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Biblical Greek Exegesis: A Graded Approach to Learning Intermediate and Advanced Greek

(Paperback - Jul 1998)
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Overview

Biblical Greek Exegesis presents a proven, highly practical approach to the study of intermediate and advanced Greek grammar. Most textbooks focus on learning syntactical categories, illustrated by sentences taken from the Greek New Testament, and place little emphasis on how to apply Greek grammar to the Greek text in preparing sermons and lectures. In contrast, Biblical Greek Exegesis stresses real-life application. Beginning with selections from the Greek New Testament, students learn intermediate and advanced Greek grammar inductively by analyzing the text. The process closely resembles the approach used in sermon and lecture preparation. In Part 1 (SYNTAX), students work through nine selections from the New Testament, taken from the Gospels, Paul s letters (including Romans), and the General Letters. The selections are arranged in order of increasing difficulty. The student becomes familiar with syntactical categories through translation, grammatical analysis, and grammatical diagramming, supplemented by class discussion. Equally important, the length of these selections allows for semantic diagramming and analysis. This provides a tool for analyzing larger units of meaning, which is not possible when working only with sentences that illustrate specific points of grammar. In Part 2 (EXEGESIS), the student takes the sections from the Greek New Testament through a twelve-step method of exegesis and exposition. The student works through one section of approximately fifteen verses every two weeks, beginning with the first step spiritual preparation and ending with application and a preaching/teaching outline. This approach has two benefits. Advanced Greek students learn to use the Greek text and grammar as they will in the real world. They also learn to integrate other significant areas such as literary form and textual criticism, as well as the use of exegetical tools. In short, they become better expositors of the Word of God. Bibliographies are provided for each of the twelve steps in the exegetical process. Also included is a summary of syntactical categories based on Wallace s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. This successfully field-tested approach to intermediate and advanced Greek will help students bridge the gap between understanding the categories of Greek grammar and the demand to communicate the meaning and significance of the New Testament message to the twenty-first century."

Details

  • SKU: 9780310212461
  • UPC: 025986212469
  • SKU10: 0310212464
  • Title: Biblical Greek Exegesis: A Graded Approach to Learning Intermediate and Advanced Greek
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Date Published: Jul 1998
  • Pages: 192
  • Weight lbs: 0.90
  • Dimensions: 10.90" L x 8.50" W x 0.60" H
  • Features: Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Academic; Chronological Period | Ancient (To 499 A.D.); Cultural Region | Mediterranean;
  • Category: BIBLICAL LANGUAGES
  • Subject: Biblical Reference - Language Study

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

Preface for Teachers

THE NEED FOR A NEW APPROACH

If you are looking for a tool to use in teaching upper-level Greek that combines the study of syntax and diagramming with a comprehensive exegetical method, we invite you to consider Biblical Greek Exegesis. Using traditional methodology, many teachers move chapter by chapter through an upper-level grammar and have students do the exercises at the end of each chapter. The exercises normally require students to identify the syntactical function of elements within single verses pulled from different parts of the New Testament. Some teachers go a step further and supplement the grammar lesson with translation and syntax assignments from a single book of the New Testament, such as 1 John or Philippians. We are deeply grateful for such traditional approaches, and they certainly have much to commend them, but we have encountered serious pedagogical problems that limit their effectiveness with today's students. Before introducing our approach, we want to clarify what we mean when we speak of the "pedagogical problems" associated with many traditional methods.

First, traditional approaches often fail to motivate students, who tend to be more interested in understanding and applying the New Testament than in memorizing syntax categories. It usually takes several months just to cover the descriptions of the syntax possibilities, and by the end of this process students are overwhelmed with endless lists and their motivation is waning. They are disillusioned that they have yet to engage meaningfully larger portions of the New Testament in Greek-the reason they had taken the course in the first place.

Second, most traditional approaches are not "real world" in the sense of how students will engage New Testament Greek once course work is finished. Very few people who use the Greek New Testament in Christian ministry move from lists of syntax categories to the text. Rather, they begin with the text and use grammars and other reference works as tools to elucidate the text.

