I primarily write these posts about New Testament (or Koine) Greek for people who are just starting to learn Greek, or for people who are thinking about learning Greek. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help some people who are struggling to learn the language (either in a class or on their own) and who are struggling to use it.
For now, think about Greek vocabulary. In a previous post (“Memorizing Vocabulary“), I explained the way that I study vocabulary. In the post, I said that I made cards for each Greek vocabulary word, putting the Greek word on one side and a gloss (or several glosses) on the other side. Why did I say “gloss” instead of “definition” or “meaning”? Well, because there’s a big difference.
And, this is important for people to understand as they are learning vocabulary for any language. I’m working on a series of posts in which I will discuss the differences (and connections) between a word’s definitions, glosses, and referents. I will also discuss why it is important for us (even new students of Greek) to recognize the differences.
For now, I ask you this question: What is the difference between a definition, a gloss, and a referent?