Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's all Greek to me

I've decided that I'm going to teach myself New Testament Greek. I've gotten two books from the library, one by Mounce and the other by Macnair, to see which one I like better before I buy one.

I decided this after a few Sunday School classes where the Reverends teaching the class discuss how the meaning of Bible passages change based on what is and isn't translated, or is translated in certain ways.

The other thing I'm in the process of doing is reading passages with a commentary open. As well as trying to get a grasp on the history of the times and the geography. Macnair gives a "starters kit" for references as well as a bigger list of books to consider as one progresses.

It feels daunting but at the same time very exciting. I've just gotten tired of feeling like I'm only getting half the story or in many ways half the meaning. And I've gotten tired of having to depend on someone else to provide the context for passages.

I worry that I am running the risk of removing myself from community (learning and growing within a group). That I'm putting myself back in my head...I suppose I should ask my Pastor about mentors or Spiritual Directors...and I suppose I haven't because then I feel like I can't do this at my own pace. And if this makes sense...I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a race. Breathe, I'll get there - the desire to know won't go away.

So I've narrowed my "tugs" (or consistently loudest inner naggings) down to spiritual study and photography, which has helped immensely. I don't feel quite so inwardly disjointed and disorganized. I was struggling with trying to do a great many time consuming tasks, like writing (this need is sated here in my world of blog), and drawing which I enjoy but I am self teaching which a very slow process.

My first Macnair lessons where learning the Greek alphabet by "translating" Greek letters into English words like God, psalms, bag, well you get the point. Macnair suggests going through his book quickly twice, and not worrying about mastering everything at once - it'll come, then go through it more slowly the third time. I like that style. I haven't cracked open Mounce yet so I can't speak to his approach.


Lee said...

Wow, JSD, that learning Greek sounds challenging. I used to know the Greek alphabet but I think I've forgotten most of it. Let me know how this study goes...ok?

What are you using to teach yourself drawing? When I took a drawing class at college the teacher used exercises from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Have you made acquaintances with any of our resident artists at church?


jsd said...

Yeah, I think the easiest thing to learn will be the alphabet. Sure thing about keeping you updated.

I have the right side of the brain book. But, my drawing interests are Manga. There's a Manga drawing series and I have two of those, and a friend got me a book. I can look at what someone else has done and come close to an exact copy. I have difficulty getting my own images on to paper. I think because I'm still struggling with the basics.

When I was drawing everyday I was getting Manga faces and hair down pretty well. But perspective and shadows left something to be desired.

As for making acquaintances with other artists at church - not really. A.P. and I talk photography from time to time, and I'll talk poetry with T.K./P.B. as well as admire T.K.'s paintings. But not really...the people at church can talk the lingo and technique, and well, I just do it. Though I am focusing on improving my photography technique and lingo.

Lee said...

Can you draw people you know in Manga style? Do you use Manga to describe characteristics of personality? Or of physical form? Someone once did a caricature of me and it reminded me of a cartoon character I'd seen once. What would you look like in Manga style?


jsd said...

I've never tried to draw people I know, especially not by just looking at them (I'm not that good). I imitate by looking at "things" already drawn on paper.

"What would you look like in Manga style?" I'd look alot like me but in a type of art form, maybe a little skinnier :-)