Third, the traditional approach risks divorcing the study of syntax from the overall process of understanding and applying the message of the New Testament. Students who labor through first-year Greek are eager to see firsthand the relevance of Greek for teaching and preaching. When the study of syntax is, for all practical purposes, isolated from the larger process of exegesis, students find it difficult to make the connection, and their desire to continue the rigors of Greek language study diminishes drastically.

Finally, restricting students to a micro-level analysis-focusing on words, phrases, clauses, and even sentences to the neglect of paragraphs and entire discourses-is perhaps the greatest single linguistic weakness of most contemporary approaches to teaching intermediate and advanced Greek.

Even the few problems mentioned above are pedagogically paralyzing for many of today's students. Most students are willing to invest the time necessary to learn the language if (and usually only if) they can see how the study of biblical Greek connects to life and ministry. In the next section we will survey a way of teaching intermediate and advanced Greek that builds on the strengths of traditional approaches and has worked well with our students. They are learning to integrate the study of Greek syntax into the larger enterprise of New Testament exegesis and they love it! At this point you might enjoy taking a look at the Preface for Students (see pp. 14-19).

THE APPROACH USED IN BIBLICAL GREEK EXEGESIS

Our enthusiasm about teaching biblical Greek runs high because we have had success in the classroom. We are quick to acknowledge, however, that our success is due largely to the strength of our teaching method. Our students are willing and eager to pay the price in hours of study since they are convinced that a knowledge of Greek will help them in real-world ministry. We believe it takes more than an occasional pep talk about the relevance of Greek to convince students. As helpful as these might be (and we deliver our share of them), students need more. They need to see how the parts (such as identifying a certain kind of genitive) integrate into the larger task of moving from the ancient text to the modern audience. Our approach is intended to integrate the study of Greek into an overall exegetical method right from the beginning of intermediate Greek. We see our approach challenging and energizing our students, and we believe it will be equally motivating to students at other schools.

The title, Biblical Greek Exegesis: A Graded Approach to Learning Intermediate and Advanced Greek, draws attention to the two main parts of the work:

Section One focuses primarily on learning intermediate (or second-year) Greek syntax along with grammatical and semantic diagramming.

Section Two takes the student to the level of advanced (or third-year) Greek, incorporating their knowledge of syntax and diagramming into a comprehensive method of exegesis and exposition.

Let's look first at how we approach intermediate Greek.

Intermediate Greek

You could label our approach a graded, modified-inductive approach. Here's how it works. In the first-year course we both use Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. At the beginning of the second-year course, following a few class periods of orientation, students begin working in Section One of Biblical Greek Exegesis. Here we provide syntax and diagramming exercises for the following New Testament texts: 1 John 1:1-2:2; 2:28-3:10; John 15:1-27; Mark 1:1-28; Mark 8:27-9:8; Colossians 1:1-23; Matthew 6:5-34; Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-11; 8:1-17; James 1:1-21; and Philippians 1:27-2:13. These are the first nine passages in another book by Bill Mounce, A Graded Reader of Biblical Greek.

We have divided these larger blocks of text into smaller units that can be covered in a week's time (usually about four to seven verses). We give students the assignment of translating the text, identifying the syntax of key terms, and diagramming a portion of the text. (A typical syntax assignment will include a mix of noun and verb forms.) We tell the students, "In addition to translating the passage and diagramming a portion of it, you are responsible for identifying the syntax of these terms (usually about eight to ten). After parsing each term, go to the summary sheet of syntax categories, see the possibilities, then come back and tell the class how you think each term functions syntactically in its context." The strategy here is to get students to work inductively from the New Testament back to a consideration of syntax categories, the way they will approach the text in the real world.

During the class period for which the assignment is performed, the students share their answers to the exercises. Our task as teachers is to clarify the syntax categories in question and guide the students through the interpretive process. Over the course of their second year of study, students also build their own summary of syntax categories, all the while focusing on the text of the New Testament. Periodically we review the syntax categories learned thus far and fill in the gaps by introducing the few categories not covered in the assigned passages. For this reason we describe the approach as amodified-inductive method.

