consistent way by its speaker[s].


I agree. The expression rule governed is harmless enough if the conversation includes participants familiar with generative grammar. On the other hand, rules have a different meaning in 19th-century philology. For this reason I prefer talk about observable patterns rather than rules. You can avoid having to explain what you don't mean every time you use the term "rule."

It's amusing that classical philologists predictably haul out Thucydides in discussions of grammar and syntax. A retired professor who taught classics for half a century told me that there are speeches in Thucydides that defy analysis. I have only read snippets of narrative in Thucydides. So I have to take this on authority not from personal observation.

On the other hand the Apocalypse of John is an easy read. You won't learn much about greek syntax reading it. Luke-Acts, Hebrews, 1st Peter, 2nd Peter & Jude ... present a different register, the language is more sophisticated and probably too difficult for beginners. Paul's epistles present a different kind of difficulty, broken syntax in some letters makes exegesis a nightmare.

I've been sampling T. Muraoka's Syntax of Septuagint Greek (Peters 2016)[1]. Muraoka appears to be straddling the boundary between philology and linguistics. If I were to profile his grammar I would be inclined to label it classical philology. However Muraoka's treatment is conversant with functionalism (T. Givon). Occasionally I see hints of linguistic ideas woven in like colored threads in the gray tweed of traditional philology.

Muraoka's Syntax is directly relevant to this discussion. Septuagint[2] Greek shares certain syntactical features with the Apocalypse of John, for example, narrative parataxis joined by καὶ.

[1] One reviewer of Muraoka's Syntax complained about the conversational style of presentation. I take exception to this, Muraoka's exposition is lucid and brief without being cryptic. Having spent many hours with Guy Cooper's four volumes, I find Muraoka's style decidedly lucid by comparison. Street price on the book is about 104 USD shipped. I certainly won't be buying it. Mike Aubrey will certainly own it.

[2] There is no such thing as the Septuagint according to Peter J. Williams (Tyndale House, Cambridge).
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Re: Revelation?

Postby mwh » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:44 pm

I would never take advice from someone claiming to have read Revelation four or five hundred times.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:22 pm

C.S. Bartholomew wrote:
Muraoka's Syntax is directly relevant to this discussion. Septuagint[2] Greek shares certain syntactical features with the Apocalypse of John, for example, narrative parataxis joined by καὶ.


This is one of the long standing theories involving the composition of Revelation, that in fact the author was deliberately imitating a style which would be familiar to his readers. One of my research projects was to look not only at the LXX, but also at various surviving apocalyptic texts in Greek, and see if I could spot any syntactic and stylistic similarities which might support this. The results were inconclusive, and of course, it begs the question. Was the writer deliberately using this style, or was this simply the Greek with which he was familiar? Similarity in syntax is bound to occur, and then there's the criteria one employs to determine stylistic similarity -- it can be very easy to find something in such a context if you look long enough (Look! There really is a boojum behind that tree, I know I saw it!). One thing lacking in the literature was solecisms. One only finds similar ones in the non-literary papyri.

BTW, I brought up Thucydides simply because he was one of the authors I had been reading when I sat down to read through Revelation for my research project, not for any global considerations. Yes, his speeches can be challenging, but his narrative is pretty straightforward.



mwh wrote:I would never take advice from someone claiming to have read Revelation four or five hundred times.


:lol: So what's the cut-off point? Would you take advice from someone who claimed 250 times? A hundred? How about 5? :lol:
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Thanks

Postby Mindy » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:48 pm

Thanks.
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Re: Revelation?

Postby mwh » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:39 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
mwh wrote:I would never take advice from someone claiming to have read Revelation four or five hundred times.


:lol: So what's the cut-off point? Would you take advice from someone who claimed 250 times? A hundred? How about 5? :lol:

Twice, probably. More than that smacks of fanaticism, and I don’t take advice from fanatics.
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Re: None

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:36 am

mwh wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
mwh wrote:I would never take advice from someone claiming to have read Revelation four or five hundred times.


:lol: So what's the cut-off point? Would you take advice from someone who claimed 250 times? A hundred? How about 5? :lol:

Twice, probably. More than that smacks of fanaticism, and I don’t take advice from fanatics.

I hope that that hyperbolically low bar for fanaticism is only for that particularly contentious book.

