THE STANDARDS AND ELEMENTS
BY: ADOLPH E. KNOCH
A WORD FAMILY
The great value of standards in the multitudinous affairs of life is gaining recognition. If the English alphabet were not standardized, few would be able to read these lines. If building material were not made to feet and inches the cost and confusion would be staggering. How much we owe to standard measures and weights and money is beyond estimate. The value of the CONCORDANT VERSION is largely due to the system of standards to which all is referred.
At first it was thought sufficient to assign each word a standard English equivalent. Much as this helped, it fell far short of our ideal. So the whole vocabulary of the Greek scriptures was analyzed into its Elements, and to each of these was assigned a STANDARD, Thus, for example, two elements, FROM and COVERing, in combination, became FROM-COVERing, with a secondary standard, unveiling. Whenever possible, these elementary STANDARDS, which are printed in SMALL CAPITALS, appear in the sublinear, beneath the Greek word, commencing under its initial letter. They will be found delightfully suggestive and profitable.
The elementary standards, in SMALL CAPITALS, will associate a word, in the English reader’s mind, with a host of relatives, which only a Greek scholar would have otherwise observed. Thus the element FROM, in “unveiling”, links it with scores of other words which also contain this element, but which have no visible relation to “unveiling” in English. There are about eleven hundred word-elements in the vocabulary of the Greek scriptures, besides the grammatical elements. These are used in many combinations to form the vocabulary, which God has hallowed as His chosen means of revealing Himself.
The reverent reader will make many delightful discoveries as he notes the Elements of which words are formed. For example, the distinction between repentance and regret becomes clear when we see that the first is after-MIND, and the latter after-CARE.
It has not always seemed best to put the primary standard in the sublinear, for it could not be so readily understood as a secondary form. Thus UN-MARK, meaning miss the mark has been uniformly replaced by “miss”, with “sin” in the version. In a very few cases both primary and secondary standards have been used, as “after”, for WITH, for this is its meaning when used with the accusative case, and “make” for DO in cases where DO would not be intelligible. A reference to the Concordance or Elements, in the companion volume to the Version, will make such points plain. One who wishes to study the standards should use the Concordance diligently, and in a short time he will be thinking the language of the scriptures just as though he were a Greek of the first century, even through he may not know a letter of the language.
A WORD FAMILY
As an example we will give the whole family of words which have the element ACT, and the resulting English words, as they appear in the Concordance. It will repay reading.
ACT, work, (verb)
ACT, work, trade, (noun)
ACTion, vocation, income, make a business of
ABOUT ACTer, meddler, meddling art
DOWN-ACT, effect, produce
DOWN-UN-ACT, DOWN-idle, abolish, abrogate,discard, exempt, become inert, nullify, vanish, waste
GOOD-ACT, do good act
HOME-ACTer, worker at home
IN-ACTing, active, operative
PEOPLE-ACT, officiate, minister
PEOPLE-ACT, officiation, ministry
PEOPLE-ACTer, officer, minister
PEOPLE-ACTic, official, ministering
SACRED-ACT, act as a priest
TOGETHER-ACT, work together, fellow worker
TOGETHER-ACTer, fellow worker
TOGETHER-UNDER-ACT, assist together
UN-ACT, be idle, inactive
UN-ACTive, idle, inactive
WELL-ACT, be a benefactor
We confidently assert that the grammatical standards have so simplified Greek grammar and have made it so comfortably accessible to students that no one of average intelligence need fear to attempt a study of the glorious speech of inspiration. This can be done by means of the GREEK COURSE and GRAMMATICAL ELEMENTS published in the companion volume. The assignment of an English standard equivalent to every grammatical form and the tests to which these have been submitted in actual practice has corrected the confusion into which the subject has fallen, and is by far the simplest, sanest and most satisfactory means of mastering this matter, which is popularly supposed to be most difficult.
