B-Greek FAQ/Welcome Message

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Jun 24 1999 - 06:55:43 EDT

B-Greek FAQ 98/06/15
The Biblical Greek Mailing List


Contents of this information message:

A. Description of the list
     1. Purpose
     2. The B-Greek Community
B. Posting to the List
     1. Where to send commands and messages
     2. "Reply" function of mailing programs
C. Housekeeping:
     1. subscribing
     2, unsubscribing
     3. easier yet: use the B-Greek Home Page e-mail links
D. Netiquette
E. Transliteration Schemes
F. Website and Archives


     1. Purpose: B-GREEK is an electronic conference designed to foster
communication concerning the scholarly study of the Greek Bible and related
Jewish and Christian Greek texts, matters of concern to beginning and
advanced students of Biblical Greek such as textbooks, reference works,
bibliography and research tools, with a fundamental focus on understanding
the Greek text of the Bible. Anyone interested in New Testament Studies is
invited to subscribe, but the list will assume at least a working knowledge
of Biblical Greek.

     2. The B-Greek Community: B-Greek was started by David Marotta at the
the Center for Christian Study, an independent Christian ministry at the
University of Virginia. In 1998, David asked to step down as list owner. We
are grateful to David for his vision of a forum where the Greek text and
language of the Bible are discussed in detail by an eclectic group of
beginning students and veteran teachers, laymen and clergy, conservatives
and liberals, earnest inquirers and academic scholars - all equally
committed to probing the Biblical text in the original Koine, and jointly
exploring the mysteries and probabilities of Biblical Greek morphology and

        3. The List-Owner: Jonathan Robie

        4. The Co-Chairs: Carl Conrad
                                Edward Hobbs


     1. Where to send commands and messages: Remember two simple

If it's a command (SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE), send it to the list requester:


If it's a message for general distribution to the members of the list, send
it to the list:


     2. "Reply" function of mailing programs

The software used by the B-Greek list automatically formats replies to go
to the list. If you wish to respond directly and off-list to the sender of
a message, be careful to copy that person's e-address into the TO: line in
your reply message header. Please be careful in this regard; neglect of it
may result in an embarrassing distribution of what you meant to be a
private message to the whole list.


     1. Subscribing: You may SUBSCRIBE by sending an e-mail message to


with the following request as the text of the message.


If you want to subscribe to only a digested version of the list, then give
the command


You can be subscribed to both the immediate version and the digested
version of the list at the same time.

     2. Unsubscribing: If you wish to GET OFF THE LIST follow these
instructions: (You don't need to send both the B-GREEK and the
B-GREEK-DIGEST versions unless you are subscribed to both.)

Try sending the following message to b-greek-request@franklin.oit.unc.edu


As a last resort, contact the list-owner at jwrobie@mindspring.com, but
there isn't anything that he can do other than what is listed here which
you can do.

     3. Easier yet: use the B-Greek Home Page e-mail links: point your web
browser to:

You will find there convenient automatic mail links that will send
"subscribe" or "unsubscribe" requests directly to majordomo@virginia.edu

D. Netiquette:

     1. Respectful discourse: Those who participate in the conference
represent a wide range of theological and denominational perspectives,
perhaps even including some whose interests are purely academic. Deep
religious convictions surely characterize many, perhaps most, of the
list-participants, and some of these convictions bear directly upon how the
Biblical text is to be understood. At the core of our discussion, however,
is not what our convictions are but what the Greek text may legitimately be
understood to mean. If discussion of this nature is to succeed, proper
respect and courtesy to other list members is important. While scholarly
debate, including disagreement, is encouraged as a goal of this conference,
attacks upon the character, intelligence, or faith of those participating
are not acceptable. Criticism must focus upon the arguments of others; it
may not be directed to the individual. Those who violate this policy will
be contacted politely by the B-Greek staff and requested to conform to
these guidelines. Those who continue to violate the policy will no longer
be welcome in the conference.

