Mar 7, 2013 David Lang

So We Really DON'T Need to Learn This

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I've been teaching my family Greek using Accordance and an Apple TV. We're now learning noun case endings and beginning all those initially bewildering processes like parsing words, identifying their lexical forms, etc. As an illustration, I decided to show how Accordance makes all that stuff easy.

I began by hovering my mouse over a word in the Greek New Testament to show how its lexical form and parsing is automatically displayed in the instant details box. I then triple-clicked a word to show how Accordance automatically searches a default lexicon for the lexical form of the word rather than for the particular inflected form I happened to triple-click.

They were, of course, amazed at these very basic Accordance features, and they seemed for a moment to have a deeper appreciation for what I do for a living. Then my plan backfired. When they saw how easy it was to have Accordance do all these things they are working hard to learn, one of the kids voiced what they all must have been thinking: "So we really don't need to learn this stuff!"

I laughed and explained that they had hit on one of the great dangers of using Accordance: it can give us the false assurance that we know Greek better than we do. I went on to explain that the value of learning Greek is that it enables us to use tools like Accordance more responsibly. I think they bought it.

Mounce Video Then again, it's probably good that I didn't tell them about the Mounce Greek Study System, a bundle of video lectures and Accordance resources designed to teach you how to use more robust language tools without having to take full-blown Greek language courses. If they knew that option was available, I might lose half my students!

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Archived Comments

julie falling

March 08, 2013 7:58 AM

David - I hope your wife and kids appreciate having the opportunity to learn Greek!  I got started late (56) but have loved studying the language.  And, yes, the learning process can be short-circuited if Accordance is used as a crutch instead of a tool.  

What I did for my class translation assignments was to print out the text of our assignment with wide spacing between lines, and using just a lexicon or two and a pencil, would parse the whole thing, use Accordance to check my parsing, then, finally, translate.  The Mounce Analytical Lexicon was particularly useful here, because the verb parts are right up front.  This process served me very well.

If I came across one of those really tricky verbs, I'd work at it for at least 20 minutes before going to Accordance parsing for help.  That didn't happen very often, but it did happen!

I greatly enjoy your blogs and read them all.  Thanks.

Jonathan Matias

March 26, 2013 3:05 PM

David, thanks for sharing anecdotes from your family Bible study time on this blog and in the Accordance Training Seminar you taught on Friday in McLean, VA. I love how you've integrated this wonderful Bible study tool into your family's learning & life, and that you transparently share these practical ideas with others. 

Well done in the Training Seminar! It was clear. Helpful. Practical. Engaging. Even after 8 hours, it made me want to stick around and learn some more from you. Thank you for serving the body of Christ by traveling & thanks to your family for giving you the flexibilty to go.