On Greek Readers: Introduction
I have a great fondness for Greek readers, i.e., editions of Greek texts with notes that allow you to read them with greater ease. Those with text-critical notes are great, but the things that really help are notes on vocabulary, morphology, syntax, and idiom. Soon after I first started Greek I remember seeing Perschbacher’s Refresh Your Greek and thinking, "Gee, I wish there was more of that around." Actually, I don’t say "Gee" in normal speech. Regardless, this out-of-print work was great. Of course now you can get the Reader’s Greek New Testament. Is it as good? Well, it’s better than nothing at all, for sure, but it’s not ideal. I don’t own it yet and I’m not planning on buying one for general use as I love my NET/NA27 diglot. I’m just writing vocab in the margin that one as I feel the need.
But I don’t want to have to do that with every Greek work I want to read; I would like to see more readers editions of Greek texts. Sure, there’s going to be a lot of texts that I want to work through slowly, hitting the lexicons and syntax books hard trying to figure out as much as I can in greater depth. But most of the Greek text I want to read I would rather not spend that much time on. I’d rather have a readers edition that lets me read more quickly.
Of course it’s a pipe dream to expect that to happen to most Hellenistic Greek texts, at least in my lifetime. But more readers will be made, even if I have to make some of them myself. These posts are for anyone out there who would consider creating a reader’s edition of a text. Since this is something I myself want to do, this post and its musings are as much for me as they are for anybody else. If you have any ideas/opinions on this, please speak up. For now we’ll start with what I consider are the basic types of readers.
As I muse I’ll occasionally pull out thoughts that I want to focus on. I’ll summarize these later and make these "Eric’s Rules for Greek Readers". Of course, let me know if you would add some.
First we will talk about different types of readers. Stay tuned...