There is an analytical Greek Testament, which has an analysis of all the verbs in the margin. In this, for instance, opposite Ro.15:15 we find “egrapsa aor. 1 ind., graphô.” The words in italics are in modern Greek characters which many do not know. “Aor.” for aorist is foreign to most intelligent Bible readers. And “Aor.1” needs a deal of learning to properly interpret. “Ind.” for indicative ought to be easily understood. But how much easier it is to turn to the CONCORDANT VERSION and find that this word is I-WRITE. Of course, it comes from the element WRITE. Any one knows that is indefinite indicative, even though he does not understand these terms.
Each grammatical form is given a corresponding English STANDARD. This model simplifies matters much for those who do not take kindly to abstruse grammatical terms.
Number – When the plural is not fixed by the form of the English the italic letter p is added to it.
Person – First person, I and WE; second, YOU and YE; third person singular is usually apparent form the form of the English verb, plural THEY. The third person singular is it, he, or she, according to the context.
Case – The nominative and the objective cases take the place of the nominative and the accusative in Greek. The genitive case, which denotes source or character, answering the question whence? is noted by prefixing OF-. The dative case, which denotes rest in, or location, answering the question where! is indicated by to-. The OF- is understood after the connectives which denote origin, as THRU, FROM, etc. The to- is also omitted after characteristic connectives.
Gender – As this is usually of no import to the English reader, it will not always be found in the SUBLINEAR unless it has an English equivalent. When indicated, m is masculine, f is feminine, and c is common. The so-called neuter, of indefinite, forms really have no gender and are not marked.
Mood – The infinitive is rendered TO- as, TO-WRITE. The indicative is I-AM-WRITING. The subjunctive uses I-MAY-BE-WRITING. The optative is MAY-I-WRITE. The imperative is WRITE and LET-him-WRITE. The participle ends in -ING, WRITING.
Tense – The so-called aorist or indefinite form is really not a tense at all, combining the marks of both past and future in its composition, unless it may be called a past-future. It corresponds with the indefinite present, I-WRITE. It is used of all three tenses in Rom.8:30: He designates beforehand (past), He calls and justifies (present), He glorifies (future).
The past is as ours, I-WROTE.
The present in Greek presents an action as actually under way, and is best rendered by the English present participle, I-AM- WRITING.
The future is marked by -SHALL- in the first person and -WILL- in the second and third. As it is a modification of the present it becomes I-SHALL-BE-WRITING, YOU- or he-WILL-BE-WRITING. The complete of “perfect” tense denotes the state resulting form an action. The standard is I-HAVE-WRITTEN. English idiom often uses special forms, as, “what you bind on earth shall be binding (have been bound) in heaven.” (Mt.16:19)
The past-complete, or “pluperfect”, is I-HAD-WRITTEN.
Voice – The Active and Passive are I-WRITE, it-IS-WRITTEN. The Middle is indicated by the passive in italics, when it is not involved in the meaning of the word. Actions, which affect the actor, as coming and going, have a special form in Greek. The LEXICON* deals with each word separately.
It is common, in Greek grammars, to list many verbs which have the form of the Middle, as Passive. After a thorough investigation, we have fully satisfied ourselves that the form of a Greek verb determines its voice, and those which are Middle in form are actually Middle in usage. To call them Passive has no warrant and is unnecessarily confusing. This classification greatly simplifies the Greek verb. All the forms and their English standards will be given in full in the GRAMMAR*.
As the method employed in this work has forced us to settle on standards, which are not in full accord with current Greek grammars, we deem it our duty to offer a full explanation for at least one of the changes, so as to show why we differ. We have purposely chosen the most difficult problem of the Greek verb, for its solution should justify us when varying slightly on other points, without further explanation than that, in each case our position is practical, is under continuous test, and actually works.
*from CONCORDANT GREEK TEXT © 1975
© Concordant Publishing Concern
STANDARD AND ELEMENTS, THE [Adolph E. Knoch] 1