A letter in Greek to My Pastor

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If you post in this forum, you are inviting people to critique what you have written and suggest ways to improve it. Let's teach each other!

Private subforums can be created for groups who want to practice together without exposing their mistakes to the world.
Chris Servanti
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Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Chris Servanti » December 9th, 2015, 1:52 pm

When I first started Greek I asked my pastor (who is very efficient in reading Biblical Greek) if he could write a journal if he were given the proper supplemental vocabulary. He said that it probably wouldn't be possible. So, my plan has been that once I finished my year one course in Koine I would write him a letter in Koine explaining why it's possible and that he was wrong XP. Please critic this so I can show him a good example of living Koine.

Πέτρος δοῦλος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ, τῷ [ποιμήν] μοῦ' χάρις σοι καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν. σὺ μνημονεύεις ὅτι ἔλεξας μοὶ ὅτι λαλεῖν τῇ Ἐλληνικῇ κοινῇ ἵσως ἀδύνατον ἐστιν; ἀορθῶς. μετὰ μικρὸν ἐγὼ δύναμαι γράψαι αὐτῇ. ἄφες μοὶ τὰ ὀφειληματὰ μοῦ, ἀλλὰ δεῖ μὲ λαλεῖν ὅτι σὺ ἦς ἀορθῶς καὶ ἐγὼ ἤμην ορθῶς' δύνατον ἐστιν :)

Short but to the point. I don't know how to conjugate poimhn in the singular dative because the NT never uses it :/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 9th, 2015, 2:53 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:Short but to the point. I don't know how to conjugate poimhn in the singular dative because the NT never uses it :/
Job 24:2 to the rescue!
ἀσεβεῖς δὲ ὅριον ὑπερέβησαν ποίμνιον σὺν ποιμένι ἁρπάσαντες;
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Chris Servanti » December 9th, 2015, 2:58 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Chris Servanti wrote:Short but to the point. I don't know how to conjugate poimhn in the singular dative because the NT never uses it :/
Job 24:2 to the rescue!
ἀσεβεῖς δὲ ὅριον ὑπερέβησαν ποίμνιον σὺν ποιμένι ἁρπάσαντες;
Awesome! Thanks (I don't have a Septuagint)! Is there anything else you see that should be revised?

Wes Wood
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Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Wes Wood » December 9th, 2015, 3:27 pm

I don't have time right now to respond in full, but did/do you intend to put these words on the lips of Peter?
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » December 9th, 2015, 3:47 pm

I haven't done composition myself, but when I see others doing it, morphology or grammatical rules aren't usually a big problem. It's mostly about syntax and discourse, or how ideas are put into language idiomatically. Couple of details which don't somehow feel like good native Koine (I may be wrong):

σὺ μνημονεύεις: I would leave off the pronoun. Pronouns should be used sparingly and only when needed. Wooden English->Koine translations can often be detected by needless pronouns.

I wouldn't use double ὅτι. Rather replace some indicative with a participle, or something like that. Using participles in right places is impressive and in my opinion a mark of relatively good proficiency.

If you really want to impress, use hyperbaton. But it's even more difficult to compose fluently than participles, I guess.

Anyways, your composition is pretty good even now.

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Chris Servanti » December 9th, 2015, 10:33 pm

Wes Wood wrote:I don't have time right now to respond in full, but did/do you intend to put these words on the lips of Peter?
No, that's one of my Greek names :)

Chris Servanti
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Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Chris Servanti » December 9th, 2015, 10:38 pm

Okay, here is the revised version:

Πέτρος δοῦλος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ, τῷ ποίμνιον μοῦ' χάρις σοι καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν. μνημονεύεις λεγῶν μοὶ ὅτι λαλεῖν τῇ Ἐλληνικῇ κοινῇ ἵσως ἀδύνατον ἐστιν; ἀορθῶς. μετὰ μικρὸν ἐγὼ δύναμαι γράψαι αὐτῇ. ἄφες μοὶ τὰ ὀφειληματὰ μοῦ, ἀλλὰ δεῖ μὲ λαλεῖν ὅτι σὺ ἦς ἀορθῶς καὶ ἐγὼ ἤμην ὀρθῶς' δύνατον ἐστιν :)

Also, would there be a better word than ἀορθῶς?

