Why Searching Shouldn’t Replace Reading

As a prefatory note to this post, I’ve noted before my very great appreciation for what Faithlife does through its Logos Bible Software platform. I’ve been using Logos to some extent since the early “Libronix” versions and more so for about the past 8 years. One of the feature’s I’ve appreciated about the software is the ease with which one can report any typos one finds (select text, right-click, “Report typo”). What follows is an example of one such typo that illustrates the value of reading even when we can search in a few seconds through enough material that would take years to read. (Or, it’s an example of user error in creating a search, in which case, commenters can certainly feel free to supply the corrected search syntax.) But, careful, long-time users of other software would probably be able to point out quirks of those platforms too.

If one tries a morphology search in the Nestle-Aland 28th ed. with morphology resources (either with or without text-critical siglia), “lemma:ιουδαιζω” should pop up a drop-down to select the lemma with diacritics and make the search “lemma:ἰουδαΐζω”.

Running the search, however, gets zero hits:

na281
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na282
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Hmm. The texts have ἰουδαΐζειν (“to live like a Jew, Judaize”) printed where it’s supposed to be in Gal 2:14. Searching the Nestle-Aland 27th ed. with text-critical siglia shows this text in its results list. But, both versions without text-critical siglia (with and without the McReynolds interlinear) show no results like the two NA28 resource results pictured above.

na271
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na272
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na273
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Why? There may be other reasons too, but one promising candidate looks to be that the NA28 resources and the NA27 resources without text-critical siglia have had their lemmas for ἰουδαΐζειν in Gal 2:14 tagged as “ἰουδαί̈ζω”—that is, with the second iota using two characters (one iota precombined with an acute, plus a diaresis) rather than with the precombined single character ΐ (iota precombined with both an acute and a diaresis).

The moral of the story is “yes, search, but also read, note, and remember.” What Martin Luther had to say for his own day remains salient advice and is surely much truer for our own day than it was even for his:

Since it becomes Christians then to make good use of the Holy Scriptures as their one and only book and it is a sin and a shame not to know our own book or to understand the speech and words of our God, it is still a greater sin and loss that we do not study languages, especially in these days when God is offering and giving us men and books and every facility and inducement to this study, and desires his Bible to be an open book. O how happy the dear fathers would have been if they had our opportunity to study the languages and come thus prepared to the Holy Scriptures! What great toil and effort it cost them to gather up a few crumbs, while we with half the labor—yes, almost without any labor at all—can acquire the whole loaf! (“To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany that They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools,” qtd. Pratico and Van Pelt, Basics of Biblical Hebrew, §11.9)

Advice for Learning Greek

Advice from Murray Harris:

As for the study habit that has proved most helpful in my academic career, it is this. There is no better way to become proficient in Greek, to gain a “feel” for the language, and to become enriched by the theology of the New Testament than the regular memorization of the Greek text. Paste a photocopy of verses or sections of the text on to cards and carefully reflect on it as you go about your daily exercise.

via New Testament Perspectives: Murray Harris’ Advice for Learning Greek.

Of course, in addition to memorizing, reading as much and as carefully as possible doesn’t seem to hurt either in gaining “a ‘feel’ for the language.”

Milligan on the Papyri

Rob Bradshaw has made available George Milligan’s essay, “The Greek Papyri: With Special Reference to Their Value for New Testament Study,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 44 (1912): 62–78.

Nicoll, Expositor's Greek Testament (vol. 5) Free @Logos

As their free book of the month, Logos Bible Software is giving away volume 5 of the Expositor’s Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Volume 5 includes:

  • J. H. A. Hart, “The First Epistle General of Peter”
  • R. H. Strachan, “The Second Epistle General of Peter”
  • David Smith, “The Epistles of John”
  • J. B. Mayor, “The General Epistle of Jude”
  • James Moffatt, “The Revelation of St. John the Divine”

For more information about the text and to download this volume, please see here.

The Perseus Catalog 1.0

According to the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University:

The Perseus Digital Library is pleased to announce the 1.0 Release of the Perseus Catalog.

The Perseus Catalog is an attempt to provide systematic catalog access to at least one online edition of every major Greek and Latin author (both surviving and fragmentary) from antiquity to 600 CE. Still a work in progress, the catalog currently includes 3,679 individual works (2,522 Greek and 1,247 Latin), with over 11,000 links to online versions of these works (6,419 in Google Books, 5,098 to the Internet Archive, 593 to the Hathi Trust). The Perseus interface now includes links to the Perseus Catalog from the main navigation bar, and also from within the majority of texts in the Greco-Roman collection.

For more information about the catalog, please see here (HT: Charles Jones).

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 56, no. 1

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Image via Wikipedia

The latest issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society arrived in yesterday’s mail and includes the following:

  • Paul House, “Investing in the Ruins: Jeremiah and Theological Vocation”
  • Daniel Block, “‘What Do These Stones Mean?’: The Riddle of Deuteronomy 27”
  • Paul Tanner, “The Cost of Discipleship: Losing One’s Life for Jesus’ Sake”
  • Greg Rhodea, “Did Matthew Conceive a Virgin?: Isaiah 7:14 and the Birth of Jesus”
  • Daniel Wallace, “Sharp’s Rule Revisited: A Response to Stanley Porter”
  • Stanley Porter, “Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Response to Daniel Wallace, Or Why a Critical Book Review Should Be Left Alone”
  • Daniel Wallace, “Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Rejoinder to Stan Porter”
  • Walter Schultz, “Jonathan Edwards’s Concept of an Original Ultimate End”
  • Shawn Bawulski, “Reconciliationism, a Better View of Hell: Reconciliationism and Eternal Punishment”

Danove, "Features of the Conceptualization of Transference"

Paul Danove has the latest article in Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics, “Features of the Conceptualization of Transference in the New Testament”:

This article develops five features that describe the conceptualizations of the event of transference grammaticalized by New Testament verbs, and uses these features to formulate a model of the possible New Testament usages of transference. The discussion resolves all New Testament occurrences of verbs that designate transference into one of eighteen usages with distinct feature descriptions, and considers the usages of transference predicted by the feature model but not realized in the New Testament.

For the full article, please see here.

Funk, Beginning-Intermediate Grammar

Funk,
Robert Funk

A single-volume edition Robert Funk’s Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek is due out in April and is now available for pre-order from Polebridge. According to the publisher’s description,

Originally published in three volumes in 1973, Robert Funk’s classic Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek utilizes the insights of modern linguistics in its presentation of the basic features of ancient Greek grammar. Now redesigned and reformatted for ease of use, this single-volume third edition makes Funk’s ground-breaking work available once more.

Or, Amazon is also taking sign-ups to notify those interested when they have the text available.