See for yourself: Or do you have an explanation as to why in the early Classical period you see spelling of words such as ΗΙΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΟΣ instead of ΙΠΠΟΚΡΑΤΟΣ? Mediterranean world of Koine Greek: ... Basically this is the differences between erasmian and modern. Hi Daniel, Hi, Dan! 2. not assumptions but from actual Greek reference texts which clearly state there was no av/ev until the early Christian period. It needs multi-disciplinary knowledge and talent – it’s not that you can read a book about what others say and there you go, you’ve solved the problem! Some of the earliest evidence for the fricativization of beta include transcriptions of Latin words/names with u/v (which by this time probably had similarly turned from /w/>/β/ like the Greek αυ/ευ diphthongs), c.f. The "Ecclesiastical" pronunciation is the same as modern Greek. As for the vowels, I would do away with the common pronunciation of o as /ɑ/ “aw” (which I neither understand nor find pleasing to the ear) and just merge it with ω, both pronouncing /o/ as in “note”; students opting for this system may be told that in Classical Greek they pronounced with different quantities. So, with epsilon is supplied “mikveh” and for αι is supplied “eh as in said.” But when I learned modern, I found it took very little time to convert. But, here’s the question: do you have any idea about how the mycenaean greek was pronounced? But, what is a teacher to do? 2/ Horrocks, page 162: “Eventually /y/ (υ, οι, υι) lost its lip-rounding to merge once again with /i/, though the completion of this last shift belogs to the middle Byzantine period”. Yes, it sounds ‘ugly’ & artificial IF you have been introduced to alternative pronunciation. Now, I fully realize that the goal of most Koine class has nothing (or very little) to do with communication, but I can’t help feeling the similarities between the way Biblical languages are often taught and the way English is taught in Japan. (irony intented) “πίστευε και μη ερεύνα”. And even then i dare say a Modern Greek would have a fair chance being understood or at least understand an hypothetical Ancient Greek fisherman selling his produce in the market. The same goes for Koine with minor differences like "y" that is pronounced as German "y", but most people will simple use modern Greek "i". And I think that after learning the Greek alphabet as well as the grammar and become proficient to both, the students were had been then encouraged to shift to the real Greek pronunciation, which is a tedious transition but that’s how they were going to say things when going to a greek market to buy something. Or even more beautiful. The New Testament authors were members of an élite (an inchoate, if not yet fully defined, priesthood). Phonetics and phonology though, are different. So, in science we have positive proofs (you prove that a hypothesis stands) and negative proofs (you prove that a hypothesis does not stand). In the world of science, the word “apparently” is the twin brother of “It suits my case, so I mention it just to make an argument”. Horrocks or not, you cannot speak for facts when you refer to things that cannot be proven. 4. raising ει /e:/>/i:/ triggers raising of η /ε:/>/e:/, monopthongization of αι /ai/>/æ:/>/ε:/ = 4th century BC (at least by estimation of Boeotian/conservative & popular Attic) There were no voice recorders back then, so you actually don’t know for sure. Some hypothesized that it was a combination of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. However, we are actually able to access this in many instances so that we are even aware of the dialectal diversity in ancient times as well. lol get over yourself. Something is wrong with all this. Koine Greek Alphabet Song. The facts that twice the Erasmian theory has been used for ratcistic attack proves that racism is behind it and not science. Many Ancient Greek scholars do not agree with the Erasmian because it is just a theory. The implication sometimes is that it must not have been the way Greek ever sounded; it is too harsh on the ears for that. “it is these different cultures who influenced the evolution of Greek in terms of pronunciation”. So I designed my own revised version of Erasmian for general learners, who only want to read Greek and don’t have any interest in (or will be confused by) the linguistic field. Probably both, depending on where and when one lived! It was the same for the Greeks themselves – apart from the venerable but highly deviant Iliad, the culture of the Athenian golden age and its immediate aftermath was the golden standard and all those coming afterwards were epigones; so it was natural that the ancient Greeks themselves chose to preserve incredibly faithfully the written form that corresponded to that time in terms of pronunciation as well as, mostly, of other features, even though their actual pronunciation was rapidly changing. Also, I would like to inform you that in my country Greece, we are a lot of Greek people, who still write in polytonic, books are published with polytonic, and there is a citizens’ movement that tries to push the government to bring the polytonic back to schools. 