Throughout the year the assignments get progressively longer and more difficult. Thus the approach is graded. In addition to translation and syntax, weekly assignments include diagramming and vocabulary exercises. Initially the students only do grammatical diagramming, but as time goes by they are taught to do semantic diagramming. Together, grammatical and semantic diagramming offer students a valuable tool for understanding the structure and meaning of paragraphs and entire discourses. Do not be overwhelmed by our diagramming methods. They may look complex at first glance, but consider this: Our sophomore-level college students consistently catch on to grammatical diagramming after just three to four weeks of practice. The move to semantic diagramming comes after students are accomplished at grammatical diagramming. Our students have found diagramming to be among the most productive aspects of the entire exegetical process.

In a typical week in second-year Greek, we give assignments ahead of time and students come to class ready to discuss their conclusions. For a three-hour course that meets three times a week, we use Monday and Wednesday to parse and translate the assigned text and to identify the syntax of the assigned terms. On Friday we have our weekly vocabulary quiz, discuss the students' diagrams of the passage, and wrap up our discussion of that particular text.

Advanced Greek

At the advanced level (typically the third year), students are introduced to a twelve-step method of exegesis and exposition that takes them from the biblical text to personal application, then on to a teaching or preaching outline. You may want to introduce students to the exegetical method sometime during their second year.

1-Spiritual Preparation

2-General Introduction

3-Literary Context

4-Provisional Translation

5-Grammatical Diagram

6-Semantic Diagram and Provisional Outline

7-Word and Concept Analysis

8-Broader Biblical and Theological Contexts

9-Commentaries and Special Studies

10-Polished Translation and Extended Paraphrase

11-Application

12-Preaching/Teaching Outline

Students take approximately fifteen verses through the entire method every two weeks. You could continue with the remaining passages in Mounce's Graded Reader or work in another part of the New Testament. It's entirely up to you. A typical two-week period in advanced Greek might follow this schedule:

Week 1: Week 2:

Monday -Steps 1-4 Monday -Step 6 Wednesday -Steps 1-4 Wednesday -Steps 7-10 Friday -Step 5 Friday -Steps 11-12

SOME ADVANTAGES OF THIS APPROACH

We see at least five pedagogical advantages to the approach developed in Biblical Greek Exegesis. (1) Students move from the New Testament to the Greek grammars, a direction that keeps interest high and offers a contextual check on the learning process. (2) The graded approach introduces students to the easier passages first. This builds their confidence and equips them to do the more difficult passages that follow. (3) Students learn to do grammatical and semantic diagramming in order to understand the larger units. Recent advances in applying linguistic theory to the study of the New Testament have shown that meaning is governed more by the larger units or discourses than by isolated words or phrases. Our approach gives students tools for working effectively in analyzing larger units of material. (4) The approach is holistic in that it integrates the study of Greek with the larger process of understanding and applying the message of the New Testament. (5) Students learn how to use the various exegetical tools by watching their teachers move (and sometimes struggle) through the process themselves.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK IN TEACHING

In Intermediate and Advanced Greek Courses

Biblical Greek Exegesis may be used in upper-level Greek courses in a variety of ways. Our plan looks something like this. As we mentioned earlier, our first-year students use Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek (textbook and workbook). We require that our second-year students use Biblical Greek Exegesis in combination with Mounce's Graded Reader and a vocabulary guide. Again, since the exercises in Section One of Biblical Greek Exegesis are based on the passages in the first half of Mounce's Graded Reader, teachers have syntax and diagramming exercises for nine major sections of the New Testament, plenty for most intermediate Greek courses. About midway through the second year we recommend that students who have not already done so purchase a standard lexicon and reference grammar. Our third-year students advance to Section Two of our workbook, where they begin to take different texts through the entire exegetical process. You can also introduce students to the exegetical method in Section Two during their second year of study. In addition to the above resources we encourage our students to work through a primer on textual criticism.

