Saturday, January 28, 2006

Through Two Weeks of Classes

We have been in class now for two weeks, and I have let two weeks go by without adding any random thoughts to this blog. I decided that I would put something down here, so that the two people that occasionally look at this site would know that I am still alive.

Classes that I teach--I like my classes this semester. I have reduced numbers in my classes this semester (that usually happens during the Spring Semester), but the students that I have are doing a great job so far. I'm very pleased with my Greek students. It is a smaller class, which makes it impossible for a student to hide. They better come to class prepared, or they will be exposed. With a larger class, it is possible for a student to make an attempt at being invisible. My Greek students are working hard, and are coming to class prepared each day--a huge improvement over last semester!

Diet and Fitness--I have continued watching my diet and getting more exercise. I go to Nitro Fitness at least three times per week. I was there this morning. The Joplin Nitro Fitness has been open for about 4 weeks. I noticed on the white board that they will put rankings for those who lose the greatest amount of body fat, and gain the greatest amount of muscle mass. I normally might have gone yesterday, but I had some lower back discomfort, so I stayed away from there yesterday. This morning when I woke up, it felt better, so I went ahead and worked out. I have also been playing basketball and racquetball with greater regularity. Last Monday, several of the faculty members played some ball right before lunchtime. We played man-to-man defense, and I ended up guarding (and being guarded) by one of my younger colleagues who is in great shape. I had guarded him once about a year ago, and found at that time that he could pretty easily. He didn't dribble past me once on Monday. I felt like I was just about a half-step quicker, which pleases me. I've been getting beat in racquetball, but hadn't played in several years. I'm getting better, though.

Bible Reading Plans--I have been enjoying my Bible Reading. I am using The One Year Bible published by Tyndale. I do my English Bible reading on my Pocket PC, using the Daily Reader by Laridian, which enables me to do the Tyndale scheduled reading in any Bible translation I have on my system. That allows me to read in the English Standard Version, which I am enjoying a lot. The ESV, published by Crossway books, splits the difference between the very literal New American Standard Bible, and the very readable New International Version. Though as a Greek professor, I don't encourage students to use Interlinear Bibles, Crossway and Logos Bible Software will be releasing a Reverse Interlinear based on the ESV. Crossway's website describes it:

This state-of-the-art reverse interlinear New Testament, created in partnership with Logos Research Systems, breaks with the convention of traditional interlinear texts by keeping the English as the top line entry and placing the Greek text underneath it. This approach allows you to see firsthand the accuracy with which the translators of the English Standard Version of the Bible (ESV) rendered the Greek text.

The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible, emphasizing word-for-word accuracy and precision along with literary beauty and readability. The publishers of the ESV have partnered with Logos Research Systems, the premier Bible research software developer, to publish this helpful resource. It will benefit anyone from serious Bible scholars to those who simply desire to study the English text of the New Testament as closely as possible to the original.

Valuable Resources Included

  • Gloss dictionary based on the transliterated inflected Greek
  • Strong’s numbers for effective cross-referencing to other study tools
  • Morphology of each word
  • Transliterations of all Greek words for easy pronunciation
  • Free electronic version of the ESV on CD-ROM
  • Additional ESV text and study tools
Greek Bible Reading--I created two calendars to enable me to read through the entire Greek New Testament during 2006. It has been a joy! I'm a bit disappointed in myself that I had never done it (or even thought about doing it!), but it has been great fun. I decided to begin with the gospel of John and his epistles, then start in with Matthew and read through the rest of the New Testament. My first schedule called for me to read John and 1-2-3 John by February 15. The second plan was to begin with Matthew on February 16, finishing Revelation on December 31. Currently I am way ahead of schedule, having already read the prescribed portion through February 22. I read the Greek New Testament generally in one of two formats:
  1. In my Libronix Bible Software, through which I created the calendar.
  2. On my Pocket PC, equipped with Gramcord Lite.
Each of those options are equipped with an easy way to check a lexicon for the words that I don't recognize right off. In Libronix, I right click on a word I don't recognize, and choose the option "Display information." That is linked to the entry for that word in BAGD. In Gramcord Lite, the lexical gloss is not as sophisticated, but is adequate for rapid reading of the text. I'll include a photo I took from my Pocket PC just this morning:

The photo shows the word σκυθρωποί as occurs in the text of Matthew 6:16. The lower portion of the screen gives the lexical form of the word, parses it (this particular word is very easy to parse--my first semester Greek students could do it easily), and gives a gloss with the English meaning, that comes from Barclay Newman's Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament.

Another excellent resource that can be used for rapid reading of the Greek New Testament is a text by Zondervan: A Reader's Greek New Testament, that includes a gloss with the meaning of every word that is used 30 times or fewer in the Greek New Testament, enabling the reader to look at the bottom of the page to get the meaning of a word he/she might not recognize right away.

High School Basketball--I went to my first high school basketball game of this season last night. Rose was gone to a retreat. I had wanted a chance to see Kyle Schrage play at least once as a high schooler. Kyle is a 6'8" senior center at Carl Junction High School. I had the privilege of travelling to Thailand last March with Kyle and his parents, Mike and Karolyn Schrage. Mike is with Good News Productions, International. Kyle was born on the mission field in Kenya. When his older sister, Kathryn, was about 14 years old, I coached her at an OCC Basketball camp. Kyle has signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Missouri Southern State University here in Joplin. He had a good game last night, scoring 20 points while sitting out the entire 4th quarter. He had one dunk that electrified the crowd in the first half. Good game, Kyle!

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement--I am the professor of record for our Perspectives course. That should be great! I've got some housekeeping duties to take care of today. Our next class session will be Monday nights, with Dr. Ron Blue from Dallas Theological Seminary/CAM International.

That's it. I have more random thoughts, but I save them for a later day.

Blessings to you all!


1 comment:

Martha said...

I'm glad that you are reading the Greek text through this year. I thought about doing it and decided against it.