4. Dead Sea Scrolls testify that Hebrew was still a spoken language in Judea during Jesus time. Did you ever investigate where those passages took their material from? How to prevent students getting frustrated—a serious concern. That is a positive thing. Would itacism be abound in NT manuscripts if the scribes used Erasmian pronunciation? Horrocks, Chomsky, MacDonald, just pick a period and a language and you’ll find tens of people that have done a respectable work. lol. 1. My heart still goes to Erasmian though. @marvis camat the Σιναϊτικός Κώδικας or Codex Sinaiticus was written aroun 330 – 360 ACE which is not early first century. He was born and raised in Galilee and Judea in a non-hellenistic working class family. And, rightfully so, you replied to what was really on his mind, but could you now please tell us if your use of the word “punctuation” was supposed to be humorous in some way, or just a typo slip up? Thanks. -αυ/ευ close to consonants progressively through Roman period; Horrocks already transcribes the New Testament with /aɸ, aβ, eɸ, eβ/. Keep in mind that the Byzantine scholars never forgot ancient pronunciation which is how it was introduced into Western Europe after the fall of Constantinople. You seem to have accepted some “common knowledge” as the ultimate truth and you defend it with religious fanatism. In fact, in Greece today things happen much more rapidly. About 15 million people around the world, especially in Greece and Cyprus, speak Greek. It is only natural, isn’t it? However, having conducted much primary research on the subject myself, I would say that we have more evidence for the vocalic phonemes of Koine Greek in Egypt and Palestine of the late roman period than we do for many historical events from that time period. Also, keeping plosive values for β, δ, γ allows students to recognize the Greek roots in English words like “Bible” (which mayn’t be as obvious if βίβλoς were pronounced [‘vivlos].) You’ll want to learn both how it’s printed in modern fonts as well as how to handwrite it. Or any scholar’s attempt to read Coptic gracefully! Thank you, that is comfort. 3. Erasmus is indirectly responsible for the current pronunciation of ancient Greek, for the Byzantine scholars pronounced ancient and modern alike. Note the “merge *once* again” and the “though”. Erasmian pronunciation is a huge fallacy. Update: This is now on Youtube! Copyright 2020 Faithlife / Logos Bible Software. Language is fun. My greek friend calls bible greek, cowboy greek they can understand you but they fully realise the inconsistancies. We do know that Mycenaean Greek which used iconographs instead of an alphabet pronounced Greek differently with sounds that don’t exist anymore such as the digamma. Right on top of the page he says the completion of the last shift occurred in the middle Byzantine Period….which is much later than I originally thought (thanks for that! Dan (if you would permit me to call you Dan), I am quite struggling on this topic since I am studying Greek language with a high loyalty on the Erasmian pronunciation. No. Also, these similar sounds become important to discern patterns of alliteration, etc. Does the pronunciation that we use have pedagogical value? Personally, I would contend that it is unsafe to maintain that they remained stops through to the Middle Ages. It is like saying that “Erasmus is right because he verifies the theory of Erasmus”. Jannaris quotes the story of Voss, a Dutch scholar (1577-1649), as to how Erasmus heard some learned Greeks pronounced Greek in a very different way from the Byzantine custom. What MSS have Δαυδειδ in them? Where my wife comes from, they say “I hau” for high German “Ich habe” (I have). (I suspect simply an error.). Around the time that Athens went through Pericles’ golden age. Using a comparative approach you can derive associations and evolutionary rules that can explain some of the phenomena. lol. Was “oi” pronounced “oy”, or “ü” or “ee”? The vaticanus scribe got the spellings correct in mat 23:29-30. codex ephraimi also got it the same with ‘dikaiwn’ and ‘legete’. My students only learn Erasmian because that is what is spoken in the academy. I want instant resources that I can touch type greek words and hear modern greek pronouncation to enhance my speed learning and one day i will relate to greek speaking people.I believe the bible collage world needs to came to terms with the new resources now and this means learning greek that is constant to the way 10 million greeks speak.Dont get left