Our hope is that Biblical Greek Exegesis will prove to be a useful tool for helping students make the difficult transition from the end of first-year Greek to more advanced studies. To make this happen we see great value in working with larger blocks of text, but we also believe we should introduce students to a variety of writing styles and literary types. Biblical Greek Exegesis does both. Intermediate Greek students learn to work with paragraphs, but they also experience a variety of texts over the course of the year. Furthermore, the texts are graded so that students progress in their study from the easier to the more difficult material. Advanced Greek students are not just repeating what they learned in their second year, they are moving on to integrate the study of syntax into the larger enterprise of New Testament exegesis. This helps them make strong connections between the study of Greek and their life and ministry.

In Upper-Level New Testament Exegesis Courses

Along with using Biblical Greek Exegesis for intermediate or advanced Greek, there is a completely different scenario where our workbook might prove useful. When teaching an upper-level exegesis course on a book of the New Testament, teachers often call for a supplementary text to guide the student through the exegetical process. Section Two of our workbook presents a comprehensive exegetical method that can be applied to any book of New Testament. Students are given clear, step-by-step instructions along with examples from the New Testament and a select bibliography of resources.

Preface for Students

WELCOME TO BIBLICAL GREEK EXEGESIS

Congratulations on completing your first year of Greek study! You have made it through what many consider to be the most difficult and least gratifying year. No one said that memorizing paradigms and parsing participles would be loads of fun. And now you know why. It's not! As teachers we realize how much time you have invested and how hard you have worked to finish the first year.

Continues.

Excerpt


Chapter One

Preface for Teachers

THE NEED FOR A NEW APPROACH

If you are looking for a tool to use in teaching upper-level Greek that combines the study of syntax and diagramming with a comprehensive exegetical method, we invite you to consider Biblical Greek Exegesis . Using traditional methodology, many teachers move chapter by chapter through an upper-level grammar and have students do the exercises at the end of each chapter. The exercises normally require students to identify the syntactical function of elements within single verses pulled from different parts of the New Testament. Some teachers go a step further and supplement the grammar lesson with translation and syntax assignments from a single book of the New Testament, such as 1 John or Philippians. We are deeply grateful for such traditional approaches, and they certainly have much to commend them, but we have encountered serious pedagogical problems that limit their effectiveness with today's students. Before introducing our approach, we want to clarify what we mean when we speak of the "pedagogical problems" associated with many traditional methods.

First, traditional approaches often fail to motivate students, who tend to be more interested in understanding and applying the New Testament than in memorizing syntax categories. It usually takes several months just to cover the descriptions of the syntax possibilities, and by the end of this process students are overwhelmed with endless lists and their motivation is waning. They are disillusioned that they have yet to engage meaningfully larger portions of the New Testament in Greek-the reason they had taken the course in the first place.

Second, most traditional approaches are not "real world" in the sense of how students will engage New Testament Greek once course work is finished. Very few people who use the Greek New Testament in Christian ministry move from lists of syntax categories to the text. Rather, they begin with the text and use grammars and other reference works as tools to elucidate the text.

Third, the traditional approach risks divorcing the study of syntax from the overall process of understanding and applying the message of the New Testament. Students who labor through first-year Greek are eager to see firsthand the relevance of Greek for teaching and preaching. When the study of syntax is, for all practical purposes, isolated from the larger process of exegesis, students find it difficult to make the connection, and their desire to continue the rigors of Greek language study diminishes drastically.

Finally, restricting students to a micro-level analysis-focusing on words, phrases, clauses, and even sentences to the neglect of paragraphs and entire discourses-is perhaps the greatest single linguistic weakness of most contemporary approaches to teaching intermediate and advanced Greek.

Even the few problems mentioned above are pedagogically paralyzing for many of today's students. Most students are willing to invest the time necessary to learn the language if (and usually only if) they can see how the study of biblical Greek connects to life and ministry. In the next section we will survey a way of teaching intermediate and advanced Greek that builds on the strengths of traditional approaches and has worked well with our students. They are learning to integrate the study of Greek syntax into the larger enterprise of New Testament exegesis and they love it! At this point you might enjoy taking a look at the Preface for Students (see pp. 14-19).

