September 2008

Using Greek at a research level requires a better understanding of Greek accents.  Dan Wallace recommended D.A. Carson’s Greek Accents: A Students Manual.  I also found this Accentuation Tutorial pretty helpful.

Here are some of the important aspects that I’ve abstracted from these sources:

General Rules
1. Apart from exceptions, every Greek word must have an accent, but only one accent.
2. An acute accent may stand only on an ultima, a penult, or an antepenult; a circumflex accent may stand only on an ultima or a penult; and a grave accent may stand only on an ultima.
3. The circumflex accent cannot stand on a short syllable.
4. If the ultima is long, then:
     a. the antepenult cannot have any accent, and
     b. the penult, if it is accented at all, must have the acute.
5. If the ultima is short, then a long penult, if it is accented at all, must have the circumflex accent.
6. An acute accent on the ultima of a word is changed to a grave when followed, without intervening mark of punctuation, by another word or words.

1. The accent is finite verbal forms is recessive.
2. In contract verbs, if either of the contracting syllables, before contraction, has an accent, then the resulting contracted syllable has an accent
     a. If the resulting contracted syllable is a penult or an antepenult, and has an accent, the GR always tell what kind of accent it will be.
     b. If the resulting contracted syllable is an ultima, and has an accent, the accent must be a circumflex.

In nouns, the accent remains on the same syllable as in the nominative singular, as nearly as the GR and exceptions will permit.

Enclitics and Proclitics
The word before an enclitic does not change an acute accent on the ultima to the grave.


I got this from the international office here the other day…

Dear student,

As you may be aware the International Graduates Scheme (IGS) and other work schemes suitable for international students have been replaced with Tier 1 – Post Study Work.   

Tier 1 – Post Study Work aims to retain international graduates who have studied in the UK in much the same way as IGS.  Students eligible to apply under the post study work category will be able to remain and work in the UK for a period of 2 years without requiring a work permit. You will qualify to apply under Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) if you meet all the following requirements:  

  • You must not previously have been given immigration permission as a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrant.
  • You must have a minimum of 75 points in attributes.
  • You must have 10 points for English language (you have this automatically if you have 75 points in attributes).
  • You must have 10 points for meeting the maintenance (funds) requirement.
  • If you are applying in the UK, you must have, or have last been granted, immigration permission as one of the following:
    • a student
    • a student nurse
    • a student re-sitting an examination
    • a student writing up a thesis
    • a participant in the International Graduates Scheme or the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme
    • a participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme.
  • In some cases, you must provide your sponsor’s consent to your application

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has produced a detailed guidance note ‘Working in the UK after your Studies’ to explain how to apply under Tier 1.  There is also a very helpful guide to assist you with your application for Tier 1 available on the UKCISA websiteFurther information on Tier 1 can be obtained from the UK Border Agency website 

With almost 200 in attendance here in Durham (vs ~150 last year in Exeter), I thought this year’s British New Testament Conference went very well.  One big difference was that there were at least 2x as many postgrads, if not more, here this year from last year.  Much of the PG increase was from Durham, but I also noted several from Edinburgh and Oxbridge that were not in attendance last year.  Durham was quite well represented at the conference with papers given by John Barclay (plenary), Loren Stuckenbruck (response to Dale Martin), John Goodrich, Kristian Bendoraitis, Nijay Gupta, Dave Morlan, Mark Mathews, and me.

As with last year I was very pleased with the opportunity to meet new scholars (e.g., Prof John Riches) and also catch up with friends (e.g., Joey Dodson and Preston Sprinkle).  In particular, George van Kooten and I had a good chat about his upcoming book which has relevance to my thesis.  In many ways this conference is better than SBL because of the ability to meet a relatively large number of people.

As for my own participation, my own paper received a few clarifying questions, but no challenges to my basic thesis.  Fortunately for me once registration was over, my responsibilities were virtually finished.  It did take quite a bit of time in preparation between local team meetings, etc., but everything ran very smoothly due to Bill Telford’s organisation and attention to detail.  I look forward to attending the conference in Aberdeen next year.

I officially hit 300 posts after blogging for just about 2 years.  My sitemeter counter shows close to 24,000 hits, but my wordpress counter shows over 60,000 hits–which appears to be total page views rather than the number of individual viewers per day as sitemeter.  Per GoogleReader I’ve got about 60 people reading my blog through there, so with bloglines and the rest maybe I’m getting close to 80-90?  I suppose that’s enough people for me to know it’s not just my mom and my wife that read this.  It’s weird to think that my blog gets hits from all over the globe. 

I was feeling good about myself until I saw Mark Goodacre’s post about having his 4 millionth hit!  But I will say this has been quite a useful experiment.  I have met quite a few quality people that I never would have otherwise.  Hopefully it has been helpful for a few people researching PhD programs in the UK and for those in North America moving here.  I will definitely keep on, and will hopefully post more substantive scholarly things periodically.

Thanks to all who keep up with me here.

The British New Testament Conference is meeting in Durham next week: 4-6 September 2008.  I had the pleasure of being the local treasurer.  I’m also giving a paper in the Hermeneutics section.  It is basically a chunk from my introduction justifying my methodology of reading Paul in light of the Fathers.  Here’s my abstract:

‘A Conversation between the New Testament and the Fathers: Expectations and Problems’

Patristic interpretation of biblical texts is gaining an increasing amount of attention from within the biblical studies guild (e.g., Bockmuehl’s emphasis on Wirkungsgeschichte in his Seeing the Word). Many studies in this area focus on the history of interpretation, starting with the biblical text and moving out from there to discuss how later interpreters have received the text. These are helpful studies, but they beg the question of whether we can frame the question of interpretation from the opposite direction. Can we have a heuristic exploration of NT texts by placing them in conversation with patristic writers? That is, can we start from the patristic writers and responsibly investigate the biblical text based on their interpretations? I initially explore a justification for this methodology within a historical critical context, but because of the limitations of THE historical critical approach, I then explore philosophical hermeneutics and theological interpretation as better models for framing the conversation. Within this discussion the issue of anachronism, or making the NT texts parrot later readings, is central. I argue that to counteract this problem we must allow each party to speak fully within the conversation. Thus, after listening to the patristic writers, we use their questions and constructions to interact with the biblical texts, but we also allow the texture of the biblical texts to speak for themselves. To conclude we will use Irenaeus’ interpretation of the Pauline conception of adoption as a working example.