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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714


Post by cwconrad » June 2nd, 2011, 7:25 am

If I may, I'd like to write a few heartfelt words to list-members on my own behalf.

I am cautiously optimistic that B-Greek is on the verge of a renaissance. I'd like to think, moreover, that my diminished and altered role in the forum's administration will be one of many factors making such a renaissance possible. While I shall continue to be an advisor and contributor to list-discussion where I feel there is something useful to contribute, I shall no longer be involved in the mechanics and
moderation of list-correspondence. As those already know who have visited and registered at the new B-Greek Forum, there are now several topical forums and sub-topical forums in most of these. They are and will continue to be subject to the moderation of persons with solid competence in Biblical Greek and a commitment to the fundamental concerns of the forum, the language and the text
of the Greek Bible.

Some fourteen years ago I undertook a survey of as many of the list-members of that era who responded to a questionnaire about what kind of people constituted the list-membership and what areas of list-discussion seemed to each most interesting and helpful. Those who are interested may consult a message of October 19, 1997 in which I reported the results of the survey:

http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-gr ... 01456.html

It was on the basis of that survey, conducted when B-Greek was still housed at the University of Virginia and the list-owner was David Marotta, that we characterized our forum in our FAQ as "a forum where the Greek text and language of the Bible are probed in ongoing conversation by an eclectic group of beginning students and veteran teachers, lay persons and clergy, conservatives and liberals, earnest inquirers and academic scholars -- equally committed to probing
the Biblical text in the original Koiné, and jointly exploring the mysteries and probabilities of Biblical Greek morphology and syntax."

We have endeavored over the intervening years to maintain that conception of what the forum is and should be, and we have, I think, succeeded in a large measure. But the list-membership has changed over the years. For one thing there are hundreds of "lurkers" from all over the world (of 1700+ subscribers less than a hundred are active participants) and those who have actively participated in the more recent years have, I think, been increasingly self-taught beginners and those who have learned basics of the language and want to discuss the Greek text of the New Testament. The numbers of what I would describe as seasoned lifelong scholars (in the older sense of the term) of Greek has significantly declined, and the bulk of the discussion has, it has seemed to me, to focus on pedagogical methodology. This was always a legitimate focus of B-Greek, but the heavily-concentrated discussion of these matters in more recent years has, in my opinion, been disproportionate, while at the same time it has seemed to me that some of the discussion of Biblical texts has been carried on by persons who really do not have what we clearly state in our FAQ as a qualification for participation, "a working knowledge of Biblical Greek."

Several list-members have joined the group that has been experimenting with the new Forum that Jonathan announced on Monday past, and I have marveled at the return and evident enthusiasm displayed by many of those "seasoned lifelong
scholars" who were members back in the 1990's but had ceased to participate because they were no longer finding the list was serving their interest or needs. I find this exciting. Biblical Greek language and literature will never be everybody's
cup of tea, but there are many kinds of "scholars" in the sense I've used the term who are altogether serious about it whether they have just recently begun to take their first steps toward genuine competence in the language to those like myself who have been working away at ancient Greek for more than half a century. And that's why I am cautiously optimistic that, however diminished are the ranks of those who want to read the Biblical texts in the original language and will make the required effort to acquire the competence, they will find a congenial and resourceful community in a B-Greek Forum that is on the verge of a real renaissance.


Carl W. Conrad (was Co-Chair of B-Greek List, now an advisor and participant)
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3743
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC


Post by Jonathan Robie » June 2nd, 2011, 11:59 am

I'm very glad that Carl will continue as a member of the advisory board and as a contributor. He continues to be my best sounding-board for B-Greek, and was extremely helpful in deciding how to structure the new forum. His deep knowledge of Greek and enthusiasm have always been one of the main things that attracted me to B-Greek.

I'm also very grateful for his service over the years in moderating the list and handling the mechanics. This work now falls to the moderators and to me.

With Carl, I am delighted to see the return of the scholars to B-Greek, and I suspect this may be partly due to Carl's suggestion that we require competence in biblical Greek, while also maintaining a beginner's section for those who are working toward this competence. To me, at least, most of the posts we have seen in the new forum are interesting and worth reading. I believe that making B-Greek a useful place for Carl and the other real scholars to speak with each other is essential to the success of the forum.

The B-Greek mailing list had three Co-Chairs who were responsible for keeping the discussion going and enforcing B-Greek policies. The B-Greek forum has a larger set of moderators who perform the same duties:

B-Greek Moderators:

Mike Aubrey
Stephen Carlson
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Ken M. Penner
Louis Sorenson

In addition, we have added an advisory board who advise us on how best to run the B-Greek forum. For instance, the advisory board was very active in determining the initial organization of the forums, our policies, and other questions.

B-Greek Advisory Board Members:

Carl Conrad
Carlton Winbery
Randall Buth
Iver Larsen
Mark Lightman
Micheal Palmer
Steve Runge
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1898
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm


Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 2nd, 2011, 1:08 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm very glad that Carl will continue as a member of the advisory board and as a contributor. He continues to be my best sounding-board for B-Greek, and was extremely helpful in deciding how to structure the new forum. His deep knowledge of Greek and enthusiasm have always been one of the main things that attracted me to B-Greek.
A true amen to that. I see in Carl a reflection of the extremely competent professors that I had both in Classics and biblical studies, and I too am very grateful for his presence here!


N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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