THE APPROACH USED IN BIBLICAL GREEK EXEGESIS

Our enthusiasm about teaching biblical Greek runs high because we have had success in the classroom. We are quick to acknowledge, however, that our success is due largely to the strength of our teaching method. Our students are willing and eager to pay the price in hours of study since they are convinced that a knowledge of Greek will help them in real-world ministry. We believe it takes more than an occasional pep talk about the relevance of Greek to convince students. As helpful as these might be (and we deliver our share of them), students need more. They need to see how the parts (such as identifying a certain kind of genitive) integrate into the larger task of moving from the ancient text to the modern audience. Our approach is intended to integrate the study of Greek into an overall exegetical method right from the beginning of intermediate Greek. We see our approach challenging and energizing our students, and we believe it will be equally motivating to students at other schools.

The title, Biblical Greek Exegesis: A Graded Approach to Learning Intermediate and Advanced Greek, draws attention to the two main parts of the work:

Section Onefocuses primarily on learning intermediate (or second-year) Greek syntax along with grammatical and semantic diagramming.

Section Twotakes the student to the level of advanced (or third-year) Greek, incorporating their knowledge of syntax and diagramming into a comprehensive method of exegesis and exposition.

Let's look first at how we approach intermediate Greek.

Intermediate Greek

You could label our approach a graded, modified-inductiveapproach. Here's how it works. In the first-year course we both use Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek . At the beginning of the second-year course, following a few class periods of orientation, students begin working in Section One of Biblical Greek Exegesis . Here we provide syntax and diagramming exercises for the following New Testament texts: 1 John 1:1-2:2; 2:28-3:10; John 15:1-27; Mark 1:1-28; Mark 8:27-9:8; Colossians 1:1-23; Matthew 6:5-34; Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-11; 8:1-17; James 1:1-21; and Philippians 1:27-2:13. These are the first nine passages in another book by Bill Mounce, A Graded Reader of Biblical Greek .

We have divided these larger blocks of text into smaller units that can be covered in a week's time (usually about four to seven verses). We give students the assignment of translating the text, identifying the syntax of key terms, and diagramming a portion of the text. (A typical syntax assignment will include a mix of noun and verb forms.) We tell the students, "In addition to translating the passage and diagramming a portion of it, you are responsible for identifying the syntax of these terms (usually about eight to ten). After parsing each term, go to the summary sheet of syntax categories, see the possibilities, then come back and tell the class how you think each term functions syntactically in its context." The strategy here is to get students to work inductivelyfrom the New Testament back to a consideration of syntax categories, the way they will approach the text in the real world.

During the class period for which the assignment is performed, the students share their answers to the exercises. Our task as teachers is to clarify the syntax categories in question and guide the students through the interpretive process. Over the course of their second year of study, students also build their own summary of syntax categories, all the while focusing on the text of the New Testament. Periodically we review the syntax categories learned thus far and fill in the gaps by introducing the few categories not covered in the assigned passages. For this reason we describe the approach as a modified -inductive method.

Throughout the year the assignments get progressively longer and more difficult. Thus the approach is graded . In addition to translation and syntax, weekly assignments include diagramming and vocabulary exercises. Initially the students only do grammatical diagramming, but as time goes by they are taught to do semantic diagramming. Together, grammatical and semantic diagramming offer students a valuable tool for understanding the structure and meaning of paragraphs and entire discourses. Do not be overwhelmed by our diagramming methods. They may look complex at first glance, but consider this: Our sophomore-level college students consistently catch on to grammatical diagramming after just three to four weeks of practice. The move to semantic diagramming comes after students are accomplished at grammatical diagramming. Our students have found diagramming to be among the most productive aspects of the entire exegetical process.

In a typical week in second-year Greek, we give assignments ahead of time and students come to class ready to discuss their conclusions. For a three-hour course that meets three times a week, we use Monday and Wednesday to parse and translate the assigned text and to identify the syntax of the assigned terms. On Friday we have our weekly vocabulary quiz, discuss the students' diagrams of the passage, and wrap up our discussion of that particular text.

Advanced Greek

At the advanced level (typically the third year), students are introduced to a twelve-step method of exegesis and exposition that takes them from the biblical text to personal application, then on to a teaching or preaching outline. You may want to introduce students to the exegetical method sometime during their second year.

