Re: Book explaining sentence diagramming?

From: Randy LEEDY (
Date: Tue Feb 10 1998 - 14:14:07 EST

One addition to the list, this one readily available: Schreiner,
Thomas, INTERPRETING THE PAULINE EPISTLES (Baker) has a section on
sentence diagramming that presents a moderately detailed diagramming
scheme, one that I think is quite suitable for beginners whose
foundation in grammar may be a bit incomplete or shaky.

With all due respect to Carlton's reservations about the value of
diagramming, I'd like to add that, in my teaching experience,
diagramming has proven to be a helpful way to get students to pay
attention to the way the Greek sentences work rather than contenting
themselves with English renderings. The diagrammer may choose to work
from an English rather than a Greek base, but I don't think anything
about the diagramming method PER SE favors an English-based approach.
Students testify that diagramming is what finally brought them to
think grammatically rather than translationally (if I may manufacture
a word) about the Greek they're reading.

Some might maintain that this is just exactly wrong--that students
should be taught to read Greek rather than to analyze grammar. I
think I'd agree with that assessment if we could have total immersion
as a teaching method for Koine. But in the absence of that
possibility, I've found that, for adult learners, the ability to read
Greek accurately requires an ability to analyze the grammar.
Diagramming seems significantly to facilitate the development of that
analytical skill.

By the way, for whatever it's worth, I was taught Greek WITHOUT
diagramming, so I'm not simply perpetuating a tradition.

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

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