The meaning of the Greek perfect tense has become a matter of huge debate in recent years. When I began my Greek studies with Mounce’s grammar (2nd ed.) about ten years ago, I learned that “The Greek perfect describes and action that was brought to completion and whose effects are felt in the present” (p. 225). This is a pretty standard explanation, and represents something of a “traditional” view among Greek grammarians. For example, BDF say that “[t]he perfect combines in itself, so to speak, the present and the aorist in that it denotes the continuance of completed action” (§340; cf. A. T. Robertson, Grammar, 892–3). Continue reading
Just a thought: one can be a good pastor despite his ignorance of the Biblical languages. However, no one can be a good pastor because of his ignorance of the biblical languages.
Another work that I will look forward to reading once my Latin skills are up to snuff is Augustine’s De Spiritu et Littera (On the Spirit and the Letter). I found a copy here and here. There is a whole site with works of Augustine in Latin here. Augustine’s argument is that the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is that the Old Covenant makes demands, but we cannot fulfill them because of our sinfulness; on the other hand, the New Covenant is more glorious because it gives us the ability to do that which is demanded by the power of the Holy Spirit. Sounds to me like what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 3. Continue reading
To all my loyal readers (both of you), I am going to try an alternate format to help me post more often. I have a hard time writing enough regularly enough to justify a new post each time, so I am going to try to post monthly, and then simply update the month’s post each time I have something to say. I hope this will help me top write more often. If you visit my blog, I will try to put the most recent posts at the top and date them so you can follow along if you so choose.
Well, I have officially started my Latin studies. One week ago I had no idea I would be doing it, but through a series of interesting turns, I enrolled in my seminary’s Theological Latin course, and had my first day of class yesterday. I am really looking forward to it! Just an interesting fact that makes this more interesting is that my grandmother on my father’s side (whom I never met) was a Latin teacher. Perhaps the love for languages is inherited! 😉
“The purpose of reading the Bible for ourselves [in the original languages] is not, however, to out-commentary the commentaries . . . Nor is it to out-translate the translators . . . Rather, our own work in the text provides a window through which we can see for ourselves just what decisions have been made by others and why. Instead of being a second-hander, who can only take someone else’s word for it, a knowledge of the text allows us to evaluate, rather than simply regurgitate. Continue reading
As part of my training for a vocation in New Testament studies, I have been attempting to gain some proficiency in New Testament textual criticism. To that end I have constructed a list of the manuscripts used in the UBS5 (= NA28) Greek NT by corpus according to century, with a summary of the most important witnesses to the major text types concluding each. My goal was to create a document that I could use to help me evaluate the witnesses to the various variants in the NT. You can access it here. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for its improvement!