1-Spiritual Preparation

2-General Introduction

3-Literary Context

4-Provisional Translation

5-Grammatical Diagram

6-Semantic Diagram and Provisional Outline

7-Word and Concept Analysis

8-Broader Biblical and Theological Contexts

9-Commentaries and Special Studies

10-Polished Translation and Extended Paraphrase

11-Application

12-Preaching/Teaching Outline

Students take approximately fifteen verses through the entire method every two weeks. You could continue with the remaining passages in Mounce's Graded Readeror work in another part of the New Testament. It's entirely up to you. A typical two-week period in advanced Greek might follow this schedule:

Week 1: Week 2:

Monday -Steps 1-4 Monday -Step 6 Wednesday -Steps 1-4 Wednesday -Steps 7-10 Friday -Step 5 Friday -Steps 11-12

SOME ADVANTAGES OF THIS APPROACH

We see at least five pedagogical advantages to the approach developed in Biblical Greek Exegesis . (1) Students move from the New Testament to the Greek grammars, a direction that keeps interest high and offers a contextual check on the learning process. (2) The graded approach introduces students to the easier passages first. This builds their confidence and equips them to do the more difficult passages that follow. (3) Students learn to do grammatical and semantic diagramming in order to understand the larger units. Recent advances in applying linguistic theory to the study of the New Testament have shown that meaning is governed more by the larger units or discourses than by isolated words or phrases. Our approach gives students tools for working effectively in analyzing larger units of material. (4) The approach is holistic in that it integrates the study of Greek with the larger process of understanding and applying the message of the New Testament. (5) Students learn how to use the various exegetical tools by watching their teachers move (and sometimes struggle) through the process themselves.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK IN TEACHING

In Intermediate and Advanced Greek Courses

Biblical Greek Exegesismay be used in upper-level Greek courses in a variety of ways. Our plan looks something like this. As we mentioned earlier, our first-year studentsuse Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek(textbook and workbook). We require that our second-year studentsuse Biblical Greek Exegesisin combination with Mounce's Graded Readerand a vocabulary guide. Again, since the exercises in Section One of Biblical Greek Exegesisare based on the passages in the first half of Mounce's Graded Reader , teachers have syntax and diagramming exercises for nine major sections of the New Testament, plenty for most intermediate Greek courses. About midway through the second year we recommend that students who have not already done so purchase a standard lexicon and reference grammar. Our third-year studentsadvance to Section Two of our workbook, where they begin to take different texts through the entire exegetical process. You can also introduce students to the exegetical method in Section Two during their second year of study. In addition to the above resources we encourage our students to work through a primer on textual criticism.

Our hope is that Biblical Greek Exegesiswill prove to be a useful tool for helping students make the difficult transition from the end of first-year Greek to more advanced studies. To make this happen we see great value in working with larger blocks of text, but we also believe we should introduce students to a variety of writing styles and literary types. Biblical Greek Exegesisdoes both. Intermediate Greek students learn to work with paragraphs, but they also experience a variety of texts over the course of the year. Furthermore, the texts are graded so that students progress in their study from the easier to the more difficult material. Advanced Greek students are not just repeating what they learned in their second year, they are moving on to integrate the study of syntax into the larger enterprise of New Testament exegesis. This helps them make strong connections between the study of Greek and their life and ministry.

In Upper-Level New Testament Exegesis Courses

Along with using Biblical Greek Exegesisfor intermediate or advanced Greek, there is a completely different scenario where our workbook might prove useful. When teaching an upper-level exegesis course on a book of the New Testament, teachers often call for a supplementary text to guide the student through the exegetical process. Section Two of our workbook presents a comprehensive exegetical method that can be applied to any book of New Testament. Students are given clear, step-by-step instructions along with examples from the New Testament and a select bibliography of resources.

Preface for Students

WELCOME TO BIBLICAL GREEK EXEGESIS

Congratulations on completing your first year of Greek study! You have made it through what many consider to be the most difficult and least gratifying year. No one said that memorizing paradigms and parsing participles would be loads of fun. And now you know why. It's not! As teachers we realize how much time you have invested and how hard you have worked to finish the first year.

Continues.

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