Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

The forum for those who still struggle with morphology, syntax, and idiom, or who wish to discuss basic questions about the meaning of Greek texts, syntax, or words.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 17th, 2015, 4:48 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Koine Greek wasn't really designed to describe the modern world or to think like modern people think.
I have a problem with the world "bottle". It seems to me that the concept of putting so ephemeral a thing as wine or water into such an expensive and lasting container as glass was not conceived of. Should each "bottle" as we modernly think of them be translated as λήκυθος or φιάλη.
I have similar problems with finding the right Greek words for 401K, carburetor, kangaroo, cheesecake, Coca Cola, contrail, HTML, clutch, etc. I would have great difficulty describing my feelings and relationships adequately in Koine Greek, I'm a product of a very different culture.

Should Koine be a tool to describe things "as we modernly think of them", or a way to get into the mindset of how they thought back then?

You and I have different goals here, I think. I have no real interest in discussing the Titanic or last night's Republican debate in Koine Greek. Modern English is wonderfully appropriate for that. Modern Greek would do the trick too, though I suspect some aspects of the Republican debate are easier to convey in the language of the modern United States. If we create a new language that is capable of doing that, based on Koine and modern Greek and some constructions of our own invention, it is no longer Hellenistic Greek.

If I'm going to go to the trouble of reading Hellenistic texts in the original language, I probably want to read accounts of the Titanic in the original language too.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Does function supercede form, shape or materials in the priority of naming.
For me, historical usage trumps all of these.

I'm not saying that everyone else has to have the same goals that I do. But I think I'm fairly consistent in pursuit of my goals.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 18th, 2015, 11:52 am

One of the theoretical benefits (as I see it) of coming to the New Testament after attaining reading proficiency in the profane texts, might be to see more clearly how much the Koine Greek was adapted to serve the needs of the new world view of the Christians.

Koine Greek seems to have been dynamic and adaptable.

That article on the Titanic was just the tip of the iceberg.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 18th, 2015, 9:58 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:One of the theoretical benefits (as I see it) of coming to the New Testament after attaining reading proficiency in the profane texts, might be to see more clearly how much the Koine Greek was adapted to serve the needs of the new world view of the Christians.

Koine Greek seems to have been dynamic and adaptable.
I definitely see value in reading Hellenistic texts outside of the New Testament, including the Septuagint, the Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Philo, the Apostolic Fathers, Epictetus, and other Greek texts. I've only gotten through the New Testament, small parts of the Septuagint, and very small parts of the Apostolic Fathers and Josephus.
Stephen Hughes wrote:That article on the Titanic was just the tip of the iceberg.
What does that article on the Titanic tell us about the Greek of the New Testament? I suspect very little. It wasn't even written by a native speaker of Greek.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 19th, 2015, 11:42 am

Jonathan Robie wrote: If we create a new language that is capable of doing that, based on Koine and modern Greek and some constructions of our own invention, it is no longer Hellenistic Greek.
Jonathan Robie wrote: that article on the Titanic ... wasn't even written by a native speaker of Greek.
LSJ Ἑλληνισμός wrote:imitation of the Greeks, Hellenism
The New Testament was not written by native speakers of Greek, but rather by non-native speakers, who were trying to adapt the language to their own purposes and needs. Some of the books of the LXX are translation Greek, not requiring a knowledge of Hebrew, but suggesting that it would be beneficial.

If somebody were to find an Anglicism in a composition that was done one B-Greek, it would at the very least be a reminder that all that appears to be native-speaker Greek in the New Testament is not necessarily idiomatic. The adaption of Greek words to fit the needs of the New Testament message and the inclusion of Semitic words, such as δευτερόπρωτον σάββατον, or ὡσαννά do not make the Language of the New Testament somehow not Hellenistic Greek. Hellenistic Greek is a Greek with adaptability beyond what Hellenic (native-soil) Greek could do. Hellenism is the dream that everyone everywhere can express their ideas in Greek.
Jonathan Robie wrote:What does that article on the Titanic tell us about the Greek of the New Testament? I suspect very little.
Adopting Greek as a language for expressing one's own ideas gives one an appreciation of the process and an empathy with those who had to undergo a similar process to express their thoughts and life in the language.

The article on the Titanic was not meant to supply information, but rather to develop my skill in using the language. The question "what does it tell us about the Greek of the New Testament?" is fraught with difficulty to answer. It was not intended to expound knowledge, but rather develop skill in handling the language as a language, not as a tool for exposition or passive understanding.
Jonathan Robie wrote:Advanced High sublevel ...They can discuss
some topics abstractly, especially those relating to their particular
interests and special fields of expertise
, but in general, they are
more comfortable discussing a variety of topics concretely.
For me, the Titanic would be an interest, and sailing something I have studied and done.

Autobiography characterises the writing of most beginners and lower-intermediate language users. I think it is a worthwhile thing to develop vocabulary and skill in doing.
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Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Shirley Rollinson » September 19th, 2015, 9:06 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Koine Greek wasn't really designed to describe the modern world or to think like modern people think.
I have a problem with the world "bottle". It seems to me that the concept of putting so ephemeral a thing as wine or water into such an expensive and lasting container as glass was not conceived of. Should each "bottle" as we modernly think of them be translated as λήκυθος or φιάλη.

- - snip snip - - -
Should a bottle of wine still be called an ἄσκος?
- - snip snip - - -
This is an ἀσκός :
Image
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 20th, 2015, 5:47 am

The name of your picture for ἀσκός in the wikicommons is bota de vino (Spanish for wineskin). Is botella (Spanish for bottle, as in botella de vino) the diminutive of botta?

[Anticipating a positive answer, let me note that ἀσκίον is the diminutive of ἀσκός (presumably a diminutive in form not meaning), which comes down to colloquial Modern Greek (ἀσκός in the literary). ἀσκίον doesn't mean bottle after the pattern that the Spanish may do.]
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 20th, 2015, 9:17 am

On that form vs. usage issue, I think that the ἐκκλήσια as function not form is one that is most often mentioned as being superior to form.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 21st, 2015, 2:30 am

To forestall utilitarianism concerns concerning the seeming plethora of ἀκατέργαστος ("out of which nothing of beauty or utility has yet been produced", "supplied in their original state") images that have recently been posted, let me draw attention to James 1:3 [and 20 (Byz. text form)].
James 1:3 wrote:γινώσκοντες ὅτι τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως κατεργάζεται ὑπομονήν·
And with a little more application of the imagination Philippians 2:12
Pilippians 2:12 wrote:μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίαν κατεργάζεσθε·
Perhaps, I should post some other pictures of things that have been produced from wood, stone, and cut diamonds to further illustrate the point.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 24th, 2015, 5:17 am

Let me share a few thoughts for comment:

δέφειν seems to be rightly placed as a word used in the context of leather-working, at the stage when leather is to be softened, after cleaning and before tanning, part of the process of working (κατεργάζεσαι) the leather from just δέρμα to βύρσα. FWIW. LSJ's citation of comical references to an extended / analogous application of the word really doesn't give a balanced view of its primary meaning. cf. δέψειν

If the limited meaning of "softening by hand" is only by hand and without tannin, animal fats or brains, then perhaps the activity may have been something like this: http://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/collection/mr ... ech-lake-2

cf. Softening by hand using brains is illustrated here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/107453141085553982/

It seems likely that the word δέφειν refers to a whole stage of the leather-preparation process, including "softening by hand".

cf. δέψα , ἡ
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Hellenistic Greek for the Modern World

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 30th, 2015, 1:22 pm

Does anyone have good royalty-free pictures for a Honey Shop?
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