Me. Reading. Par for the course.

Hi, I’m George.

I like learning languages. I like studying the Bible, especially in the original languages. I lead a team that writes devotionals for my local church, The Mount, and am involved with planning/creating verbal elements for worship, among many other things.

As noted above, sphodra, Greek σφοδρα, means “exceedingly”. I found this word during Bible study, while reading about the wise men who came to see Jesus. Matthew tells us, “they rejoiced with a great joy exceedingly.”

In case you are wondering, the book pictured here is The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon. That was an immensely enjoyable read, by the way. Then again, that may be just me…

11 Responses to About

  1. Nick Norelli says:

    How many languages exactly do you read/speak?

    I’m gearing up to start learning Hebrew and Greek again. Hopefully this time I’ll stick with it.

  2. George says:

    I have studied a number of languages, but none professionally or academically. Learning languages is what I sit up into the wee hours doing.

    Speaking, I must admit but one that I am fluent in (that’d be English). I have had some reasonable conversations in Hindi (which is the only foreign language I can speak better than read/write). I had one conversation in Cantonese which amounted to, “Do you speak Cantonese? Yes. How about you? Only a little…”

    Reading and writing, I have studied Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish (but not very enthusiastically), German, Russian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Hindi (or properly Devanagari when talking about the written language) and Mandarin Chinese.

    So that’s around 13/14 other than English that I have some level of familiarity with. Most I’d require a dictionary or an internet connection to really do well, because my vocabulary is poor though I understand the grammar.

    And as if I didn’t have enough to hold my attention, I’m a software programmer/analyst by trade, and have working experience with the programming languages Assembly, BASIC, FORTRAN, Pascal, C, C++, Java, C#, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, HTML, XML, CSS, ActionScript, JavaScript and VBScript.

    I’m actually glad to be getting back to Greek. Greek is where it all really started for me. From there I started picking up every foreign language I could find a decent book on. Now I’m back to it, and finding that my experience with other languages, even things as foreign to Greek as Chinese, helps immensely. And I’m finding I remember a lot more than I thought I did.

    Happy learning!

  3. Nick Norelli says:

    Thanks! I’ve gone back through a number of your posts and I can tell that your blog is going to help me out quite a bit. Keep up the good work!

  4. Jarrett Broadwell says:

    Hello there George! You and I met at Barnes and Noble Greenville not long ago. I will be calling you sometime soon to visit, as I drive to Clemson from time to time. By the way, I adore the word “sphodra” because all that we have inherited as heirs with Christ is exceedingly above anything I could think of, understand, or ask. You chose that word well!

  5. thanks for sharing your interests George, and for posting the second declensions chart. Just started my first year of Greek. Keep up the good work.

  6. hey,

    nice work george. σφόδρα is a well chosen word indeed..
    i m not even sure how i browsed to this site, so , since i did, i thought to tell you i admire your effort to learn greek an i can see u re doing well. i m a programmer too and i m Greek, so in case u can think of sth that i could help u with, especially with use of greek, expressions, etc. do not hesitate to ask me.

    καλή μάθηση και καλή συνέχεια,


  7. Pingback: A New to Me Biblio/Theo-blog – σφόδρα | Unsettled Christianity

  8. Pingback: Polyglot Meme | σφόδρα – exceedingly

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  10. Bookspread says:

    What does it mean to “create verbal elements for worship”? I would interpret it as writing sermons, or making up words that praise the spiritual aspect of your life, but I’m probably wrong.

    • George says:

      Bookspread, thanks for stopping by!

      Verbal elements for worship are usually short teaching elements (non-sermon), though I’ve written/executed sermons as well. Verbal elements often bridge between songs, trying to put a focus on the major theme of a passage, and the connection between what we are singing and saying (this is probably the most common use, whatever the format). Sometimes they are more like prayers, and at other times they are more like short dramas. Sometimes they are just the perfect scripture at the perfect moment. Often they are aimed at challenging or encouraging, or even reminding.

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