Henry Neufeld at Participatory Bible Study has an excellent post up discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the so-called “reader’s editions” that have been popping up like flies over the past couple years:
My favorite quote from his thoughts is something I’ve said and thought (as well as several other people) for some time now:
Much too often students see learning Greek and Hebrew (or any other language) as ending when one can use the proper reference tools to manage to gloss a text in the source languages. I recognize that for many, that is really as far as you’re going to go. That level of ability will allow you to read commentaries based on the source texts more effectively and to understand discussions of various translation and exegetical issues better. It does not, however, constitute understanding the language in question.
And it was my point when it comes to my poll about reading versus analysis. Apparently though, 45% of the nearly 100 people who have voted thus far think that simply analyzing the tools and reference works is satisfactory for “knowing” the language.