Greek Language Resources For DL Students

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by telefax, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Some useful links for those doing seminary via distance learning

    Search the standard Liddell-Scott-Jones-Mackenzie lexicon in English here

    Greek to English is here

    Parsing difficult forms can be done here

    All this is courtesy of the Perseus site from Tufts University.
  2. telefax

    telefax New Member

    B-Greek list

    Here's the link for the B-Greek discussion list. Its previous homes were UVA and later UNC-Chapel Hill, but it's now run by a cadre of academics and enthusiasts, including Carl Conrad, prof. emeritus from Washington University, St. Louis. It focuses on New Testament Greek and Old Testament Greek (the Septuagint translation of 350-250 BC), with a healthy dose of input from Classical Greek. Don't be intimidated, they welcome questions from newbies.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2009
  3. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Classic items

    Numerous useful Greek texts with expired copyright are at Textkit. This includes standard grammars such as Goodwin and Smyth/Messing, as well as introductory texts and annotated readers/

    Migne’s Patrologia Graeca is a vast but non-critical collection of Patristic authors.

    Woodhouse’s English to Greek Dictionary, courtesy of U. of Chicago. A classic work, and very expensive in print.
  4. telefax

    telefax New Member

    More modern items

    Free Teknia Greek font from Bill Mounce’s website. Some of his clean and uncluttered charts sampled on this site are also found in a useful $6 laminated foldout sheet.

    Here is Randall Buth’s Biblical Ulpan website gives a sample of his modern program for learning Koine Greek through pictures and audio – an extremely helpful approach.
  5. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Perseus 4.0 and C.S. Lewis

    There is a wonderful free tool available for rapid reading. Here are the collections of texts at the new Perseus 4.0. These include Plato, the books of the New Testament, Herodotus, etc. Perseus displays the Greek text, and you can click on a word when you get stalled by unusual vocabulary or forms. It will also display the English text in parallel if you choose. They use an excellent font which is very readable on the screen.

    In line with that reading tool, here’s some inspiration I had come across again for students studying Greek, which can sometimes seem quite a daunting task. C.S. Lewis, author and Oxford professor, wrote of the importance of simply READING the texts, even if one stumbles a bit at first. His point regarding ships is very perceptive by the way, and highlights which is wrong with so much instruction in the ancient languages. It’s from his book, “Surprised by Joy”, cited online here.

    “We opened our books at Iliad, Book 1. Without a word of introduction Knock read aloud the first twenty lines or so in the "new" pronunciation, which I had never heard before....He then translated, with a few, a very few explanations, about a hundred lines. I had never seen a classical author taken in such large gulps before. When he had finished he handed me over Crusius' Lexicon and, having told me to go through again as much as he had done, left the room. It seems an odd method of teaching, but it worked. At first I could travel only a very short way along the trail he had blazed, but every day I could travel further. Presently I could travel the whole way. Then I could go a line or two beyond his furthest North. Then it became a kind of game to see how far beyond. He appeared at this stage to value speed more than absolute accuracy. The great gain was that I very soon became able to understand a great deal without (even mentally) translating it; I was beginning to think in Greek. That is the great Rubicon to cross in learning any language. Those in whom the Greek word lives only while they are hunting for it in the lexicon, and who then substitute the English word for it, are not reading the Greek at all; they are only solving a puzzle. The very formula, "Naus means a ship," is wrong. Naus and ship both mean a thing, they do not mean one another. Behind Naus, as behind navis or naca, we want to have a picture of a dark, slender mass with sail or oars, limbing the ridges, with no officious English word intruding.”​
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2009
  6. telefax

    telefax New Member


    Here's the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, courtesy of the University of California. It’s an ambitious effort to bring all of ancient Greek literature online. It’s not parsed with a click, as with Perseus, but it’s searchable and has many, many more texts.

    The downside is that the license is $100/year, but students should be able to gain access through your school (and perhaps public) library.
  7. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Dave, do you have any recommendations for an introductory book on learning NT Greek? I purchased Mounce's "Greek for the Rest of Us" recently as pre-Greek reading material but haven't started it yet. Please keep in mind languages are NOT my thing at all! Thanks :D
  8. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Hi Emmzee,

    Reading Mounce’s “pre-Greek” book can be a helpful investment of time. Beyond that, the answer gets wordy. Bear in mind, if you find something you really like using, your personal interest in it can outweigh my or anyone else’s advice. Having said that, here’s the wordy part… :D

    Intro texts tend to use two methods. One has you memorize grammatical charts so that you can decipher what you read. The other has you read copiously, and teaches you the grammar along the way. Mounce’s book The Basics of Biblical Greek is the clearest of the deciphering school, and has many (expensive) accessories available from Zondervan, but I think it handicaps the user down the road. The second method can be disconcerting at first, but I think leads to much stronger performance over time, I think.

    The intro texts also split into two camps on another really important issue. Does one teach “Greek” or “New Testament Greek?” Koine or Common Greek is basically just a simplified version of Classical (Attic). NT Greek never existed in a vacuum, but unfortunately, the NT Intros tend to ignore vocabulary outside the NT, which really limits the student. One can easily get high marks in several NT Greek courses, and be floored when trying to read a text outside the NT canon because it has vocabulary one hasn’t seen before. Yet a first-year Classics student could handle it because they’ve been exposed to much more vocabulary outside the NT bubble. Before one can think in a language, one has to have enough vocabulary as a framework. By way of example, imagine how hard it would be to communicate in English without knowing the words for colors or numbers. Think of it as enough words to reach “critical mass.” Without reaching that point, it's very easy to forget words all too quickly because they weren't internalized.

    If you’re looking for a single readily available written resource that exposes you to Classical Greek through reading, I’d recommend JACT’s Reading Greek. The three volumes (or maybe two in the latest reprint) are enjoyable, and will over time walk you through a great deal of learning via reading before you know it. Also, they have follow-on books, annotated readers of various types of Greek literature, including one of selections from the New Testament. You’ll come out knowing enough to read outside just the NT, which will boost your confidence when you come across one of the fathers from a later period (when they went back to trying to copy Attic). These also have the virtue of being available in inexpensive used copies.

    Best wishes on your studies!
  9. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Dave, sorry I totally forgot to reply to say thanks for your input! I'll keep this in mind whenever I have time to start studying Greek properly (ha!)

    Also thought I'd mention these language-oriented certificates offered by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (ATS and also SACS accredited) which are available via distance:

    Hebrew Studies Certificate
    Greek Studies Certificate
    Biblical Languages Certificate
    Korean Biblical Languages Certificate

    The last one seems to be courses in learning Greek & Hebrew, taught in Korean!
  10. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Anytime. ;)

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