behind teaching method have changed.So what out there that consistant to my needs i have already have 20 odd textbooks. An important discussion here. The aesthetic argument, supported. Ultimately, the question is – do we treat the language of the New Testament as some kind of a standard of its own or just as a late form of the language of Homer and Socrates, the way its own users mostly did? Which is completely different to what you claim. Get this from a library! Y sounds like “i”, but when is combined with other letters sounds like “f” or “v”. I had musicians understand better the ancient greek language than linguists with PhDs, exactly because the “PhD”d could not understand how things can be explained in ways that they have not been taught at the university. Classical period: 5th-4th century BC ( Erasmian NT Recordings: Although it only has selected readings from the New Testament, Readings in the Greek New Testament by Jonathan T. Pennington offers a good cross-section of the NT, and will allow you to hear larger portions of scripture outside of just vocabulary words in an Erasmian … Which is not explained by Erasmus’ theory. (Restored) Classical - a linguistically-informed … Ever been puzzled by Greek words in a commentary or biblical resource? So rather than being offended, we as native Greeks should embrace the great diversity of the Greek language because that is exactly what our ancestor would have. Erasmus did something admirable: he asked himself why there are so many letter combinations that sound the same? I have read his book and the references he used and I am quite content with what I learned. Ancient Greek pronunciation differed from city to city just as it still does today. If we give up trying to piece together how they pronounced Greek and just use modern Greek then we loose a big part of their spirit. is 500 – 401 B.C. It is *the* bible of linguistics for the greek language. This happened again at 1821, when the Greeks started the revolution against the Turks. 6. completion of raising of η /e̝/>/i/, also closing of αυ/ευ /aw, ew/>/aɸʷ, aβʷ, eɸʷ, eβʷ/>/aɸ, aβ, eɸ, eβ/>/af, av, ef, ev/ = 4th century AD Take it easy. In english, if someone is writing ‘brought’ or ‘broth’ you can only tell he heard it wrong through the grammar of his writing. 1. If this is called ‘internal evidence’ then this leads me to think that modern greek sounded like the early century greek at the time of codex sinaiticus writing. So in my opinion, ‘Modern Greek’ pronunciation is the pronunciation used by the ancient scribes, & the one should be taught today. I assume that you know that Homer’s Odyssey is written in a form called hexameter. But that does not mean that I will simply accept Erasmus’ explanation just because there is no better alternative! I shall wait on your essay, I don’t usually stick to my wild guesses, but only something to ponder about. Erasmian pronounciation has been used twice to prove that we are not Greeks. However, despite all of that knowledge the ‘average’ graduate here has trouble understanding vocabulary from context, can not communicate in English, enjoy a movie without subtitles, nor can read a news paper or novel. E.g. It clearly states (along with every other academic reference eg Vox Graeca) that vowel changes occurred during the Roman Empire and early Christian period whereas consonant changes were not completed until the Byzantine Period. It is for this reason that I choose the Attic/Erasmian pronunciation as my standard when reading koine Greek: every letter carefully pronounced as written, including diphthongs and diacritics (accent and hard breathings). If you apply Erasmus’ pronunciation, can you please explain to me how one can retain this rhythm? For a long time Koine Greek confused scholars because it was significantly different from Classical Greek. Over the years, several persons have written to us regarding how the many different systems of pronunciation which can be found in various Greek grammars may or may not differ from the pronunciation system used in our A Greek Alphabetarion: A Primer for Teaching How to Read, Write & Pronounce Ancient & Biblical Greek and A Greek Hupogrammon: A Beginner's Copybook for the Greek Alphabet with Pronunciations. Yes, there are rules that explain several things, but fail to explain several other things. “he clearly states the post classical era”, Alright you two…I assume that your bickering has ceased by now (1.5 yrs later), but if it helps to cool things down, lets list the chronology of all the sound changes according to Horrocks citing Teodorsson, Threatte, Gignac and others, c.f. To the contrary, its language is elevated, literary, conservative, and, more often than not, formal and sacerdotal. Either you have never read the book, or you don’t understand it’s content: Horrocks is actually saying what I’m saying. Reuchlin, who