Re: Attention aspect geeks: John 15:6 EBLHQH, EXHRANQH

From: Don Wilkins (
Date: Mon Apr 07 1997 - 22:06:17 EDT

At 3:00 PM 4/7/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I guess this means that I can't rely on A. T. Robertson to present what you
>call "established descriptive grammar". Maybe you feel the same way about
>Smyth. Which grammars do you feel best present established descriptive grammar?

I think Smyth is the best grammar available on Greek, period. And I
actually have similar feelings for ATR in NT Greek, but I don't think we
have anything in the NT area which equals Smyth, pound-for-pound. My
criticism of ATR's methodology sounds severe, no doubt, but in general I
think ATR is the best source for serious study of NT grammar, provided one
reads him cautiously and treats the work as an equivalent to a

>This is *exactly* what I mean when I say that people like me have a hard
>time knowing what to believe when experts seem to be saying different
>things. I think that you know a *lot* about Greek, Don, and A. T. Robertson
>seems to be one of those real giants for whom we both have respect, but you
>seem to disagree here. Which leaves beginners like me in the position of
>having to weigh the evidence and make up our own minds, because there just
>isn't one established position in the grammars which experts have
>recommended to me.

Well again, this is somewhat like making up your own mind on medical
issues, and perhaps equally frustrating. A beginner does not have the tools
to make a truly informed decision either in medicine or Greek, or probably
any other technical field. To make matters worse, often the experts feel
obligated to force the beginner or novice to make a major decision because
the expert knows that s/he would not be intellectually honest in denying
other legitimate (but wrong, in his/her opinion) points of view. Personally
I would generally recommend that you consult Smyth as your main source, and
go to books specializing in differences between Attic and koine (e.g.
Moule) for supplementary information.

>>Moreover, with the recent publication of PHI's CD
>>7 we have a wealth of sources for inscriptions and papyri at our
>>fingertips, so that further research is not only justified but also
>>practicable (incidentally, I am almost finished with the next version of my
>>computer program, and one of the things it will do is search the new CD's;
>>you can also do this with Pandora, etc.).
>Hey, almost finished? Great! What all will the program do?

For now, the program will allow you to browse the texts in regular
word-processor style (normal-speed scrolling and window size), do
relatively high-speed searchs of words and verbatim phrases, and look up
Greek word meanings by linking to Perseus through another free-ware
program. I have many other features on my list which will be added on
gradually. Right now it's Mac-only, and I am considering a port to PC's
when (and if) time permits. Thanks for asking.

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside

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