Every diligent undergraduate prepares a prescription before class, goes through it in class, reviews it after class and then tries to become as familiar with it as possible with it in the exam preparation week(s) - at least 4 times through.

Personally, I find it easier to think about a text, when I'm not looking at it at the same time. That requires a degree of memorisation. If I'm lucky, I can remember sentences (or phrases) the first time I read them, but otherwise, I need to go through a slow process of familiarisation. I end up reading it far more than twice. Besides reading, writing and rewriting out snippets of text is a great way to become familiar with the work I'm reading. Writing and rewriting leads to almost never-ending repetition.

Here is about 20 minutes of doodling ...

Image

I count that even on that scrap of paper, I've written the sentence out 12 times - 6 times the recommended dosage. Is that enough for me to attain fanatic status? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: None

Postby Mindy » Tue May 01, 2018 4:29 am

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Re: None

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue May 01, 2018 12:01 pm

Mindy wrote:I have had such experiences many times. Most of the times I could do nothing but leaving. That's why I don't go to church. But this time posts have become my only defense.
You are not the only person who faced such experiences.

καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.


You could read the whole of the psalms that verses are quoted from at the crucifixion.
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Re: None

Postby Mindy » Tue May 01, 2018 4:14 pm

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Re: None

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue May 01, 2018 8:07 pm

Mindy wrote:Virtue is more important than knowledge.

There's no compromise for certain issues.

Sometimes price must be paid.


Well, I'm not sure what you are talking about, but what people do best here is talk about ancient Greek. Why don't we stick to that?
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Re: None

Postby Mindy » Wed May 02, 2018 2:39 am

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Re: None

Postby jeidsath » Wed May 02, 2018 3:04 am

I for one am clueless about what is going on in this discussion. However, I think that starting with C&S is a very good textbook for beginning Greek, for those willing to put the effort into it, and I’m sorry that it’s being abandoned.

But there are many roads to fluency, and I hope that Mindy discovers a good one.

The discussion of the religious affliation of the various language students and teachers around the web is foolish. No doctrine of the Christian faith calls for the use of religious tests on the people that we come into contact with, and anything like that smacks of cultism to me. However, again, I don’t understand what this conversation is about.
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Re: None

Postby Mindy » Wed May 02, 2018 7:22 am

I am not interested in religion.

Why did I receive such a message:

"John Milton = Isaac Newton is an arian (anti-trinitarian) whose only interest is undermining the divinity of Jesus Christ. He has no intrinsic interest in greek exegesis. He was booted off b-greek eons ago. " ?
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Re: message

Postby Mindy » Wed May 02, 2018 11:37 am

Here is my message to someone from the Textkit on March 28 (I CCed it to Joel):

"I went to Northumbria Bible College in UK. I studied there from 1995 to 1997. But I only completed one year course. I knew neither Hebrew nor Greek during those two years. Otherwise I would had stayed to learn them. That College wasn't approved to become an open university and moved to join Glasgow Bible College in autumn 1997.

I came to know about the Hebrew/Greek - Chinese parallel websites from a Chinese forum about Hebrew. But at the end of 2016 I left all the Chinese forums I had attended.

I read about Marilyn Phemister last May. She passed away in 2012. Yet I learned Greek by her mp3. Her life is meaningful. It seems that she still lives.

It is lucky to meet friends while we are alive.

I got a chance to meet and had a short talk with Prof. Andrew Walls of Edinburgh University at his office. He is the teacher of the Principal of Northumbria Bible College Dr. David Smith. Recently I watched a video about Prof. Andrew Walls. It was a lecture given by him. The video was posted by one of his students by wordpress.com. I tried to contact him and ask about Hebrew and Greek by wordpress.com. But I didn't receive a reply. Later I heard about Wikipedia in one of their posts by wordpress.com. I read about Textkit by Wikipedia.

Thus I came to Textkit. I cherish the chances to be helped by Textkit community. All your help means a lot to me.

Mindy"
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Re: None

Postby jeidsath » Wed May 02, 2018 2:21 pm

Mindy wrote:I am not interested in religion.


Good. I hope that we can keep this board free from religious dispute. We are here to learn Greek (and Latin), and conversations intended only to promote one or another religious viewpoint can be conducted over in the “Academy” section of the boards.

Meanwhile, I will lock this thread, as I think it is no longer on topic.
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