RE: Keeping up with NT Greek after class

From: Jim West (
Date: Fri May 21 1999 - 11:05:09 EDT

At 10:01 AM 5/21/99 -0400, you wrote:

>Yep. Personally, I like to read about 10 verses a day. One poster suggested
>not looking up words in a lexicon - I disagree with this.

The problem with chaining oneself to a lexicon is that the going is so slow
that one is prone to give up in frustration. If, however, one simply reads
one will discover that over time one retains vocabulary much better and will
not need to look up every word as the context will make it plain enough.
This, to be sure, takes some time- but again, those chained to a lexicon
(for simple reading- I am certainly not talking about translating!) will
give up before long.

Let me put it this way- when we all learned to speak and read english we did
not carry around a dictionary. We learned words from contexts. That is the
best way to learn any language. Artificial learning never lasts because it
does not make an impression.

>First, I read the passage out loud several times, without using a lexicon.

Thats the best way to do it.

>After this, I have often figured out some of the obscure things that I
>didn't understand the first time.

Indeed! And WITHOUT being tied down.

>Next, I use Zerwick & Grosvenor and a lexicon to figure out anything that I
>still do not understand.

That is a mistake; for in putting your eggs in the Zerwick basket you will
remain dependent on them. Or you will find it easier simply to let them do
your thinking for you.

Finally, let me be clear in this; there is a difference between reading and
translating. Translating must be done carefully and with all available
tools. Reading must be free and inductive. A good reader will be a good
translator- but a good translator may never be a good reader.



Jim West, ThD
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