How to get the kind of discussion you want

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Apr 10 1997 - 08:38:40 EDT

I don't speak for the list in any way, but I've been on a lot of electronic
discussion groups since 1984, and I do have one piece of advice that comes
out of my experience:

In the last few days, several people have remarked that the discussion on
aspect is too theoretical and not helpful in really understanding the Bible;
others have remarked that this discussion is fascinating, that they are
really being sucked in, etc.

We have a range of interests here, and a range of levels of experience with
Greek, so we can, and should, have a range of discussion - some things for
beginners, some for working pastors, some for people who are interested in
how the language works, some for those who are trying to understand specific
passages. All of these kinds of discussion have occurred frequently on B-Greek.

If you want discussion that helps you understand concrete Bible passages,
ask questions about concrete Bible passages. I've done a lot of that - the
archives are full of questions I've posted because I was having a hard time
understanding a passage. You can really influence the flavor of the
discussion by leading the kind of discussion you find helpful. A few people
have posted messages asking us to discuss things this way or that. I don't
think that's likely to be very effective, since people are already
discussing what interests them they find best. Instead, ask an interesting
question that leads us the way you want to go!

Remember also that there are some real beginners here, some relative
beginners (like me), some real experts, and lots of people in between. So if
you are a beginner and you have some simple questions, ask them, and don't
feel you have to discuss on the level of an expert.

The flavor of B-Greek changes significantly from time to time based on the
questions that are raised. Often, there is discussion at more than one
level, and you don't have to read everything or be interested in everything.
Different people are interested in different things. Anybody who wants to
ignore my posts on aspect is perfectly welcome to! And don't worry, this
discussion will peter out and be replaced by something else.


P.S.: Most of my interest in aspect has to do with trying to find a simple
model for understanding tense and mood. I just want to be able to read the
Bible accurately. All the details have to do with trying to make sure that
my understanding fits the facts.

Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
email:, <--- shockwave enabled!

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