[b-greek] Search for volunteer Greek experts

From: Barbara Friberg (Barbara.Friberg@ccmail.lfa.com)
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 14:55:00 EDT

A search for volunteer Greek experts for a worthy cause


The Analytical Greek New Testament Project is now in its twenty-fifth year. Its
purpose is to provide aids to translators, students and even scholars of the
Greek New Testament.

The initial product was the "Analytical Greek New Testament" (AGNT), which was
published by Baker Book House in 1981 and continues in print. The electronic
version of AGNT is licensed to interested parties on behalf of the project by
John Baima of Silver Mountain Software; it is also found in several commercially
available software packages. (Though the 1981 "printed" version of AGNT is
available on request, what is usually supplied electronically is the enhanced,
revised AGNT [for which see below].)

The second product of the project was the "Analytical Concordance of the Greek
New Testament," published in two volumes (lexical focus; grammatical focus) by
Baker Book House in 1991. (These are now out of print and not to be reprinted.)
Due to advances in computing between 1980 and 1990 (to say nothing of those
through the present time), there was no need to represent electronically the
exact form of the concordances, since their content and more were available
through user-initiated interactive searches in the Greek text enabled through
several good software packages.

The third output of the project was the "Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New
Testament" (ANLEX) published in 2000 by Baker Book House. Again, the electronic
version of ANLEX is available through Silver Mountain Software. (The current
version of ANLEX makes obsolete an earlier electronic version available in
prototype from one vendor for several years.)

The current major activity of the project is the revision of AGNT (see below).
We have also been asked to produce a Majority Text version of AGNT.

The revision of AGNT involves enhancements at various levels. The first line
(Greek text) has been upgraded from the UBS GNT3 to their GNT4 (and will
ongoingly be updated to whatever corrected printing is current). The second line
(morphological analysis/grammatical "tags") has been corrected. A simplification
has also been incorporated, especially of the form of complex tags. A third line
has been introduced, giving the Greek lemma (citation form) for each successive
Greek word in the text. The revised three-line AGNT is currently available only
electronically, while the printed AGNT continues to be the original (oft
corrected) 1981 version, which waits on a fourth line before its revision and
reissuing becomes official.

The fourth line of the revised AGNT is the focus of current project activity. It
comprises an English "reference gloss," superficially an interlinear
translation, but conceptually much different. In quick summary it is an
uninflected English gloss (word or, rarely, words) giving the appropriate
lexical subentry for each successive Greek reflex. It is context sensitive,
while not giving the details as to inflection, tense, etc. that the hesitant
reader should be able to get from line two. There will be no indexing of
reference glosses to show proper English reading order. It is indeed just what
its name states, a reference gloss.

The need for volunteer assistance:

Along with other, smaller project undertakings looking for volunteer help at
this time (a description of which is available on request), the fourth-line
English reference gloss is the focus of current labors most needing assistance
from scholarly volunteers.

This isn't so much drudgery that might be assigned a willing retiree (though
ignorant of Greek) merely by providing him a Greek lexicon and a form to be
filled in. Rather it is a scholarly endeavor providing not a little personal
satisfaction, wherein each reflex of every lemma is to be examined in the
context of the Greek text for the appropriate English gloss to be assigned it
from the entries of ANLEX.

Though much more information will be provided to potential volunteers, suffice
it to clarify here the larger scope of the endeavor. A special program has been
developed (CheckGloss, John Baima) by which the volunteer will have on his
computer screen the Greek text, the relevant entry of ANLEX and the individual
forms to be given a gloss assignment. Actually an initial glossing (now in
process) will have been done for the reflexes of each lemma undertaken, partly
automated, but with only an estimated 80% accuracy figure, far below the
perfection we strive to provide.

The work will proceed by lemmas, and not by New Testament books, for the obvious
reason that the assignments need to be done in light of the totality of GNT
usage, even though subregularities of usage occur within the writings of
particular authors or even within single books. Blocks of alphabetically
consecutive lemmas will be assigned in the usual case, though if a volunteer
feels particularly expert in some subset of lemmas, work on that more specific
area can easily be arranged. Involvement to date indicates that we also separate
work on more purely lexical lemmas (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) from work
on more grammatical and often discourse-determined lemmas (conjunctions,
particles, prepositions, determiners). The latter group is ideally reserved for
those with some experience in discourse analysis, particularly but not limited
to that developed by Wycliffe Bible Translators' translation department over the
last thirty years.

The main need is to correct the (already given) reference gloss for each reflex
of the assigned lemma, bringing about the proper fit between that lemma's use in
GNT context and the meaning entry given in ANLEX. Related tasks also involve (1)
correcting or revising ANLEX, if and when its entry is proven inadequate or just
plain wrong; (2) marking the corrected reference gloss with the outline number
from the entry of ANLEX (for later cross-indexing); and (3) passing judgment on
the AGNT grammatical tag given for that reflex.

We would like to have two volunteer scholars examine each lemma (with its set of
reflexes). Then the results of their work will be reviewed by project
consultants. And onwards until this large and involved undertaking is completed,
the Lord willing and enabling.

To that end we are looking for volunteer Greek experts who are computer literate
and can give a minimum of five hours weekly to the project. (Computer
literateness isn't absolutely necessary, but its absence must be compensated for
by scribal attention to detail second to none!)

Everything done through the AGNT project through twenty-five years has been
without monetary compensation and without compulsion. We will provide to
productive volunteers a complimentary printed copy of AGNT and ANLEX. (These are
not strictly necessary for working on the project for those using the computer

If you are interested in volunteering or merely knowing more, please send an
email directly to Timothy Friberg at <Barbara.Friberg@ccmail.lfa.com>. (Location
of the editors at the moment is Sulawesi, Indonesia.) Please do not respond
generally to the mailing list on which this notice appeared. Correspondence to
Silver Mountain Software may be addressed to John Baima <jbaima@silvermnt.com>.
Baker Book House's address is Box 6287, Grand Rapids MI 49516-6287.

Thank you,

Timothy Friberg

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