An Engrained Tendency

I have an iPad. I also have Accordance for the iPad. This combination for biblical studies is a force to be reckoned with. Currently I carry the following around with me virtually everywhere I go: KJVA, ESV, NET, NIV, ASV, Vulgate, Greek New Testament (and text critical notes), Hebrew Old Testament (and text critical notes), Vulgate, Syriac NT, Pseudepigrapha (in Greek and English), Apocrypha (in Greek and English), Josephus (in Greek and English), Apostolic Fathers (in Greek and English), the IVP reference dictionaries, several Greek and Hebrew lexicons, a French and German version of the Bible, facsimile editions of sinaiticus, vaticanus, etc, thousands of journal articles, and many other modules.

I say this because I want you to realize that every one of the Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, and Latin texts are tagged. This means that if I don’t know the meaning of some particular word, all I have to do is touch it and it will be instantly defined. Furthermore, if I don’t know the case, gender, number of a noun, or the tense, voice, mood, person, number of the word, it gives me that information too.


Which brings me to my point…when translating through John in German, I find it difficult to not punch a hole durch mein iPad. I keep lightly touching the word I don’t know. When that doesn’t work, I look to see if my finger is on the word. When that doesn’t work, I, like the individual who is flustered when he encounters a locked door, think that force is at the heart of the issue. I try to push harder, and harder, and harder until it eventually dawns on me, “This isn’t how real translation works…people use dictionaries to look up words they don’t know.” In turn, this realization gave way to a second, “Just because most students, and dare I say scholars, cheat with this and other helpful software, when it comes to learning German…gasp…I might actually have to learn German.”

Well…back to the grind.

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