Re: Did Paul Speak Greek with a Turkish Accent?

From: Stephen C. Carlson (
Date: Thu Mar 18 1999 - 21:04:58 EST

At 08:28 AM 3/18/99 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Although I don't
>really approve of reading the GNT in a Modern Greek pronunciation, I do
>suspect that it's a good deal closer to the way NT Koine sounded in the
>first century than any of our reconstructed "Erasmian" schemes.

One of the most interesting things about the B-Greek meeting at last
fall's SBL in Orlando was Randall Buth's sharing of his experience
in teaching NT Koine with a reconstructed pronunciation scheme that
wasn't Erasmian and wasn't Modern, but a balanced compromise. If I
can recall correctly, Randall basically started with Modern Greek
but reintroduced the vowel distinctions that were maintained in the
papyri. He did not, however, propose distinctions that were commonly
confused in the papyri.

Thus, his vowels were: A, E=AI, H, I=EI, O=W, OU, and U=OI.

Listening to Randall, I found his pronunciation of (NT Koine) Greek
to be clear and understandable, even if a bit unfamiliar. If I got
any details wrong, I hope Randall would feel free to join in.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson              
Synoptic Problem Home Page
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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