B-Greek Survey Report

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Mon Oct 20 1997 - 20:36:53 EDT

B-Greek Survey: Our List

Preliminary Note: 117 of approximately 450 list-members (of both B-Greek
and B-Greek-Digest) have sent me responses to the survey; that is about 25%
and it includes, so far as I can tell, a reasonable cross-section our most
active contributors. In this report I have tried to give you figures wherever
those numbers appear to be statistically significant; I have added some of the
more interesting explanatory comments of a few persons who felt they needed
to say more than the categories provided allowed. With regard to peeves and
gratifications, I've tried to give some sense of relative numbers of
complaints as well as a sampling of the language in which these reactions
were expressed. I have shifted upwards to #2 the demographic information
(it was originally #7 only because it was a question added after most other
questions had already been assembled). I have also tried to keep this
report informational as strictly as possible in terms of data and comments
by respondents in their ipsissima verba. --cwc

If any who have not yet responded to the survey would still like to, the
text of the survey can be retrieved at the Archives
(http://sunsite.unc.edu/bgreek/); copy the text with your web browser, fill
it out and then send it to me at cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu--I shall add the
new data to an updated form of this report at the Archives site.

33/117 Lay persons seeking to enhance skills in Biblical Greek
20/117 Pastors seeking to enhance skills in Biblical Greek
 5/117 Undergraduate college students studying Biblical Greek
 3/117 Seminary students studying Biblical Greek
16/117 Lay persons chiefly interested in Koine language/linguistics
36/117 Professional teachers of Biblical Greek
Others: Ph.D. candidates; one who wants involvement with "dispassionate
scholarship in order to keep my scripture interpretation honest"; one
missionary in Peru; one pastor "beginning to use the GNT in personal
meditation"; one "bored pastor seeking intellectual stimulation."

Of 117 respondents: 8 currently reside in Australia, 8 in the United
Kingdom, 4 in Canada, 2 in Norway, 2 in the Philippines, 1 each in
Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Guatemala, Peru, Poland, and Sweden. States in the
USA represented are: Arkansas (1), Arizona (1), California (5), Colorado
(2), District of Columbia (2), Florida (4), Georgia (1), Illinois (5),
Indiana (1), Iowa (2), Louisiana (2), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (1),
Michigan (4), Minnesota (4), Missouri (2), Mississippi (1), North Carolina
(6), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio
(3), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (6), South Carolina (2), South
Dakota (1), Tennessee (5), Texas (7), Virginia (2), West Virginia (3),
Wisconsin (1), Wyoming (1).

 6/117 have done little or no study in Biblical Greek
16/117 have taught themselves much of what they have learned of Biblical Greek
36/117 have done one or more years of formal course work in Biblical Greek
50/117 have been reading and studying Biblical Greek for several years
 9/117 opted the "other" category and have explained themselves as holding
advanced degrees in Biblical Greek or in exegesis involving skills in
Greek, four list-members admit to active involvement in research projects
directly concerned with Biblical Greek linguistics

76/117 appreciate grammatical explanations of specific Biblical passages;
75/117 seek exegetical insights derived through grammatical analysis;
76/117 look for news and information about Biblical Greek linguistics,
including lexicology, morphology, and syntax;
67/117 watch for new or useful bibliographical information;
47/117 like discussions of pedagogy and experiences of others in learning
and teaching Biblical Greek
10/117 sent additional comments: "I like being able to put specific
questions about my problems and get straight answers;" "I'm looking for...
ways Biblical and Classical Greek are related;" "I like to see postings
about Greek materials available at other sites on the Internet;" "I'm
looking for anything bearing upon the Synoptic problem;" "I like the
atmosphere of the list and the generosity of list-members;" "I like the
challenges to my own theological conservatism to sharpen my apologetic
skills;" "I enjoy even the flames and doctrinal discussions;" "I enjoy
everything posted; that's why this is my favorite list."

