[B-Greek] Fwd: Re: Modern vs. Erasmian pronunciation, something new

Carl Thomas slewfoot at rangeweb.net
Thu Nov 30 19:00:33 EST 2006

After reading these post on Modern vs. Erasmian pronunciation I'm more 
confused about which I should use. At this point in my life (I'm 62) all 
I wanted to do is fulfill a life's dream and that is learn to read and 
do a little work in the Greek New Testament. So I'm setting here and 
still asking which should I use but I should have know that there would 
not be a consensus. Just like my 40 years of work in the church there 
has never been a consensus but then again that as also brought a lot of 
enjoyment and it has driven me to do a lot studying that I may not have 
done. So now the question remains. Which one? And can I decide that? 
:-)      Questions, questions.

Anthony Buzzard wrote:
> Gentlemen, I can affirm after many years teaching NT Greek with a 
> modern pronunciation that it works well and the possible difficulty 
> caused by so many sounds being "ee" is really not a problem.
> We just say "when in doubt say 'ee'" (!)    UMEIS and EMEIS sound the 
> same but if one remembers that the U (upsilon) corresponds to YOU, all is fine.
> The language is exciting for students who sometimes meet Greek 
> speakers who are rather amazed that they can recite John 1 and be 
> understood! Americans and African English speakers manage the pure 
> vowel sounds quite well, generally, and some gifted ones learn to 
> read quite fluently in a very few weeks. This gives a sense of success.
> Anthony Buzzard, Atlanta Bible College
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>> Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 15:45:33 -0600
>> From: Curtis Hinson <curtis at curtishinson.com>
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>> To: Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>,
>>         B-Greek <B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Modern vs. Erasmian pronunciation, something new
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>> That certainly all rings a bell.  There is a mythology regarding
>> pronunciation that is deeply rooted and that flies in the face of a fair
>> examination of phonological evidence and language acquisition theory.
>> It is, in a word, closed-minded and un-scholarly.
>> My experience these past few years teaching off and on has been that
>> students who learn modern pronunciation from me have had no complaints
>> about understanding the accent, never having known any other.  Erasmian
>> students complain sometimes about a Greek accent when they hear it.
>> This observation makes me suspect that we are indeed creatures of habit,
>> even those with far more scholarly experience and background than I.  So
>> we should cultivate and teach good habits to begin with, instead of bad
>> ones, lest we later waste time defending systems that are merely bad
>> habits and not good scholarship or good pedagogy.
>> I've been thinking that English is a big mess.  You know, we have vocab
>> sourced from several different languages and one can't tell the
>> pronunciation of a word by looking at it's spelling, one just has to
>> know.  So why don't we pick a phonology from a source language and throw
>> out the others?  That way "hors d'oeuvre" will finally sound like "horse
>> doh-vrah", it's less work for students.  Or I guess instead we could
>> just pick some random alien phonology that has nothing to do with
>> English and use that.  Oh, wait, just kidding.  :-D
>> Bless the Name
>> Curtis Hinson
>> http://adfontes.ath.cx
>> http://curtishinson.com
>> Randall Buth wrote the following on 11/30/2006 1:24 PM:
>>> I share some of your concerns and even your history. During the 80's
>>> to early 90's I
>>> was using a modern pronunciation. Around 1995-1996 while sitting in
>>> Africa far afield
>>> from most NT centers, Bible translation colleagues convinced me that
>>> no one in NT
>>> studies would listen to "modern" materials, even if pedagogically
>>> sound. The same
>>> people all agreed that a "Koine" pronunciation would need to be 
>> used. I agreed.
>> --
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> Anthony Buzzard
> www.restorationfellowship.org 
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Carl Thomas
Ashland, Montana 59003
United States of America

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