Re: Little Greek Guide to Learning New Testament Greek

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Oct 30 1997 - 10:19:29 EST

At 08:09 AM 10/30/97 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>when errors are discovered or potential improvements are envisioned,
>it's not necessary to go out and do a brand new printing of a book.

This is very important to me. I have never taught Greek in any setting, and
I am self-taught myself, but I figure that the people here can give me
adequate feedback to help me get it right.

>And with the possibility of doing sound on the web, there are so many
>ways that instruction is enhanced.

Yes, one of the big things I want to do is expose people to samples of text
being read, hopefully with decent prosody. I am an auditory person, and I
really need to hear language to absorb it.

>I don't know that this will ever obviate the need for printed texts, but I
think this
>site of yours, in its own modest way very much like the heavily-funded
>Perseus program, demonstrates that we really may be in the earlier phase of
>a revolution as fundamental as that of Gutenberg.

It most certainly will NOT replace printed texts, nor will it replace a
competent instructor; however, it might help people who are not able to
absorb the material using only printed texts, and who do not have access to
a competent instructor. And it may serve as a supplement, like a "language
lab" for those who do have both printed texts and instructors.

The crazy thing is, I am really impeded by one little technical problem: the
lack of a freely-distributable Greek font that works well in all web
browsers and has clearly readable diacritics. Because of this, it takes much
longer to develop the web pages, the appearance is significantly worse, and
it takes up more disk space than I want to give it.

>I have only one real complaint, and that is with your description of
>Erasmus as "a medieval monk." This may really have been meant as a
>light-hearted caricature, and also I may just be too touchy about this...


Since this comment occurs in a footnote anyways, could I just lift your
paragraph, and insert it as a quote in the footnote? I would probably do it
something like this:

Erasmian pronunciation. This is the pronunciation used here, and is based on
the way that a medieval monk named Erasmus liked to pronounce Greek. It is
almost certainly quite different from the way Greek was pronounced at the
time of the New Testament, but it is widespread among scholars, and it has
the advantage that every letter is pronounced, which makes it easy to grasp
the spelling of words.

        Note: Carl Conrad says, "<your quote here>".

        Note: I agree with all of this. But he is STILL a medieval monk!

If you have no objection, I'll do that.


Jonathan Robie

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