Learning the lesser used words...

Resources and methods for teaching and learning New Testament Greek.
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Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3248
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Learning the lesser used words...

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 29th, 2013, 5:28 am

I'm at a "point" in my learning now. I want to master the NT vocabulary in at least a rudimentary way.
Has anyone attempted to learn the lesser used words in the New Testament? Got any suggestions?

Thanks to the May Day holiday, I've had some time to think these days, so, I pop-quizzed myself on vocab. Last time I did that was about 7 years ago, and I had so many unknowns that I gave up in the words occuring 3 times list. Now, I've done the whole list and of the 5480, I still need to learn 1625 (30% of the vocab) - 869 of them are one off uses. Statistically, I have to look up 1 word in 40 that I read in the text, but that is only statistically.
Barry Hofstetter said in another thread in the beginner's section, "seeing the words in context" [is] "the way all the current pundits say we should learn it". I agree with that. But what about these words now that only have their own contexts.
Is there a compendium of examples for lesser used words? Memorising passages is a great help for thinking about meaning but takes time in itself.
Now I am reverting to the way that I learnt Greek words 30 years ago, simply by rote and a simple English gloss. There must be a better way.

Vasile Stancu
Posts: 36
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 3:13 am
Location: Timisoara, Romania

Re: Learning the lesser used words...

Post by Vasile Stancu » May 1st, 2013, 1:03 pm

It is also my opinion that learning words in their own contexts would lead to the best results. Rare words, by their very occurence lesser times, are fit to be leared by memorising the related passages. I could even guess that, learned like that, they would tend to become good 'acquaintances' rather than 'lesser used words' for the student.
Below is the list of all occurences (that I have found) of the word ἀνατολή. I added to each form the minimm context that makes a memorisable (and, indeed, memorable…) sentence or phrase.

1. ἐν οἷς ἐπισκέψεται ἡμᾶς ἀνατολὴ ἐξ ὕψους
2. καὶ εἶδον ἄλλον ἄγγελον ἀναβαίνοντα ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς ἡλίου
3. ἵνα ἑτοιμασθῇ ἡ ὁδὸς τῶν βασιλέων τῶν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς ἡλίου
4. ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς πυλῶνες τρεῖς
5. εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ
6. ὁ ἀστὴρ ὃν εἶδον ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ προῆγεν αὐτοὺς
7. ἰδοὺ μάγοι ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν παρεγένοντο εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα
8. πολλοὶ ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν καὶ δυσμῶν ἥξουσιν
9. ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν
10. καὶ ἥξουσιν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν καὶ δυσμῶν

So why not set up such lists for all lesser used words (they are not that many…) and read it from time to time? The effort of memorising is much less that that involved in the process of learning by flash cards, etc. And it is more constructive, I believe. And more pleasant.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3248
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Learning the lesser used words...

