Friday, February 20, 2015

Read Porter's New Article On Greek Grammars

Stan Porter's new article in BAGL is available online. You can read it here. The title? –"The Usage-Based Approach to Teaching New Testament Greek."


  1. What I would love to see is a study that surveys people 1, 2, or 5 years after they completed introductory Greek, and relates their existing proficiency to the way in which they were taught. I have heard many people explain why their particular approach works better than any other, but I haven't seen actual results. My non-scientific, non-objective observation is that students who want to learn Greek well enough to use it tend to learn and keep it, while those who consider it a hurdle to be jumped tend not to, irrespective of the teaching method.

    I'm going to guess that if one did a survey such as the one I described, the results would show a tighter correlation between the enthusiasm and energy of the Greek teacher and the results than between the particular pedagogical approach of the grammar used and the results.

    I'm not saying pedagogy is unimportant. It is. But what we lack in teaching NT Greek is any sort of measurement to tell us what works overall. Further, different students learn differently. Since I tend to be eccentric in the way I study and learn, I'm fully aware of that. I often found myself working around a professor's pet theories in order to learn in my own way while still fulfilling the expected assignments.

    OK ... long comment. Just thinking ...

    1. Henry, thanks for the comment. I'd enjoy seeing a study like that too. Unfortunately, I don't think major theological institutions would be super enthusiastic about finding out whether or not their students are using Greek years later. I could be wrong about that, but it's a hunch. I think if most did allow such a study to be done, they would prefer it to be conducted internally.