Posted By MSH on June 4, 2010
I think I blogged about this in the past, but if not, here goes.
One of the recent projects I’ve worked on at Logos has been creating a set of video tools for teaching people who can read only English how to use Greek and Hebrew for Bible study. I did the Hebrew; my colleague Johnny Cisneros did the Greek. There is no memorization of vocabulary or grammatical forms in what we do. Our goal is to help people become better interpreters of the Hebrew and Greek texts, not to make them translators. hence we focus on word study method, grammatical terminology, and related concepts. Everything is explained and illustrated using Logos Bible Software.
The video tools are done now (almost 20 hours total). You can check out the product here, but your best bet is to watch the video below of me and Johnny explaining what it is we’re doing in the videos (and not doing).
I also recently posted something on the Logos blog that relates to word studies. Here’s that post: “You are Smarter Than a Lexicon.”
The post has generated a lot of commentary, even being discussed (so I hear; haven’t checked) on the B-Greek list (where Greek specialists and aficionados hang out in cyberspace). The post is drawn from my experience with undergrads and seminary students who are just beginning the languages–specifically, how they use lexicons. My point is not to deride them (anyone who reads the post will see that); it is to deride the fact that they are not given better tools. For the beginner (and I’m not sure what it is about “beginner” that people who have made derogatory comments about the post don’t understand), lexicons over-promise and under-deliver. For those who know what they are doing (read: not beginners) lexicons have a good deal of useful information. I just think it’s time we stopped trying to produce translators and give people tools that are useful for understanding commentaries and other academic discussions about the text. It’s not complicated; it’s about helping the non-specialist do better in interpretation.