Grammar for New Testament Greek

A long time ago, in radically different institutional and editorial circumstances, I wrote a Greek textbook called A Grammar for New Testament Greek. I didn’t set out to write a Greek textbook, but thought it was worth someone producing a somewhat updated version of an earlier volume. The first time through, I made modest editorial corrections to the preceding volume, out of respect for the earlier author. Then I was instructed that the author wanted nothing to do with the revised edition at all, and that I should go through and make sure that none of the earlier author’s words were perpetuated in what now had to be a textbook of my own. You have probably never tried to do something like that — especially in the discourse of language instruction, where there are (after all) only so many ways to describe the formation of the aorist middle participle — but it’s painfully complicated. The awkward textual maneuvering left footprints all over the manuscript, which had been edited in one of the most awkward possible sets of circumstances, and when the book was finally printed (without the agreed-upon third-party reader’s corrections), it was rendered less useable by the numerous typos and convolutions that it had grown through in its editing process.
At first I begged the publishers for a corrected edition continually; then I begged annually, when I saw them at professional meetings; after ten years or so, I figured they would just let it wither away and die a quiet death, and I didn’t have the persistence to argue for a revised edition, especially since several newer textbooks had come out with some of the features that had been distinctive benefits of my venture.
Fast forward another few years: Seabury-Western, at which I maintained an errata/corrigenda web page, along with chapter-by-chapter commentary and answers to exercises, has self-immolated and arisen from its ashes (in a very different form), like a phoenix whose ashes yield a blue jay; Seabury’s web ar hive has been nuked; I’ve moved on to Glasgow; and this morning I received an email from Duane Watson, as estimable scholar with impeccable (if somewhat odd) taste in textbooks. Duane asks what ever happened to those correction/answer pages that used to be on Seabury’s site?
In case anybody else is searching for them, they no longer exist as such, and although I ought to comb through them and substitute Unicode for all the defunct type-kludges that we used back in the early days of the Net, for the time being all I’m going to do is link to the relevant pages via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The institutional-reward system over here sniffs at at pedagogical writing, and corrections on a long-ago textbook would be regarded even less favourably (alas).
The mention of that book brings bittersweet memories. It was very good and forward-looking in some ways (verbal aspect, treating the middle voice as its own phenomenon and not as a sort adjunct to the passive, directing students to the New Testament text and lexicons as soon as possible), but the pain and humiliation from the typos, and my publisher’s unwillingness to produce a corrected edition, rankle. It’s (very!) gratifying that Prof. Watson is using the book, but it would be even greater if I’d been able to make it better from the start. And now I have another task to put on my to-do list — update the pages and port them over to a stable web location.

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