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hamartolos - Noun and Adjective or just an Adjective?


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#1 Paul Daunno

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:13 PM

Today I've been studying the word hamartolos and am a bit confused by what I'm seeing.  According to Mounce's Expository Dictionary, there are 40x where it's used as a Noun and 7x where it's used as an Adjective.  However, when I do an analysis of that word in the GNT28-T (or GNT-T) and display PrtSpeech, all 47x are shown as Adjectives.  I've attached a screen shot so you can see what I'm seeing.  Am I just confused (likely!) or is this a tagging error?

 

 

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Thanks,
-Paul

#2 James Tucker

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:44 PM

Paul, 

 

Without going into great detail, the science of morphology is not monolithic. That is to say, how one person tags the Greek New Testament is not standard, and will deviate from someone else's morphological markup. There is interpretation involved even at the level of morphemes. Your particular question raises the issue of whether one will tag according to morphology alone, or whether one should take into account function. Adjectives can become nominal forms in greek, especially in articular forms. The tagging of neither is suspect—they just don't agree.



#3 Ken Simpson

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:15 PM

Hi Paul,

as James says. The issue is in the phrase "used as a Noun". Morphological adjectives often function as substantives, and the crux is whether you are describing their function or their accidence. Even so, the noun form and the adjective form (if such things can be differentiated) are sometimes identical and so you are left with the question of what the function is, rather than the morphology.

 

So basically, in a nutshell, they can both be "right".


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Ken
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#4 Julie Falling

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:29 AM

Paul — We do this all the time in English.  Poor is an an adjective while the poor functions as a noun.  Remember the movie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?  There you have three adjectives used substantively (= as nouns).  While Greek grammar is more complex than English, the two languages do have many things in common.  I didn't take any Greek until I was 56, so it's not too late to learn.


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#5 Paul Daunno

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:34 PM

Thank you James, Ken and Julie. I now understand a little bit more and will continue working on this. My English grammar skills are quite stale so needless to say my Greek grammar skills are also lacking ( actually non-existent!) Julie, how did you go about learning Greek? I'd be satisfied for now to get the basics down and learn more as I go. I have the book "Greek for the rest of us" and the Accordance Essential Collection so I've got plenty of resources available. I just need to make time to do it ....
Thanks,
-Paul

#6 Julie Falling

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:44 AM

Paul — I audited at a local Christian college.  To take Greek for credit would have cost about $400/semester.  Auditing was just $90/semester.  The profs graciously graded all my exams and quizzes, answered my questions in class and by email (frequently answered my email questions in class so that the whole class would benefit).  The school (Milligan College) only offers 3 years of undergraduate Greek, but my 3rd year prof said there was going to be a different instructor for Advanced Greek the next year and recommended that I ask him if I could just sit in (for free).  He said, "Yes," so I did Advanced Greek again.  As there were very different reading/translation assignments and each prof had different vocab lists, there was practically no overlap, just lots more practice.  (My husband tells people I flunked Advanced Greek the first time around.)  It is, by far, one of the most rewarding and useful things I've studied.  I continue to learn on my own, but one of my friends ran into one of my profs a couple of weeks ago and said I should come back.  Very tempting!
 
We used Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek for the first year.  It is an excellent textbook.  The Accordance version has the sound files built in.  I'd suggest getting the whole package and just start working faithfully on that.  You really can learn 1st year it on your own.  Who cares if it takes you a couple of years to get through it?  If there's a Christian college nearby (or a local pastor who knows more about Greek than just how to use a lexicon) who would be willing to answer the occasional question, that would be helpful but not essential.  First year Greek, in my opinion, is just plain work and time.  Mastering the basics will prepare you well for the more complicated analyses required in 2nd year.  Quiz yourself by making sure you can duplicate the forms in Mounce's text.  {There are helpful lists & summaries in the back of the book for quick reference and self-checking.)  This is not difficult.  It just takes time and practice.
 
We used Wallace's Basics of New Testament Syntax the second year.  Another excellent text.  It is an abbreviated form of Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.  I really think using the shorter book was a good thing.  There are fewer examples, and some of the rarer constructions are omitted.  In Advanced Greek, 2nd time, we were required to buy Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.  That is what is available in Accordance.  It's much more thorough, and everyone who has had more than a year of Greek and who wants to continue learning should own it.  It is the grammar used in 2/3 of the seminaries in the US.  Wallace makes grammar fun, in my opinion.  But then, I really like grammar.  2nd year Greek is the most difficult, in my opinion.  If you tend to be analytical by nature, it is an advantage.  If you are detail-oriented (musicians & scientists fall into this category), it is an advantage.  Second year is where you really fall in love with the language.  It's where you will have the most questions.  It is where there is sometimes no single "correct" answer, though there is usually a best answer.
 
Third year Greek is just putting what you've learned into practice.  It solidifies your understanding.  You still won't consider yourself an expert, but you will be past the point of being able to be intimidated by most Koine.
 
I have NOT mastered Greek.  I don't think I'll live long enough to do it, either.  I am a student, not a scholar.  But at this point, I've had more Greek than all of the men under whose preaching I have sat.  Getting past the lexicon and into the grammar is where you will really learn to appreciate and love the language.
 
I encourage you to pursue your studies and to consider taking on Greek.  I don't think you'll regret it.  Accordance gives you tools that greatly facilitate the learning process. 

Edited by Julie Falling, 04 September 2013 - 09:50 AM.

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#7 Paul Daunno

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 07:36 PM

Thanks a lot Julie for sharing that. I will look around to see if any local schools offer Greek. In the meantime I'll continue learning what I can on my own.
Thanks,
-Paul




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