[B-Greek] FAQ: List-information about B-Greek

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Feb 5 12:37:54 EST 2003

Since the home-page of B-Greek has not been updated to reflect the list's
change of venue from franklin.oit.unc.edu to lists.ibiblio.org, I think it
may be useful to promulgate a current version of the FAQ: basic information
and regulations for the list governing the list's maintenance and practice
at this time. There are very few changes from the most recent earlier
version of the FAQ; list-addresses have been updated and irrelevant
sections (such as that concerning MIME/HTML formatting which is now
automatically removed by the list software) have been removed.

B-Greek mailing list FAQ (last revised February 5, 2003)
B-greek (Biblical Greek)

About B-greek: B-GREEK is a mailing list for scholars and students of
Biblical Greek. Our main focus is upon understanding the Greek text of the
Bible. Discussion topics include scholarly study of the Greek Bible and
related Jewish and Christian Greek texts, tools for beginning and advanced
students of
Biblical Greek such as textbooks, reference works, bibliography and
research tools, and linguistic topics such as morphology, lexicography,
syntax,and discourse analysis. B-Greek was established in 1992 by David
Marotta at the Center for Christian Study, an independent Christian
ministry at the University of Virginia. In 1998 the list changed its venue
to metalab at UNC-Chapel Hill after David asked to step down as list owner.
We are grateful to David for his vision of a forum where the Greek text and
language of the Bible are probed in ongoing conversation by an eclectic
group of beginning students and veteran teachers, lay persons and clergy,
conservatives and liberals, earnest inquirers and academic scholars
--equally committed to probing the Biblical text in the original Koine, and
jointly exploring the mysteries and probabilities of Biblical Greek
morphology and syntax

Anyone interested in New Testament Studies is invited to subscribe, but
list-members will be assumed to have at least a working knowledge of
Biblical Greek. While "lurkers" are welcome to receive and read list
correspondence, posts to the list are expected to pose questions about
Biblical Greek, not general questions or opinions about doctrine or the
meaning of the English text. Even basic questions are welcome, provided
they are really about the meaning of the Greek text. This is not a general
discussion list for Biblical matters. While one need not be a Greek scholar
to subscribe, one should at least be taking the first serious steps in the
study of Biblical Greek.

To see the collection of prior postings to the list,visit the B-greek
Archives at http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/

Some topics ordinarily discussed on B-Greek are:

--The Greek language of the Bible and related texts such as the Greek
OT(Septuagint/LXX), Koiné Greek texts illustrative of the practice of
speakers and writers of Greek in the NT era, Patristic Greek texts, etc.;
--Resources for teaching and learning (Biblical) Greek: lexica, grammars,
morphological charts, web-sites, discussion-lists, etc.--including answers
to questions raised by beginners, whether they are working their own way
through a Greek textbook or studying Greek formally in schools;
--Bibliography pertaining to Biblical Greek topics;
--Specific Greek passages in the Biblical text about which one wishes to
raise questions or suggest alternative approaches;
--questions about Greek textual variants bearing on the interpretation of a
particular passage may be appropriate (but not general discussion of
textual criticism itself--for which there is a special list of its own; if
you are interested, you can find more information at


B-Greek is not a forum for general Bible issues, except insofar as they may
bear specifically upon interpretation of a particular Greek text, Neither
is it a forum general or specific hermeneutical or theological issues.

Keeping discussion informative and constructive?
--Comments should focus upon issues directly related to Biblical Greek or a
biblical Greek text. If, in the judgment of list-moderators, discussion is
moving beyond parameters deemed appropriate for the list, a thread may be
closed;those who continue to post on a closed thread may lose list
--Those who participate in the conference represent a wide range of
theological and denominational perspectives, perhaps even including some
whose interests are purely academic.  Deep religious convictions surely
characterize many, perhaps most, of the list-participants, and some of
these convictions bear directly upon how the Biblical text is to be
understood. At the core of our discussion, however, is not what our
convictions are but what the Greek text may legitimately be understood to
mean. If discussion of this nature is to succeed, proper respect and
courtesy to other list members is important.  While scholarly debate,
including disagreement, is encouraged as a goal of this conference, attacks
upon the character, intelligence, or faith of those participating are not
acceptable. Criticism must focus upon the arguments of others; it may not
be directed to the individual.
--B-Greek must not be used either to attack or to defend any particular
doctrine deemed "orthodox" by one or another individual or group; this is
not the forum for apologetic controversy.
--Those who violate these policies will be contacted politely by the B-Greek
staff and requested to conform to these guidelines. Those who continue to
violate the policies will no longer be welcome in the conference.

Administrators of B-Greek:

The List-Owner: Jonathan Robie
jwrobie at mindspring.com OR jonathan.robie at datadirect-technologies.com

The Co-Chairs:  Carl Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com

Carlton Winbery
Clwinbery at aol.com  OR winbery at lacollege.edu


Subscribing to B-greek

Subscribe to B-greek by entering the List Information web-site at


and filling out the form which follows on the list-description. You will be
sent email requesting confirmation, to prevent others from gratuitously
subscribing you. This is a hidden list, which means that the list of
members is available only to the list administrator. You will be asked to
enter in the form:

Your email address:
Your name (While this is optional for registration, real-name signatures
must be appended to all messages sent to the list):
Password: (Do not use a valuable password as it will occasionally be
emailed back to you in cleartext.If you choose not to enter a password, one
will be automatically generated for you, and it will be sent to you once
you've confirmed your subscription.  You can always request a mail-back of
your password when you edit your personal options).
Language you prefer to display your messages

Messages for distribution to the list should be sent to:

	b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org


Signatures: It is a courtesy expected of B-Greek subscribers;  even if the
"From" header includes one's personal name as well as the e-address, posters
should append personal names below their messages. Indications of the
locality from which they write would help personalize further for others
the sender of a message. Academic or institutional information may be
appended also, but there is no privilege associated with any academic or
institutional status so-indicated.