introduced Greek to the further West, studied in Italy and passed on the Byzantine pronunciation. My practical learner’s “keep-it-simple” pronunciation preserves the consonantal system of Erasmian. The truth is that you don’t know how the dialect was pronounced so you don’t know if the “v” existed or not. I too was once a Byzantine pronunciation die hard fan, not to the extent as you but unlike you I don’t base my knowledge on personal beliefs. Indeed, the awareness _____ 157 that the Erasmian pronunciation of Greek is inaccurate is now fairly It is natural that when we add the augment e- to akoúō and /e/ and /a/ merge, the result should be ḗkousa with a lengthened /e:/; it is just weird that it should be /i/ (/ikusa/). The main sound that has disappeared to merge into iota is the upsilon, which was not exactly German ü or French u but a slenderer similarly-sounding compressed vowel tantamount to a iota pronounced with closer lips and nothing more, to the point modern Greeks would first fail to notice its presence. 2. That proves that Erasmian or reconstructed theory is not a scientific matter but a racistic matter. This is a weak form of a positive proof, because we don’t have any single rule that can explain all similar transformations. From my first day in Congo, as I learned Swahili, I knew how to write every new word that I heard spoken in conversation without having to ask someone how to spell it. So, the sounds will most likely need to be mediated through a normalized system, and what better system (although, true, still mediated) than the common tongue, which for your students and mine, is English. Second, for non-native speakers of Greek learning the language, it is very important to use a pronunciation system that reflects the phonemic oppositions that were in play during the Koine period. -for Teodorsson’s Attic reconstruction, αυ/ευ develop semi-vocalic pronunciations /aw, ew/; this development parallels monophthongization As a matter of fact, however Engel has shown that Erasmus merely wrote a literary squib to “take off” the new non-Byzantine pronunciation, though he was taken seriously by many. “What is the geniune way of pronouncing the word ‘geniune’, is it ‘jen-win’ or ‘jin-wyn’? This argument fails to recognize that even though, to some degree, beauty may be in the ear of the listener, some languages actually do sound harsh. Attic-Ionic shift of A>H /a:/>/ε:/ = 9th century BC Gleason Archer, professor of OT at TEDS for many years, and as multi-lingual as just about anyone on the planet, was once asked whether Erasmian or modern pronunciation sounded better. Theta was practically the same as now, except that is was uttered with a little more force. The Interactive Greek Alphabet Courses will introduce you to the Greek alphabet and teach you how to pronounce Greek words using two different pronunciation systems: Koine (GK091) and Erasmian (GK092). Recently, the third way of pronunciation appeared and is becoming very popular: the reconstructed model. cases that may come along in the future that invalidate your proof). Greek phonemic sounds. I wish to comment on a video of you on youtube which is The Basics of New Testament Criticism regarding the supposed omission of ‘Jesus’ in Barabbas’ name. 3. δ /d/>/ð/ by 3rd-4th centuries AD (disagrees with Gignac’s claim that it fricativized first before /i/) Glen was a great student of the New Testament and a friend for many, many years. I see where you draw confidence from, then. That, of course, is beyond what we can access with certainty, since we do not have a recording. Accepted – this is one way to live your life. Am I wrong to assume you’re another drop out PhD candidate in linguistics? Come on use a little logic…how does a vowel like Y become a consonant like V/F? But whether it would sound more beautiful is a different matter. The reasons for the adoption of the “Erasmian” pronunciation for Ancient Greek seem therefore political and pedagogical (ie. For a demonstration of this, consider the Chalcedonian Creed sung with Erasmian pronunciation. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I’m sorry but this is not science, but pure and vicious racism!!! Modern Greek shouldn’t even enter into discussion, since no part of our Bible is in any way colloquial or modern in idiom. Also history has a peculiar way to indicate things. One of the main causes of error in the transmission of the text of the New Testament is itacism. The paper I delivered at SBL addresses these issues. . because -αι and -ε where pronounced the same at this time–“eh.”. “Greek, A History of the Language and it’s People”, Geoffrey Horrocks (first edition), chapter 6, section 6.2 (pre-last paragraph): he mentions that αυ, ευ and ηυ started sounding like av/f, ef/v, if/v circa mid-5th century BC.

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