Carson, Greek Accents 

Dickey’s first chapter on accents was too short and condensed for me. I’ve never systematically studied accents, and this is step one for composition, so I’ve taken off the shelf a book I bought years ago and haven’t touched: Carson’s Greek Accents: A Student’s Manual (Baker, 1985). It’s 167 pages containing 36 short lessons, a summary of rules and principal parts, and an answer key.

I’m a few chapters in and can say two things with certainty:

  1. This material is very well laid out and explained.
  2. This is my favorite Carson book, hands down.

Eleanor Dickey on the Importance of Memorization

I’m so excited about this new Greek composition book. The entire preface is full of quotable material, but this paragraph I found especially noteworthy (p. iv):

To derive maximum benefit from the exercises the relevant vocabulary and gramatical forms should be memorized before each chapter is undertaken, so that the sentences can be done without the consultation of reference works. Students starting to learn prose composition are often mislead into believing that no memorization is necessary, but such deception is ultimately in no-one’s interest: the rules of Greek grammar and syntax are so complex that it is impossible even to know what to look up unless one has done a fair amount of memorization, and looking up all the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax required for even a single sentence takes so long that discouragement is inevitable and very few sentences can be done. The author, as a student, wasted years over the non-memorization method and later wished bitterly that someone had told her how much more efficient it would be just to sit down and learn things by heart; it would have been the single most useful tip anyone could have given her, so she hereby passes it on.

How to Work with Definitions in a Lexicon

9780226136158What are you supposed to do with those “extended definitions,” and why don’t they just give you a one word gloss, a translation equivalent?

This is from Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. vii:

For many glosses and translation of phrases I encourage users, should they be inclined, to form an alternative rendering while keeping the extended definition in mind as the governing semantic agent. Thus the user takes part in the lexical enterprise and the corresponding challenge for acceptable translation.

Ponder the definitions and come up with your own word or phrase that captures the meaning as best you can.


Graduate Research Seminar: Writing Tools

I gave a talk today at the SBTS Graduate Research Seminar about writing tools for seminar papers and dissertations.

Here’s the handout: GRS 2016 – Writing Tools

We covered the following:

Google Drive | Office 365 | Templates | Zotero | 1Password | PDF Expert

The last two are not directly related to writing but are too helpful to leave out. If you only subscribe to one thing in all of your life, let it be 1Password (links in the handout).

I didn’t go into Mellel or Bookends because only a small percentage of students use these — especially since Word 2016 now handles right-to-left when using a compatible font like Times New Roman (not SBL Hebrew or BibLit). I also didn’t mention Ulysses, which is the program I used to write the handout (PDF export style: Rough Cut).

Milan Manuscript Project

13151623_1469211392.9507I put together a GoFundMe page and a printable pamphlet for a new Hexapla Institute endeavor.

Check it out, and please share liberally.

The Hexapla Institute has the opportunity to produce a completely new edition of the Milan Manuscript (Ra. 1098), the largest currently known copy of Origen’s Hexapla, utilizing Three Dimensional Multi-Spectral Imaging Technology recently developed by Jonathan Albrecht.


Robert Henle on Learning Latin


YOU LEARN BY WORKING OUT THE EXERCISES FOR YOURSELF, just as you learn to swim by blundering about in the water, not by watching someone else set a world’s record in the pool. THE MORE EXERCISES YOU DO, THE MORE QUICKLY YOU WILL MASTER LATIN, AND THE EASIER IT WILL BE LATER ON. If you really want to learn, you will read and translate more Latin than your teacher assigns.

No nonsense truth!