thinking Greek

From: Mark House (
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 10:42:51 EDT

Mark Beatty wrote:

>>Is this really the case that "Greek" is not a living language? I have
been wondering
about the relationship between Modern and Koine Greek and the value of
studying Modern Greek to get insights into Koine.
>>Yes, there are differences in some word meanings, but during a recent stay
in Athens I was asked "POU MEVETE?" which is the same thing the disciples
asked Jesus in John 1:28 (except our friend used the plural since she was
addressing my wife and I). And when you answer the phone you use NAI just
like Peter answered Jesus in John 21:15.

I had an interesting experience on a flight a couple of years ago. I sat
next to a Greek man now living in the states, but who grew up in Greece and
was still fluent in the language, which he used to communicate with his
relatives "back home." (He was, in fact, returning to L.A. from Greece when
I met him.) I mentioned that I taught New Testament Greek and we had an
interesting conversation about the differences. He told me he had recently
begun reading the NT in Koine, and was surprised by how much of it he could
understand. His impression was that despite the differences, Koine and
Modern Greek are very much one language. It made me wonder how much I might
be missing by not having learned Modern Greek as a "living language."

Mark House

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