Re: Lexicon of the Papyri and Koine

From: Edgar Krentz (
Date: Wed Apr 21 1999 - 09:18:14 EDT

>Dear Fellow Greek-lovers,
>I just started teaching myself Greek recently, but I enjoy flipping through
>the pages of advanced books like Robertson's Grammar (it's a good source of
>"untidy input"). Robertson wrote that there was a need for a lexicon of
>the papyri and then of the entire Koine. Have either of these works been
>undertaken? If so, what are the names of the books?

There is no lexicon of the papyri or of Koine Greek that is relatively
complete. Moulton and Milligan only
 treat vocabulary that is also found in the NT. And the corpus of published
papyri is so large-and still growing-that a complete lexicon is virtually
impossible. The Oxyrrhnchus papyri have now reached some 50 volumes, and
are still not all published, 100 years after their discovery.

The best lexicon for Koine Greek-though not of Koine per se-is Liddle Scott
Jones in its latest printing. Koine includes numerous writers from the
Greco-Roman world, inscriptions, papyri, some [but not all] early Christian
literature, etc. In point of fact, there is not even an agreed on canon of
Koine authors.

Don't despair. LSJ is really quite good for this.

Edgar Krentz
Professor of New Testament Emeritus
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 E. 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615 USA
e-mail: (Office) (Home)

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