b-greek-digest V1 #873
b-greek-digest Monday, 25 September 1995 Volume 01 : Number 873
In this issue:
Re: Some question on Mark 6:35-39
Re: Teaching accents
Re: Colorful Pneumonics
Re: some questions on Mk 6:35-39
Fwd: Re: Calling Jesus God in...
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 06:50:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Some question on Mark 6:35-39
I am taking the liberty of forwarding to the list the question put to me by
Timothy Smith and my reply. I am curious to learn what others think about
this matter of SUMPOSIA SUMPOSIA and also why it is that English
translators feel obliged to translate all the forms of
ANAKLINO/ANAKLINOMAI/ANAPIPTW referring to dining arrangement of guests as
"sit at table." Aren't we doing exactly what the gospel narrators
did?--translating the circumstances of Palestinian Jewish dining
arrangements into the terms with which their readers were more familiar?
At 8:21 PM 9/23/95, Timothy B. Smith wrote:
>Earlier you wrote:
>>At any rate, I'd translate, "He instructed them all to lie down
>>dinner-party-style." That is, I would understand SUMPOSIA SUMPOSIA as an
>>adverbial accusative qualifying the infinitive ANAKLINAI. I would assume
>>that the neuter plural SUMPOSIA here means what Latin TRICLINIA would
>>mean--and arrangement of nine or twelve guests lying down on figurative
>>couches arranged in a "C" pattern on the ground so that each group of 3 or
>>4 guests (in each of the 3 sides of the "C") face a common center and can
>>see each other.
>Do you know of any evidence that first century Jews made use of a TRICLINIA?
>I was under the impression, perhaps false, that the excavations on the
>western hill in Jerusalem in the 70s suggested that Jews ate formal meals
>around small round tables in groups of 3 or 4?
I don't know that they did, in fact, but I don't think that this part of
the narrative, at any rate, reflects historical fact. The gospel narratives
regularly use ANAKLINEIN/ANAKLINESQAI for "take a position to eat," and
this certainly does not mean "sit at table," though it gets translated that
way in English versions. Matthew's redaction of this same passage omits the
SUMPOSIA SUMPOSIA bit, but it has the crowd told "ANAPESEIN EPI THN GHN,"
which also does not mean "sit down." I think a good deal of the gospel
narrative has been shaped to the Hellenistic environments of its reception,
whatever its original form may have been: Mark may indicate a thatched roof
through which the paralytic was let down to Jesus in Capernaum, but Luke
makes it a tile roof. Mark has to explain his Jewish terminology to his
readers, who are evidently, for the most part, not expected to understand
it. Tradition says that the gospel of Mark was written in Rome; that may
not be true, but it does have some Latin loan words. So that is why I
believe Mark has told the story in a fashion that makes sense to his
readers. Obviously there are no TRICLINIA with cushioned couches here--Mark
says they are told to recline EPI TWi XLWRWi XORTWi. But the style of their
reclining thus indicated would seem to me to be in the pattern of dinner
guests in a TRICLINIUM (the singular form of the word in Latin). That's why
I said, "figurative couches."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Helen Ferrigan & Stuart van Oostveen <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 11:31:35 -0700
Subject: Subscribe B-GREEK
Subscribe B-GREEK Helen Ferrigan
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 12:43:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Teaching accents
Given the way Greek is taught nowadays in many colleges and seminaries, e.g.,
in summer intensive courses, students often have more than enough to
concentrate on without having to worry about rules of accents. A great number
of Greek students have never learned accents at all. I once heard about a
doctoral student at Duke who, when writing his dissertation, paid no
attention whatsoever to Greek accents. His committee had to kindly ask him to
insert the missing diacriticals. I personally did not pick up much knowledge
about Greek accents until I had studied Greek for a couple years. Ideally, if
the student is able to more leisurely study Greek over a longer period of
time (like a couple years), it would probably be to the advantage of the
student to learn accents beginning with the earliest stages of instruction.
That way those little specks on the page are not such a mystery.
However, if a student is not taught accents from the beginning, the accent
system can be conveniently studied later by consulting D.A. Carson's _Greek
Accents: A Student's Manual_.