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 10th, 2013, 5:55 am

I think that of those phrases that you have listed, the fourth one was the most constructive, in that it lists the four cardinal points together in one context.
One other thing that I have found, which can be deduced by using the index of Trenchard (1998) cleverly, is that there are 271 (by my manually counting) native Greek words that have no cognates from pages 3 - 126. I think that they bear listing because they are the ones that a student needs to buckle down and learn as individualities. (Of course this includes words that a classicist might disagree with, because they may have been considered foreign loan words at an earlier time, e.g. perhaps βάρβαρος).
This is the list that is MISSING from Trenchard - the one to say which words are not "foreign" loan words, not, "grammatical words", not name or place names, and NOT in a cognate list. I understand his desire to list what is best to make things easy, but this is those that can not be made easier by Meztger's cognate method of listing and which therefore need other facilitation strategies for students.
Has anyone else put this list together? Is it the same? The list I've put together based on his index is:
ἁδρότης, ἀετός, ἀήρ, ἀθέμιτος, αἴγειος, ἀκρίς, ἀλάβαστρον, ἀλίσγημα, ἀλόη, ἅλυσις, ἀλώπηξ, ἄμμος, ἀμνός, ἀμοιβή, ἀμφότεροι, ἀνάπειρος, ἀνεψιός, ἄνηθον, ἀνήμερος, ἄνθος, ἀνθύπατος (how did this get in my list?), ἁπαλός, ἀπόλαυσις, ἆρα, ἀριστερός, ἄρκος, ἅρμα, ἀρτέμων, ἄρτος, ἄρωμα, ἀσέλγεια, ἀσκός, ἀσπίς, ἆσσον, ἀστεῖος, ἀτμίς, ἀφελότης, ἀχλύς, ἄχυρον, ἄψινθος, βαλλάντιον, βάρβαρος, βάτος, βάτραχος, βελτίων, βήρυλλος, βόθυνος, βόρβορος, βορρᾶς, βότρυς, βουνός, βοῦς, βραχίων, βραχύς, βρέφος, βροντή, βρόχος, βυρσεύς, γάγγραινα, γάλα, γαλήνη, γαστήρ, γείτων, γνόφος, γόης, δεῖνα, δένδρον, δίκτυον, δοκός, δράκων, δρέπανον, ἔγγυος, εἰκῇ, ἐλεφάντινος, ἐνεός, ἐξέραμα, ἐπιτήδειος, ἔπος, ἐριθεία, ἐρίφιον, ἑρπετόν, ἐρυθρός, ἑσπέρα, ἑταῖρος, εὖ well, ἐχθές, ἔχιδνα, ζόφος, ἤδη, ἡνίκα, ἤπιος, ἤρεμος, θρόνος, θώραξ, ἴασπις, ἱδρώς, ἰκμάς, ἱμάς, ἶρις, ἰῶτα, κάμηλος, κανών, καπνός, κάρφος, καταχθόνιος, κῆτος, κιβωτός, κλέος, κλίβανος, κοιλία, κολακεία, κολλυβιστής, κολλύριον, κόλπος, κόραξ, κόφινος, κράβαττος, κραιπάλη, κράσπεδον, κρέας, κρίνον, κυβεία, κυλλός, κύμβαλον, κῶλον, κώνωψ, λαῖλαψ, λάρυγξ, λάχανον, λεῖος, λέων, λῆρος, λῃστής, λιμήν, λίμνη, λιμός, λίνον, λιπαρός, λίψ, λόγχη, λοιμός, λύκος, μάκελλον, μάμμη, μαργαρίτης, μάρμαρος, μαστός, μέλας, μέλι, μέλος, μηλωτή, μηρός, μικρός, μουσικός, μυελός, ναί, νεφρός, νή, νόθος, νομή, νότος, νωθρός, νῶτος, ὀδούς, ὀδυρμός, ὄλυνθος, ὄμβρος, ὁμίχλη, ὄναρ, ὀπή, ὀπτός, ὀστέον, ὀστράκινος, ὀσφῦς, οὐά, οὐαί, οὐρά, ὄφις, ὀφρῦς, πάλη, πάρδαλις, παροιμία, πέλαγος, περιστερά, πήγανον, πηγή, πηδάλιον, πηλός, πήρα, πιότης, πλάξ, πλευρά, ποῖος, πρηνής, πρύμνα, πτέρνα, πύθων, πύργος, πῶλος, ῥάκος, ῥοιζηδόν, ῥομφαία, ῥύμη, ῥυτίς, σαγήνη, σαίνω, σάκκος, σανδάλιον, σανίς, σαργάνη, σάτον, σειρά, σιαγών, σίναπι, σινδών, σιρικός, σκέλος, σκέπασμα, σκολιός, σκόλοψ, σκορπίος, σκύβαλον, σορός, σπεῖρα, σπήλαιον, σπόγγος, σποδός, σπυρίς, στάδιον, σταφυλή, στάχυς, στῆθος, στιβάς, στρουθίον, στῦλος, συγκυρία, συκάμινος, σφυδρόν, σχοινίον, ὗς, ὑφαντός, φάραγξ, φάτνη, φαῦλος, φέγγος, φιάλη, φοῖνιξ, φρέαρ, φρύγανον, φύλλον, φύραμα, φωλεός, χάλαζα, χαλεπός, χρώς, χωλός, χαμαί, χάσμα, χεῖλος, χείρων, ψιχίον, χήρα, ὦ, χιτών, χλαμύς, χλιαρός, χλωρός, ὦμος, χοῖνιξ, χοῖρος, ᾠόν

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