Re: Improbable Probability Statements Revisited

From: Clayton Bartholomew (
Date: Fri May 23 1997 - 12:58:35 EDT

Re: Improbable Probability Statements Revisited

Rereading my last post on this subject with all it's discussion of
indeterminacy, it seemed like I left the poor NT Greek student in
kind of a bad fix. Like I was suggesting that it was impossible to
understand the language adequately for translation and exegesis. This
is not really what I intended to convey.

I believe that the Language of the NT and LXX can be mastered by a
mixture of reading, analysis and grammar study. But I think reading
should get first priority. Since the language system is complex and
most of us will never acquire a neat and tidy model of it that will
cover all the bases and include all the fuzzy data, what we can do is
read. Read voluminously (Professor Conrad's expression). By reading
voluminously we can, over vast periods of time (decades) acquire a
natural ability to deal with the complexities of the language system
even though we may not be able to explain all the details in an
exegesis paper.

For those who want to write grammar's I have an off the wall
suggestion. Try starting from the top down for a change. Try a meta
model approach, where you describe a language architecture first and
then fit the details into the meta model. Your meta model will always
fail at some point, but risk it anyway.

To borrow from the seriously flawed analogy I used in my last post, I
think too much attention is devoted to looking at the *noise* in NT
Greek. We are naturally intrigued by what we don't understand but I
am not sure we will ever solve these problems of language
indeterminacy by simply piling on more traditional research and

Following up on my off the wall suggestion, I believe that one way to
go after unsolved enigmas is to propose new meta models. When the
model breaks down, modify it or throw it away and start over. Throw
away models as rapidly as they fail. Don't hang on to them and wait
for the next generation to discard them.

This is enough off the wall suggestions for one post.

 Clay Bartholomew
 Three Tree Point

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