coding texts

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Tue Jan 21 1997 - 19:06:19 EST

>Back in my more ignorant days, before I discovered b-Greek, and while I
>still thought I knew a lot, I had a system of marking verbs for my Greek
>students. (I taught informal classes at church). It was all color coded for
>tense, and had little arrows to denote voice. A forward arrow denoted >
>active. A back arrow < was for passive. Two arrows >< were for middle. I
>can't show this on the screen, but deponents were simply two arrows, with
>the active side bigger than the passive side. I came up with this idea,
>because it seemed that in deponent verbs, there was always at least a hint
>of reflexive action.
>It is comforting to read, after all this, that maybe I wasn't too far off.
>Maybe I wasn't leading those poor students to far awry. Thanks!

Ellen, don't put yourself down! We all developed littlle tricks to help
ourselves at some point in learning Greek. I used to take a pencil and
lightly underline the suffixes of nouns and adjectives that modified them
at one point in my distant past. I circled the infixes, suffixes, or
prefixes that helped me parse verbs correctly. In complicated sentences I
devised a way to mark subjects and verbs that "went together." What helps,
is useful--and when you outgrow what may seem [to quote one of my favorite
writers] "childish things," well, you put them away.

Your system of identifying voices sounds useful--and if I t each beginning
Greek again, I may steal it--maybe with due credits. Congratulate yourself
for a helpful discovery.

Edgar Krentz, New Testament OR HOME:
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
TEL.: 773-256-0752 FAX: 773-256-0782

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