Re: Accents in NT Greek

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Sun Apr 11 1999 - 12:13:21 EDT

David Writes;

>I would appreciate your learned advice
>on the relevance of accents to NT Greek.

Hi David ~

While I do not qualify as a "learned advice" giver, I do have some
thoughts on this topic.

Accents can be regarded as pronounciation aids that occassionally [and
regularly] do have morphological implications. If one is reading the
GNT out loud, they will have great value to non-Greeks like most of us
in our efforts to speak it.

Should we learn to *speak* Koine?

I think that an intensive semester of spoken modern Greek PRIOR to
studying Koine or Attic Greek might be really valuable, especially if
it was taught by a native Greek speaker. Better still, perhaps, would
be learning the Koine from a modern Greek speaker proficient in it,
who would teach it orally in much the same way that French is taught,
where only Greek is spoken in class [with rare exceptions.] This in
conjunction with an English language class learning as we now are
taught. Can you imagine being able to converse with your classmates
in Koine Greek?? And then go read the Daily Athenian? Oral
immersion, as well as textual immersion, would seem to be a very
accelerated method of learning Bible Greek, and modern Greek
pronounciation could be its audible foundation.

Having a living [modern] version of spoken Greek to work from in our
study of the Koine would seem to be very valuable indeed. [And I
freely admit that I am being imaginatively speculative in this
proposal...] One benefit would be the freeing of ourselves from the
whole issue of various pronunciation schemes, and our Americanized or
Anglicized versions of them.

The value of our attempts to pronounce Koine as we imagine it was
probably spoken in the 1st century is very questionable to me.

The value of hearing and understanding the GNT read out loud in modern
Greek pronunciation would seem to me to be much to be prized.

My two cents ~

George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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