By Olive Tree Staff: Matthew Jonas

Some of you may have noticed that the parsed version of the NA28 text that Olive Tree is now offering uses a different parsing database than the parsed NA27 text that we offer.  The parsing database that Olive Tree offers with the NA27 is the Mounce-Koivisto parsing database.  It is based on the work of both Dr. William Mounce and Dr. Rex Koivisto.  The new parsing system is based entirely on the work of Dr. Mounce.

Both systems provide the sort of basic parsing information that students and pastors would typically expect:  tense, voice, mood, person, and number for verbs; case, number, and gender for nouns, and so forth.  The Mounce-Koivisto also includes some additional data at times that the new system does not contain, such as types for pronouns (demonstrative, personal, etc.) and syntactical information about the uses of conjunctions (coordinating vs. subordinating, temporal, causal, etc.)  However, since the new Mounce system is simpler, it is also more straightforward and easier to understand in some cases.

If the basic parsing data is very similar between the two systems, you may wonder what the advantage of the new one is.  The answer has to do not so much with the parsings themselves as it does with the accompanying set of glosses.  The parsings that Olive Tree has made available with the NA28 contain much fuller glosses than the parsings that are offered with the NA27.  The glosses are an important distinctive feature of the Mounce-Koivisto parsings as compared to AGNT, which uses an excellent parsing system, but has no glosses.  The addition of fuller and more accurate glosses in the new Mounce parsings make this even more of an advantage.

For example, the difference between the older glosses and the newer glosses is very apparent when looking at a preposition such as ἐν.  The Mounce-Koivisto (NA27) gloss is “(+dat) in, with, by, to.”  The Mounce (NA28) gloss is “Spatially: in, inside, at, among, with; logically: by means of, with, because of; of time: during, while.”  Not every gloss is as long as this, but fuller and more accurate glosses are given for certain words such as in this example.

My experience has been that once a student has learned the basic forms of nouns and verbs that the main barrier to reading the New Testament is unfamiliar vocabulary rather than unfamiliar forms.  The fuller set of glosses that are part of the new Mounce parsing system will hopefully make it easier to bridge the gap between the shorter glosses that students learn when starting out and the fuller definitions found in lexicons.  These coupled with Dr. Mounce’s straightforward parsing system and the text of the NA28 make this a valuable resource for anyone interested in the Greek New Testament.