(Please note: these "peeves" overlap and balance each other out.)
(a) "theological imperialism"--promoting a distinct theological attitude as
normative for all; 26 persons--from both ends of the spectrum--voiced this
(b) "interminable threads on exhausted subjects": 17 persons;
(c) "flaming, discourtesy, clear violations of Netiquette": 11 persons;
(d) posts clearly external to the focus of B-Greek: 5 persons;
(e) One person "repeated questions about fundamental things," while another
was deeply grateful for "recurrent clarifications of elementary grammar;"
(f) "gender wars" on the list: 4 complaints; one spoke more bluntly of
"testosterone-spitting contests disguised as 'theological discussion.'"
(g) Two persons noted the readiness of list-members to respond to a
question in ways revealing their own incompetence;
(i) Threads on verbal aspect were deeply appreciated by several, while
others admitted they found them utterly boring;
(j) Excessive citation of an entire previous thread-history--a VERY
frequent complaint;
(k) Frustrations of one sort or another were noted:
-- volume too heavy to keep up with (suggestion: get the digest and read
only what matches your own interest);
-- transliteration schemes inconsistent, hard to get accustomed to (but
we're NOT going to prescribe a single transliteration scheme);
--archive not up to date;
--changing the subject without noting the change in their subject-headers;
--a question may be asked on a topic and the focus will shift to another
poster's concern before the first question has been answered;
(l) Recently-established guidelines spelled out in the B-Greek FAQ and in
clarifying statements made on the list have evoked some comments also:
there's one complaint about narrow restrictions placed upon subjects open
to discussion, but a majority clearly finds the restrictions and their
enforcement welcome. Thus one respondent ends a list of peeves: "... but
this is the best list
I'm on." Another writes, "I have been on this list seven or eight years...
the best thing that has happened is the current system of policing; some
are still off on a theology point, but it is better now." Another long-term
list-member is less enthusiastic, but hopeful: "... it's not as bad as it
once was... "

--A.K.A. Adam: "I am always pleased to find that people have read my _What
Is Postmodern Biblical Criticism?_ from Fortress or _Making Sense of New
Testament Theology_from Mercer U P.
--Paul Bodin: "I have a papyrus in the most recent volume of _Columbia
Papyri_, and a section of "Preaching Helps" in _Currents in Theology and
--Rolf Furuli: "I will, during the first part of 1998, publish the book
_The Role Played by Theology and Bias in Bible Translation - with an
Investigation of the New World Translation of Jehovah`s Witnesses_.One
third of the book discusses linguistic principles related to Bible
translation and the rest discusses the role of bias and theology in the
translation of theologically important passages. It has a final chapter on
how a reader not familiar with the biblical languages can come as close to
them as possible when he studies the Bible."
--Mark Goodacre: publications are listed at
--Edward Hobbs: "Most of it is out of print."
--Edgar Krentz: "Bibliography far too long to submit here--though little of
it is direct pure philology."
--John Moe: "I have published articles in LOGIA on, EUANGELISTHS, 1 John 1:9,
and a Review essay on the translation 'GOD'S WORD.'"
--Micheal Palmer: _Constituent Elements of NT Greek Discourse_ Peter Lang
--Ward Powers: _Learn to Read the GNT_. SPCK Australia; _Marriage and
Divorce: The NT Teaching _ Family Life Movement Australia; _Ministry of
Women in the Church: Which Way Forward _ SPCK Australia
--Chris Stanley: "My book, _Paul and the Language of Scripture_ (Cambridge
U. Press, 1990) contains a wealth of detailed textual data regarding Paul's
handling of the text of his biblical quotations. This could prove helpful
when questions arise about the Greek text of Paul's quotations. I have also
published detailed studies of various Pauline texts in journals and
collections of essays, but it's probably not worth your trouble for me to
cite them here."
--Grzegorz Turkanik: "Yes, but unfortunately it is all in Polish É"
--David Warnock is Associate Editor for the _Criswell Study Bible_.
--Jim West: "I have a book forthcoming from Quartz Hill Publishing Company
(end of ): _Biblical Studies: A Beginners Guide to the Study of the Bible_
--Brian Wilson: "I have had an article published in the _Expository Times_,
June 1997 Volume 108 number 9 pages 265-268 on "The Two Notebook
Hypothesis: An Explanation of Seven Synoptic Problems."
--Carlton Winbery: _A Morphology of New Testament Greek: A Review and
Reference Grammar (with James A. Brooks) 1994; _Syntax of New Testament
Greek_ (with James A. Brooks) 1978.

--Andrew Bromage: http://www.prairienet.org/prisca (not his, but his
--Carl Conrad: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
--Rod Decker: http://www.bbc.edu/courses/BBS/RDecker/Index.htm
--Debbie Gaunt (Cybertheology): http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/debbie.gaunt/
--Mark Goodacre: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q.htm "A World without Q"
--Micheal Palmer: http://home.earthlink.net/~mwpalmer/
--Jonathan Robie: The Little Greek Home Page:
--John Sweigart: http://intheBeginning.org
--Brian Wilson: http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk/

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad@yancey.main.nc.us
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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