Re: I need help

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 07:05:25 EDT

I think I'd better add a half-bit to this little thread.

At 6:43 PM +0000 6/8/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>I too am fairly new to Greek, and have received much needed help here.

Although the list exists to focus on all sorts of issues arising directly
out of the Biblical Greek text and its language, the List Owner (Jonathan
Robie and the Co-chairs (Carlton Winbery and myself) do like to think that
one of the most useful functions of the list is to provide mutual help to
learners of Greek at whatever level they may have questions to raise.
Having taught Greek for more than 4 decades I know that some of the hardest
nuts to crack are some of the relatively elementary items in Greek grammar.

>A few of my questions have not been answered yet, but I think that just
>means that others may have supposed that someone else has answered them. But
>Carl Conrad will eventually be informed (somehow) of questions that have
>gone unanswered, which I assume he then responds to them.

My own practice is to keep a B-Greek "in-box" (for new messages and ongoing
threads) into which incoming messages from the list are filtered whenever I
download mail from my server. When it appears that a thread has ended, I
move the included items to an archive for the month and take note of
inquiries that have not yet been responded to; if I can I try to reply to
them. Often that brings others into a discussion. It sometimes happens,
however, that an inquiry never draws a response, and that could be for many
different reasons--differing interests of list-members currently actively
'tuned-in,' a temporary hiatus of persons likely to respond to certain
issues. It just can't be predicted what sort of response any inquiry may

>I hesitate to ask some questions in fear that they are too silly. Would you
>do me a favor? If you ask a question and get an OFFLIST response, would you
>please forward that response to me. I can use all the help I can get!

I'd like to think that any question that really focuses on Biblical Greek
language or a Biblical Greek text that someone finds puzzling is unworthy
of a response. To be sure, there are lots of questions that have been
discussed repeatedly over the years on B-Greek--and sometimes new threads
re-hash old views, while sometimes new illumination may come to a matter
that has been discussed repeatedly hitherto.

>I know this: there is probably no question you could ask that someone on
>this list couldn't answer. (If Carl Conrad can't answer it, I suspect there
>is no answer.)

That last parenthetical statement reflects a delusion--or the suspicion is
a delusion. There are lots of questions that I wouldn't try to answer that
I know very well many list-members have firm views about. I think there's a
very great range of personal strengths (and weaknesses) among our
list-members--certainly there are some to whom I defer at once when certain
kinds of issues arise. Generally we do pretty well on the list as long as
we keep the focus upon the Greek language and the Greek text of the Bible
and steer clear of tangential theological or hermeneutical issues.

>Welcome to B-Greek!

And to that I say a loud AMEN!

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243 OR

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