Citing off-list messages of others in posts to B-Greek: It is considered to
be in very poor taste to post to the list items that have been sent off
list. Before doing so always consult the author to see if this is
acceptable. Complaints from authors of messages that have been posted to
the list without their consent will be reviewed by the BG Staff and
appropriate action will be taken, if necessary.

Monitoring of messages sent to the list before distribution: The first
messages posted by each new subscriber are monitored to assure due
observance of list-protocol. Posters who violate list-protocol may be
monitored or, if they persist, may be removed from the list-membership.

Replying to a messages: The software used by the B-Greek list automatically
formats replies to go to the original sender. If you wish your responses
regularly to go to the list as well, you should set the settings
preferences of your e-mail program to put <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
automatically in the cc: header, or you can copy
<b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu> into the cc: line in
your reply message header. Please be careful in this regard; an error may
result in your general response going only to the original sender.

Private messages: Some inquiries will invite private ("off-list")
responses; in that case, simply send a message directly to another member
of the list, without copying your  message to the entire list. Your message
will be private. No one else will be able to read  it. We ask that as many
messages as possible
be posted to the entire list so everyone can  benefit from the discussion,
but when a private message is truly desired, you always have  that option.

Promoting products, services or public causes on this list: We do not
permit messages on this list which can be interpreted as being of a
commercial  or business nature, including sales messages from non-profit
organizations. We especially do  not permit messages which spam and/or
cross-post religious discussion lists trying to get  people to purchase
products or visit various web sites. Advertisements or job-postings are not
allowed without the approval of the list-owner, Jonathan Robie
<jonathan.robie at datadirect-technologies.com>. Please clear your requests
before posting. Those directly related to the subject matter of B-GREEK
will probably be approved.

Transliterating Greek in messages sent to B-Greek


	B-Greek has from the beginning allowed every poster to use
	any scheme he/she found comfortable, since we all could usually
	figure out what text was meant.     For those who wish some
	guidance, a generally accepted scheme has evolved on the List,
	with two or three matters still not fully settled.

	(1) CAPITALS are used when transliterating Greek letters, on a
	one-to-one basis, reserving lower-case {i} to represent
	iota-subscript and lower-case {h} to represent rough breathing.
	No accents, no smooth breathings.  And no distinction between
	medial and final Sigma.

	(2) If accents are really necessary, to distinguish otherwise
	identical words, acute is represented by {/}, grave by {\}, and
	circumflex either by tilde {~ [preferable]} or {=} -- always
	AFTER the vowel over which it would be written.

	(3) A few characters without Roman single-character form are
	usually done with almost-look-alike Roman characters otherwise

     Theta = Q
     Eta   = H
     Psi   = Y    (upsilon is always U)
     Omega = W

	(4) Digraphs (in the usual Roman transliteration) are handled in
	three different ways to avoid two-letter transliterations, all
	involving otherwise-unused Roman letters:

     THeta uses Q ("look-alike", as above).
     PSi   uses Y ("look-alike", as above).
     PHi   uses F (sound equivalence).
     CHi   uses C (first letter of traditional digraph).

	(5) Xi and Chi:  There being no single Roman letter for "Xi"
	other than X, the "look-alike" use of X for "Chi" is confusing,
	though some use it.  And some seem to like to use C for "Sigma."
	Since S is otherwise unused, and poses no confusion whatever,
	using C for "Sigma" makes for problems in decoding back to Greek,
	especially since it is the only letter available for "Chi"
	(unless X is used, thus posing a problem for "Xi").  And
	occasionally someone uses P for "Rho", making problems for how to
	represent "Pi".


               Usual in            Traditional
               B-Greek             (uses macrons and digraphs)

alpha              A                    a
beta               B                    b
gamma              G                    g
delta              D                    d
epsilon            E                    e
zeta               Z                    z
eta                H                    e with macron
theta              Q                    th
iota               I                    i
kappa              K                    k
lambda             L                    l
mu                 M                    m
nu                 N                    n
xi                 X                    x
omicron            O                    o
pi                 P                    p
rho                R                    r
sigma              S                    s
tau                T                    t
upsilon            U                    u
phi                F                    ph
chi                C                    ch
psi                Y                    ps
omega              W                    o with macron

rough breathing    h                    h
iota-subscript     i                   (i)

Other resources about Biblical Greek: There are several Internet websites
devoted to Biblical Greek, including: Mark Goodacre's British site: "Greek
New Testament Gateway" at http://www.ntgateway.com/greek/ Marc Huys'
Belgian site: "Greek Grammar on the Web" at

Archives for B-Greek: B-Greek Archives:
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/ Here may be found the
correspondence accumulated from list-members since the inception of the
list in 1992. There are gems here, and to assist you to discover them, the
webmaster, Jonathan Robie, has provided a powerful search engine that will
quickly enable you to find discussions on a topic of interest to you, if in
fact, that topic has at some point in the history of the list also been of
interest to others.

Older archives (5/5/1992-4/20/2002):

end BG-FAQ (last revised Feb 5, 2003)

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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