[b-greek] Re: A question about koine pronunciation

From: Glenn Cook (pule67@hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 11:51:14 EST

Do not agree, Carl. Those things you mention have too much vested interest
in them, too much power is at play and too many fortunes or in the balance.

This is more like agreeing on a common system of spelling. I know that we
have not found final agreement even here in the English, but we have made
great strides toward it.

I agree that we should go to the metric system, but again here we have a
very large invested interest in not doing so and fear as well as laziness is
a big factor here. But the world as a whole, despite all of these problems,
has made great strides here. The USA the primary abstainer, to its own loss,
and someday it will have to go along.

Maybe the problem with getting people to use the same transliteration is not
stubbornest on their part, but they do not know that there is a common
transliteration used by the list. Maybe all we need to do is tell them about
it and ask them to please use it. Most people are happy to cooperate when
kindly asked to do so. Would not it be wonderful if we could do away with
transliteration and just use the original letters. There are some very smart
people on this list that should be able to work this out for us. Then again
I am not smart enough in this area either, to know the problems. Just
wishful thinking.

I fail to see where there is that pool of invested interest in the various
pronunciations of Koine Greek and most of the people involved are not
intellectually lazy. They love and respect new learning.

Maybe we are just looking at all of these failures in other areas and
finding excuses for not trying. But then what do I know. I am out of the
loop anymore and not enough of a scholar in this area to even start to
understand the problems. Just an outsider looking in and saying maybe
someone should run it up the flag pole and see who salutes it. If someone of
your stature did it they might find more people ready to salute it than not.

It would seem to be a worthwhile academic exercise.

Anyway I love all of you and appreciate the help everyone has given me and
only pray that you will all be blessed as you continue to try and find
deeper and better understandings in this wonderful old language that is so
important to us that believe in and accept and love the teachings of Jesus
and His Apostles.

Glenn Cook
P.O. Box 123
Aurora, Utah
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Cc: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu.>
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 8:21 AM
Subject: [b-greek] Re: A question about koine pronunciation

> At 7:45 AM -0700 11/10/00, Glenn Cook wrote:
> >Scholars on this list
> >
> >Being a very little Greeker and not too smart, I have trouble
> >all the fuss here. I am an audio reader and so have to hear a word when I
> >read it, even in English, so need some type of pronunciation for the
> >
> >But! As the Koine pronunciation is dead and I will never go have a
> >conversation with a native Koine speaker, what difference does it make
> >pronunciation I use? It would seem that trying to ascertain what the
> >original pronunciation was is impossible at this time, unless some of you
> >have audio recordings made during that period hidden away, and so we
> >all just agree on a pronunciation and go from there. We will only be
> >the pronunciation among ourselves anyway. Why is that so hard to do, even
> >we agree on the modern pronunciation?
> >
> >But then I am just a silly old man that is past worrying about being a
> >purest or prestige of scholarship and just happy to be able to set here
> >read in my library and enjoy the written word. I am just happy that we
> >these written records passed down to us from the past and wish we had
> >but also a realist enough to know that these writings and the scraps of
> >their lives that the archaeologists find for us is all we have. The audio
> >gone. Sad but true, and all the work we do can only be a guess at what it
> >was. And as long as we take that approach different scholars will take
> >different guesses, all on deep scholarship, and we will always have these
> >differences of pronunciation.
> >
> >There are not that many great Koine Greek scholars in the world. It would
> >seem that these could get together and agree on a pronunciation and we
> >all follow, realizing it was not the true pronunciation. But a working
> >that we could all use.
> >
> >I love reading the posts on this list and have the greatest respect for
> >scholarship, but sometimes wonder if ego is not taking over in some of
> >arguments.
> >
> >Now I will shut up with my ignorance and wait to be flamed.
> Flamed? On this list? We make an effort, and occasionally it is a
> considerable effort, to minimize that risk on B-Greek.
> Now to the substantive issue. As Rodney King asked a few years ago after
> being severely pummeled by L.A.'s Finest, "Can't we--uh--uh-- just--get
> along?" It really ought to be simple, shouldn't it. It surely ought to be
> simple to settle upon a common standard on a matter that is to everybody's
> advantage and to nobody's real disadvantage. We really ought to be able to
> settle upon a common currency for Europe and then have all the member
> states of the European Union actually use it; we really ought to be able
> get the U.S. to accept the far superior Metric system rather than go on
> on with our system of gallons and quarts and feet and inches and so forth,
> some of which goes back all the way to the Roman monetary system; God
> we ought to be able to settle upon a universally fair and consistent
> of voting and counting the ballots for a Presidential election; some might
> even be so bold as to say that those of us who are believers ought to find
> a way to respond to Jesus' prayer,"that they all may be one." But it turns
> out that it ain't so easy. We can't even get everyone on B-Greek to use
> same transliteration scheme, although most people do. I would not
> this to the inflated egos of scholars (they have enough on their
> consciences already, God knows!--and thank God, I'm not one of them!); if
> felt free to express a theological notion here, I'd suggest something
> original sin, but to be perfectly honest, I accept everything that a
> doctrine of original sin implies simply as an anthropological principle of
> something less than proven empirical verifiability: that human beings are
> just too ornery to be willing to reach a consensus on matters, even when
> would cost little to do so and serve their mutual interest. That old
> pre-Socratic curmudgeon Heraclitus has his own pithy way of saying it: hOI
> PLEISTOI ANQRWPOI KAKOI (EISIN)--and there's no way of knowing for sure
> whether he considered himself in the minority.
> --
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics/Washington University
> One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
> Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
> cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu
> cwconrad@ioa.com
> http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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