SBL 2014 in San Diego

This year’s SBL annual meeting was a huge success for me: plenty of meaningful conversation with friends both old and new together with several important discussions about future and ongoing projects in Greek grammar.

And because this is probably the rare occasion where my photography interfaces with what I do on this website, I can linking to my SBL 2014 flickr album here.

9 thoughts on “SBL 2014 in San Diego

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  1. Mike: Great photos. I’m glad that you had a terrific time. One question about future Greek projects: Are you aware of anyone preparing a linguistically informed Intermediate Grammar to replace Wallace’s “Biblical Greek Beyond the Basics”? I remember Stan Porter mentioning working on such a project a few years ago but that project seems to have lost steam. Thanks!

    1. Whenever I look at the list of projects that Stan Porter is working on, I wonder how many of them will actually be finished. Between being president of MacDiv & also professor of NT, I’m amazed by just how much he achieves as it is.

      With that said, I can say that there is a linguistically informed grammar in progress. Whether it will ‘replace Wallace’ is another question. It certainly won’t be as long as Wallace (that’s not how it was conceived), but it will be organized topically like a reference grammar.

  2. Mike, Thanks! I don’t think an intermediate grammar needs to be as long as Wallace but I do hope that it will have a good index. – David

      1. I am thinking of an exhaustive and accurate Scripture index to every LXX or NT example used in the grammar.

        Whether or not that qualifies as a “good” index depends on how someone plans to use the grammar. I have no idea if any other pastors do this, but this is one of the most common ways that I use Intermediate grammars: In addition to reading grammars and consulting them with specific grammatical questions in mind, I look up the passages I am preaching on each week in the index of various Greek and Hebrew grammars. I then move from the example in the grammar back a few pages to where that section of the grammar begins and read the section as I think about the passage I am preaching on. Because I am already spending the week thinking about these Biblical passages in Greek and Hebrew, this approach helps me think about how the language is actually working and also helps in my interacting with scholarly commentaries. Assuming that I am preaching equally from the Old and New Testaments, this means that I will work through 48 passages in the NT while consulting a grammar or grammars each year. Personally, I have found this sort of inductive work quite helpful.

        I mentioned Wallace above. Wallace is helpful because the nature of his “Exegetical Syntax” means that it contains a lot of examples. On the other hand, the exasperating thing (at least for me) about Wallace is that he tends to define Greek grammar based on English usage. Also, a fairly large number of his examples are less clearly determined in terms of how they are functioning than his “Syntax” suggests (Yes, I know that Prof. Wallace knows a LOT more Greek than I do – this is just my point of view). Obviously, there is still a great deal in Wallace that is useful.

        Thank you for your consideration.

        p.s. Do you have any idea when the Reference Grammar you referred to will be published?

        1. That’s a tall order for an intermediate grammar, especially if you’re indexing the LXX, too. So maybe don’t hope too much on that one. Indexes are massive tasks to compile even for authors and topics, much less comprehensive references of an entire corpus.

          As for the book itself, I have no idea when it will be out. I just know it’s in the works. So…maybe a few years?

  3. I will be happy for another grammar with or without an index.

    I may not have been clear, I didn’t mean that I was looking for an index of every time a grammatical form occurred in the LXX or GNT. I meant that when, for example, the grammar uses 5 illustrations for conditional clauses those particular examples are compiled in the index by Scripture reference.

    If you want to see what I’m talking about, the Index of Scripture References to “An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax” by Waltke and O’Connor is the type of thing I would hope for. I have never published a book, but I’m not really sure why this is harder to do than create an index of authors.

    Thank you again and best wishes on your research and writing.


  4. p.s. If there are any publishers out there looking for free labor – I would volunteer to create the type of index I described above for a reference grammar in Greek that you are thinking of publishing.

  5. I see what you’re saying. Yeah, I would expect that it would have an index like that certainly. In terms of the difficulty, I was talking more about collating examples–that’s what’s the huge task . That was my misunderstanding of what you were saying. My mistake. The more examples of a construction you have, the more work it is.

    As for my grammar, that’s at best 10 years out. I’m planning on having a first draft done in the next four or five years, but there’ll be a lot of editing, reviewing from colleagues, and so forth even before a manuscript is reading to go to a publisher.

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