[B-Greek] How to convert 1960s' schoolboy Attic into usable Koinē

John Owlett owl at postmaster.co.uk
Mon Oct 19 17:27:24 EDT 2009

Thank you all for the welcome and the suggestions.  There were a couple of off-list responses too—one suggesting going directly into Biblical Greek and one suggesting starting with Modern Greek—so all the likely options have their supporters.  I’m most grateful for all the ideas, and have spent a satisfying afternoon surfing all the suggestions.  (I’ve downloaded a soft copy of Euclid’s Elements too, though I have a long journey yet before I am ready to read it.)

On the face of it, the JACT Reading Greek course looks like the best fit for me.  I particularly like the set of follow-up readers, including both New Testament and Homer: I would love to be able to read Homer.  The readings in the main text book will, I guess, change from revision to self-study at the point where I find them hard to translate.  Realistically it will be many months before I’m up to any sort of speed.

It shouldn’t, I know, but the thought of “excellent software packages” depresses me.  I’ve spent more years than I care to think about in front of a computer terminal: in retirement I want to do something different.  Oh, I know that serious study, sitting at a desk, involves using a computer nowadays, but reading the Decline and Fall can be done in an armchair with three modestly-sized reference books on the coffee table.  (I have LSJ on my laptop, but I use the physical seventh edition L&S more, and the Middle Liddell—which is a great deal more than a glossary—much more still.)

Is the same thing possible with reading the New Testament in Greek?  At some stage I shall need Smyth’s Grammar, which is bearable in size, but what about a lexicon?  I shall need BDAG for reference, of course, and I’m not afraid of large books (I have an OED), but will the Middle Liddell do for armchair use?  Or is there an NT-specific lexicon of a similar size?


Dr Owl

John Owlett, Southampton, UK

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