ATTIC VS. KOINE
Mr. Gary S. Dykes
yhwh3in1 at lightspeed.net
Tue Dec 14 00:04:14 EST 1999
Dear Mr. Dewan,
It is a quiet evening here in the Centre, so I thought I would give you my
two-cents worth and answer your question. I am sure you already have
received numerous various replies.
I would recommend first mastering NT Greek, which would include such Koine
texts as the early church fathers, and most of Eusebius's History. When
comfortable with these texts, you may want to then read a translation Greek
text (the LXX).
If then, after this mastering, you are curious about the Greek and it
fluctuations as evidenced in the NT, you many want to study the earlier
dialects of Greek. The Attic and Ionic would be good starters, and a fine
tool for quickly seeing some of the major syntactical and morphological and
semantic shifts, is using C. D. Buck's "THE GREEK DIALECTS", and use of
Mounce's "Greek Morphology" would also prove useful here.
Yes a good Attic reference grammar is handy. I personally like Zuntz's two
volume set for LEARNING Attic Greek. But also knowing some of the
essentials of Modern Greek is just as valuable, as you can see where
certain elements of the Koine/Byzantine Greek is going.
For Textual Criticism purposes (working with the Greek NT witnesses)
knowing some Attic and Ionic and Aeolic (et al) is essential so as to
understand some of the MS changes and readings.
To sum up: first master the NT Greek. Then if you feel the need learn some
of the essentials of the earlier Greek, learn just that -- some of the
grammatical essentials. Personally, I do not feel at the entrance level to
reading NT Greek (Koine Greek) any deep knowledge of Attic is necessary, in
some ways it can be a hinderance in the early stages of learning the
paradigms of just say - Koine Greek.
Mr. Gary S. Dykes email -- yhwh3in1 at lightspeed.net
Swanson's errata List -- http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/yhwh3in1/
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