Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Global Greek... and the Future of Seminary Education

I am teaching an Advanced Greek class in the spring semester of 2010 (end of January - beginning of May). This is intended for students who really have only had a year of Greek and completed Croy's grammar. Here is the course description:

This class will emphasize Greek grammar (using Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics) and its application in translation to improve and supplement one’s understanding of biblical Greek. In addition to selected texts from the New Testament, there may be readings from the Septuagint, early Church Fathers, and other Hellenistic-Jewish texts.
What I would like to do is have my class be interacting with others studying Greek worldwide. I suspect that the act of translating NT Greek into English will not be quite the same for students in the USA as compared to England, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, or South Africa, not to mention those for whom English would be a second language. How about a modern Greek person who is learning English?!
I am envisioning setting a blog or wiki or using Google docs or something like the Greek Bible Study site as a place for conducting collaborative work. (What would also work really well is Google Wave. I did get an invitation [thanks, Don!], but I'm limited for now until more people are on board to share my waves.) I am not proposing any 'official' arrangement between institutions, so individuals are also welcome to join us. I am anticipating that we would work together on translating a weekly passage with special attention to the grammar and to the nuances of how one best translates into English. (Doubtless the literal / dynamic translation issue will be addressed...)
I'm not sure how large of an online group we want, but if there is a lot of interest, we could break into smaller groups. Actually, I'm not sure how this will work at all, but I think it's an experiment worth trying.
If you have some better suggestions, let me know. If you would like to give it a try, indicate it in the comments and provide some way of contacting you. (Ie, disguise your email address. I want to have you post in the comments so that we all have a better idea of the interest in this experiment.) You may also click on the mgvh under Contributors on the right and follow the link to send me an email.
Thanks! Mark


  1. Apparently you don't follow the b-greek forum. Both your approach and especially your choice of textbook has been consistently subject to sever criticism.

    I my opinion, you would well go avoid grammars driven translation strategies and particularly GGBB which is probably the worst grammar in print.

    go ahead and delete this.

  2. I use Wallace simply as a reference. We work more on translation than on memorizing grammar. What do you suggest as a more appropriate intermediate grammar?
    Keep in mind that my students are not fluent Greek readers, and I am trying to find ways to help them discern nuances in the Greek text, not become professional translators. I have also been looking at a discourse grammar approach like Steve Runge's because it provides a way of indicating what is emphasized or out of the ordinary in a Greek sentence.

  3. Mark,

    I sent you a PM via the Bibleworks forums. I'd like to be a part.

  4. Hi

    I'm a second year Greek student in South Africa. I'd love to be a part in this.

  5. I am a missionary in South America. I studied Greek 15 years ago and am recently refreshing my Greek skills after not using them for a long time. I am interested in joining with you.

  6. I'm a second year Greek student in Texas and I'd love to participate. This looks very interesting and I'd love to give it try.

  7. REMINDER: You either need to follow links to email me or indicate your email to me so that I can get back to you with info about joining the group. Thanks!