     2. It is considered to be in very poor taste to post to the list items
that have been sent off list. Before doing so always consult the author to
see if this is acceptable. Complaints from authors of messages that have
been posted to the list without their consent will be reviewed by the BG
Staff and appropriate action will be taken, if necessary.

     3. No advertisements or job-postings are allowed without the approval
of the list-owner, Jonathan Robie <jwrobie@mindspring.com>. Please clear
your requests before posting. Those directly related to the subject matter
of B-GREEK will probably be approved.

     4. Signatures: It is a courtesy expected of B-Greek subscribers that
messages should indicate, at least in the "From" header, the personal name
as well as the e-address, or else should at least sign their posts with
personal names. Indications of the locality from which they write would
help personalize further for others the sender of a message. Academic or
institutional information may be appended also, but there is no privilege
associated with any academic or institutional status so-indicated.

E. Transliteration Schemes:


     B-Greek has from the beginning allowed every poster to use
any scheme he/she found comfortable, since we all could usually
figure out what text was meant. For those who wish some
guidance, a generally accepted scheme has evolved on the List,
with two or three matters still not fully settled.

(1) CAPITALS are used when transliterating Greek letters, on a
one-to-one basis, reserving lower-case {i} to represent
iota-subscript and lower-case {h} to represent rough breathing.
No accents, no smooth breathings. And no distinction between
medial and final Sigma.

(2) If accents are really necessary, to distinguish otherwise
identical words, acute is represented by {/}, grave by {\}, and
circumflex either by tilde {~ [preferable]} or {=} -- always
AFTER the vowel over which it would be written.

(3) A few characters without Roman single-character form are
usually done with almost-look-alike Roman characters otherwise

     Theta = Q
     Eta = H
     Psi = Y (upsilon is always U)
     Omega = W

(4) Digraphs (in the usual Roman transliteration) are handled in
three different ways to avoid two-letter transliterations, all
involving otherwise-unused Roman letters:

     THeta uses Q ("look-alike", as above).
     PSi uses Y ("look-alike", as above).
     PHi uses F (sound equivalence).
     CHi uses C (first letter of traditional digraph).

(5) Xi and Chi: There being no single Roman letter for "Xi"
other than X, the "look-alike" use of X for "Chi" is confusing,
though some use it. And some seem to like to use C for "Sigma."
Since S is otherwise unused, and poses no confusion whatever,
using C for "Sigma" makes for problems in decoding back to Greek,
especially since it is the only letter available for "Chi"
(unless X is used, thus posing a problem for "Xi"). And
occasionally someone uses P for "Rho", making problems for how to
represent "Pi".


               Usual in Traditional
               B-Greek (uses macrons and digraphs)

alpha A a
beta B b
gamma G g
delta D d
epsilon E e
zeta Z z
eta H e with macron
theta Q th
iota I i
kappa K k
lambda L l
mu M m
nu N n
xi X x
omicron O o
pi P p
rho R r
sigma S s
tau T t
upsilon U u
phi F ph
chi C ch
psi Y ps
omega W o with macron

rough breathing h h
iota-subscript i (i)

F. Web-site and Archives:

     1. B-Greek Home Page: http://sunsite.unc.edu/bgreek/
     Here you will find a text of this FAQ, easy e-mail links for
subscribing and unsubscribing, and links to the B-Greek Archives.

     2. B-Greek Archives: http://sunsite.unc.edu/bgreek/archives/index.html
     Here may be found the correspondence accumulated from list-members
since the inception of the list in 1992. There are gems here, and to assist
you to discover them, the webmaster, Jonathan Robie, has provided a
powerful search engine that will quickly enable you to find discussions on
a topic of interest to you, if in fact, that topic has at some point in the
history of the list also been of interest to others.
end of B-Greek FAQ 98/06/15

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

B-Greek home page: http://sunsite.unc.edu/bgreek
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