What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 11th, 2011, 11:01 am

For those of you who teach New Testament Greek: what contemporary Greek texts do you give to your students? How do you use them?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby cwconrad » May 11th, 2011, 11:31 am

I should let Louis answer this one: the #1 answer is, I think, Epictetus. Louis has a site devoted to resources for reading and studying the Enchiridion or "Manual" of Epictetus, a selection from the Stoic teacher's street lectures delivered in Rome as recorded by the historian Appian. Parts of Marcus Aurelius Meditations are also well worth reading, in my opinion. I think some here, Φωσφορος, for instance, have been reading the contemporary Greek novelists ("romances"): Chariton and the like. I've sometimes recommended the Pseudo-Lucian ΟΝΟΣ ("The Ass") which was the inspiration for Apuleius' great Latin novel, "The Golden Ass."
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 12th, 2011, 3:00 pm

His site advertises audio files - did he ever record them?

I was unable to find them.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » July 12th, 2011, 10:30 am

In addition to Epictetus and Aurelius, I would include Lucian of Samasota (for the fun factor, if nothing else), Josephus, Aesop, and Plutarch. Yes, they all tend to have Atticizing tendencies, but a surprising amount of "Koine" slips in when they aren't being careful. What about Philo and the early church fathers, Justin Martyr?
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby mwpalmer » November 20th, 2011, 10:37 pm

Do any of you have the address of the site on Epictetus mentioned in this discussion?
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby Mark Lightman » November 20th, 2011, 11:10 pm

Mike Palmer asked:


Do any of you have the address of the site on Epictetus mentioned in this discussion?



http://www.letsreadgreek.com/Epictetus/
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby George F Somsel » November 21st, 2011, 5:15 am

You can also find more on the Perseus site.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/col ... reco-Roman
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Re: What Biblical Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby Shirley Rollinson » November 21st, 2011, 6:45 pm

LXX, didache, etc.
If they're learning NT Greek, it's presumably because they want to read (mark, learn, and inwardly digest) the GNT.
So we mainly read the GNT, in the rough order : Gospels, Acts, Revelation, Epistles (easier ones, then longer and harder ones), Romans, Hebrews.
That's enough for several semesters, If they want a change from NT, we do LXX - that would be enough for several years, at various levels of difficulty.
After that then hopefully they've graduated and gone on to whatever they were aiming for (pastorate, preaching, translation, whatever)

Those who finish the Intermediate classes and are interested in "Greek" rather than "New Testament" may go on to Homer or classical, or even a bit of modern, along with koine.
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby karivalkama » November 22nd, 2011, 3:02 am

LXX, didache, etc.
If they're learning NT Greek, it's presumably because they want to read (mark, learn, and inwardly digest) the GNT.


I am not a teacher, but from my perspective as a linguist, exegete and Bible translator I would like suggest that it is important to read secular Greek, if you want to understand the NT Greek. If the only texts of the epistle type the students read, are the ones in the NT, then it is easy to have tunnel vision. It is easy to misinterpret the rhetorical devices and even the grammar that Paul uses when there is no context of how those devices are used outside of the NT.

And even for the beginner student starting with narrative, I think it would be beneficial to start with secular Greek, like Xenofon. If a student reads Gospel stories and ponders for example the use of aorist or historical present, that pondering in the context of the NT can lead to wrong conclusions, because it is religious text and inspired holy text. If one encounters aorist and historical present in secular texts first, those potential wrong conclusions are excluded. That may result in inaccurate preaching, teaching and translation.

Just my two cents worth.
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Re: What Secular Greek texts do you give NT Greek students?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » November 23rd, 2011, 9:15 am

I agree completely. The more you read, the more you know. In another thread, there is a discussion on the use of OUN in James 5:7, which includes comments on the use of particles in general. How can one determine any particular use of a given particle if on does not have a sense of how that particle in general? In fact, the use of particles is quite fluid, and may vary from author to author even in Attic Greek. Having a sense of the wide ranging uses is crucial, and mutatis mutandis with other constructions and the semantic range of lexical items.
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