From: Mike Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 12:36:18 -0700
Subject: Colorful Pneumonics
This is addressed specifically to the person who originally asked
concerning teaching of accents. Regretably, I have deleted her(?) email
address, and since this may be helpful to the minority here who study
and/or tutor Greek on an informal basis, I shall venture to post this for
Most of my formal(?) training in Greek I received at Sunday school and
night classes at a church I attended some twenty years ago. This provided a
solid basis for me to continue my studies by continually reading my New
Testament and by adding "tools" to my coffer as I have been able. I have
also been able to tutor others with the goal of leading them to what David
Black describes as "R-1 Elementary Proficiency" that is enough knoweldge to
be useful with HEAVY reliance on dictionaries and other tools. (By the way,
I am proud to say I learned accenting which I am meticulous in employing,
but I have only bothered to teach accenting to one person.)
Anyhow, one device I use early on is a color-coded system for illustrating
Aktionsart. Since I never had more than a few students at one time, it has
not been impossible for me to hand mark printed copies of text with majik
highlighters. I have a picture chart that defines the color system.
Color: Picture: Tense: Implication:
Green Leaf Present A leaf that IS growing, continued (or repeated)
action in the present
Orange Leaf Imperfect A leaf that HAD BEEN growing at one time.
Continued or repeated action in the past.
Yellow Lightning Aorist A flash. Action regardless of time, (but
bolt usually past) that is VIEWED as an event.
Pink Rose Future A rosy future, of course!
Purple Diamond Purfect Like a marriage, an event with continued
ring with purple stone results.
Blue Diamond Pluperfect "Blue Purfect" The marriage took place.
with blue stone The results continued for some time in the
past. And now???
I mark all verbs and most participles with highlighters. I use arrows to
show direction of action. > for active. < for passive. a bowtie >< for
middle. I make the front and of the bowtie fatter to indicate deponents.
The arrows are filled in solid for indicative and merely outlined for
subjunctive/optative. Imperatives are outlined and followed by an
exclamation point. Mood I refer to as the substance of the verb or reality
(at least in the mind of the writer.)
Such a system is too simplistic and to difficult to employ for large or
formal settings, but it has worked well for me and my friends. Perhaps it
could prove to a helpful "pneumonic" for others.
Wife, mom, &
From: "Alan D. Bulley" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 17:24:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Colorful Pneumonics
Alan D. Bulley
Faculty of Theology/Faculte de theologie |firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Paul University/Universite St-Paul |email@example.com
Fax: (613) 782-3005
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 20:47:38 -0400
Subject: Re: some questions on Mk 6:35-39
>I had the privilege of auditing a second year Greek syntax class at a local
>college, and one of the students was Greek. She had no problem with
>or vocabulary, and she immediately spotted all the typos in the textbook.
>wrestled terribly with the seemingly endless sub-sub-categories of each part
While it is likely true that a native modern Greek speaker has a head start
in studying a more ancient version, and its probably true we over analyze and
categorize, I would think a modern speaker would have tremendous difficulty
understanding a significant amount of a 2000 year old writing, especially
complex points of grammar. Think how difficult it is for us to struggle
through some of KJV's measly 500 year old stuff, to say nothing of Pier's
Ploughmen(sp?). I think there are some valid points to be made by this
argument, but I think it mostly muddies the pond. Besides, how much of the
grammar of a modern English textbook is thought about or even understood by
the average speaker? Though I admit to being offended at my Professor's
insistence on memorizing so many paradigms! :)
soon to be Deerfield, IL
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 00:14:00 -0400
Subject: Fwd: Re: Calling Jesus God in...
Subj: Re: Calling Jesus God in the NT
Date: 95-09-25 00:03:56 EDT
From: LISATI A
No NT writer clearly equates Jesus with God, and this on account of a
monotheistic belief - this would seem to be a reasonable statement, except
for the author of the Gospel of John, who in 10:30-33 makes it reasonably
clear that Jesus was understood by his audience to say this. "The Jews
answered him, 'not for a good work do we stone thee, but for blasphemy;
because you being man make yourself god'", KAI HOTI SU ANQRWPOS WN POIEIS
SEAUTON QEON. Does not their response to Jesus indicate the possibility of
challenge to monotheism? I hope that I am not out of order in following up
Richard Arthur, Merrimack,NH
End of b-greek-digest V1 #873
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