Re: exegetical significance

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Aug 12 1997 - 13:18:05 EDT

I would like to return to one thing Andrew said and see if we can get a
fresh start:

At 02:21 PM 8/12/97 +0930, Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:
>I would like to compile a list of Greek elements that have real exegetical
>significance, so that those of us who are relatively new to Greek
>exegesis have a good idea of what parts of the text are signicant and
>what may simply be attributed to idiom, style or basic syntax.
I think that most of us agree that a list of Greek elements is the wrong way
to go about this. So what is the right way to go about it? I think that the
best approach is often to try to learn what is exegetically significant
about specific *passages* rather than to make a laundry list of grammatical
elements. Here are some aids I find useful for this - I discuss this on my
"Little Greek Home Page" at
"", but here are a few
points worth repeating:

1. Grammatical commentaries

I find grammatical commentaries very helpful, and they are reasonably
accessible to beginning Greek exegetes. I have two, one written by a
Catholic, and one written by a Southern Baptist: A Grammatical Analysis of
the Greek New Testament, Max Zerwick and Mary Grosvenor. Rome: Biblical
Institute Press, 1981. ISBN 88-7653-588-8, and Word Pictures in the New
Testament, A.T.Robertson. Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist
Convention, 1930. ISBN: 0-8010-7710. I rather think Zerwick and Robertson
would have had wonderful conversations if they had met.

2. Scriptural indexes in grammars

I find it really helpful to look up passages in the indexes of my grammars
and read the comments they make on specific points. Most of the really
important exegetical points will be discussed in Robertson's Massive Yellow
Tome (A Grammar of the New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, A.
T. Robertson, Broadman-Holmann, 1934. ISBN: 0-8054-1308-1.)

3. B-Greek

If you *suspect* something may be significant, ask about it here. Hey, if
some of the people who hang out here can't answer your question, you are
going to have a hard time finding an answer in print! I find B-Greek a
pretty amazing resource.

4. Technical commentaries

By this, I mean commentaries that discuss the way the Greek is being used.
These are generally too expensive for me, and I rarely get down to the
library to check them out, but they can be really helpful.

Hope this is helpful,


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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