Stephen Hughes
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Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 10th, 2015, 2:10 am

ποιμένι is the dative singular.

Look at the opening of 2nd or 3rd John. There is an expression of feeling. In the letters recorded in Acts there is an expression of respect. How do you see your pastor emotionally or socially? Even though you are posting it here for criticism, it is a personal document. Personalise it.

"My pastor" sounds very modern to me. The function of that dative is to identify the recipient and to spell out the relationship between the parties, or to show what the writer thinks of the recipient's relationship to others. Could this letter be given to the right person at mail-call? Have you set a tone for the letter or hinted at your intent in writing? You could base a description of his pastor-ship in the language of New Testament. I'm in the middle of moving at present, so forgive me if I quote inaccurately, but the εις τον καταρτισμον των αγίων which accompanies the description of the role could be adapted with an appropriate verb for "appointed", δοθεντι or καθορισθεντι υπο Θεου. Changing των αγίων to ημων would be a way to imply the "my", rather than be so direct. Hiding in the crowd or putting your relationship in a bigger - social or cosmic - picture would be ways of avoiding self-agrandisement or hubris. Your social station in the Church and his relationship to God and in turn to you, your family and others sort of suggests than your self-description should be shorter or at least less ornate than what you say about him. You should use his name -think of the practicality of mail-call or delivery by an intermediary.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » December 10th, 2015, 6:12 am

Chris Servanti wrote: Πέτρος δοῦλος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ, τῷ ποίμνιον μοῦ' χάρις σοι καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν. μνημονεύεις λεγῶν μοὶ ὅτι λαλεῖν τῇ Ἐλληνικῇ κοινῇ ἵσως ἀδύνατον ἐστιν; ἀορθῶς. μετὰ μικρὸν ἐγὼ δύναμαι γράψαι αὐτῇ. ἄφες μοὶ τὰ ὀφειληματὰ μοῦ, ἀλλὰ δεῖ μὲ λαλεῖν ὅτι σὺ ἦς ἀορθῶς καὶ ἐγὼ ἤμην ὀρθῶς' δύνατον ἐστιν :)
"ἵσως": do I see δασὺ πνεῦμα with my old eyes and small font? Should be ψιλὸν πνεῦμα.

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: A letter in Greek to My Pastor

Post by Chris Servanti » December 10th, 2015, 11:16 am

Okay, here is V3:

Πέτρος δοῦλος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ, τῷ ποιμένι μοῦ τῷ [Χρίστοφερ]' χάρις σοι καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ. μνημονεύεις ὅτι λαλεῖν τῇ Ἐλληνικῇ κοινῇ ἵσως ἀδύνατον ἐστιν ἔλεξας μοί; ἀορθῶς. μετὰ μικρὸν ἐγὼ δύναμαι γράψαι αὐτῇ - μόνον μικρόν. ἄφες μοὶ τὰ ὀφειληματὰ μοῦ, ἀλλὰ δεῖ μὲ λαλεῖν ὅτι σὺ ἦς ἀορθῶς καὶ ἐγὼ ἤμην ὀρθῶς' δύνατον ἐστιν :) τὸ ἐρώτημα ἔτι μένει ὅτι διὰ τὶ θελῇς λαλεῖν καὶ γραφεῖν αὐτῇ, ἀλλὰ ἐγὼ πιστεύω ὅτι τὸ ἐρώτημα μείζων ἐστιν ὅτι τὶ οὐ.

I don't know the dative singular of Christopher.
I'm not really sure how to say "the question is..."

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