Recommend papyri for teaching?

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Ruth Mathys
Posts: 13
Joined: September 5th, 2011, 6:11 pm

Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by Ruth Mathys » March 7th, 2018, 2:13 am

I may have the opportunity to teach a session at a NT Greek refresher course ("I kinda learnt Greek at seminary 25 years ago and haven't really used it since") and I'd like to give the students some papyri to read, to give them a taste of "real-world" Koine. Could anyone suggest some materials that meet as many of the following criteria as possible?

1. Available online - this is non-negotiable - preferably for free, and ideally with an English translation (that's to help me!)
2. Straightforward for students in the outlined demographic (with vocab and grammar help to be added if required)
3. Motivating and fun to read, esp. if it sheds light on some aspect of the NT.

Also, years ago I remember reading a very funny letter from one Egyptian temple functionary to another, along the lines of "I need to tell you that head office is sending an auditor around, but don't worry, he's a golfing buddy of mine and I'll sort things out with him for you. And by the way, I'd love it if you could send me [shopping list of wants]..." Does this ring a bell with anyone, and if so, can you give me a reference?
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RandallButh
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Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by RandallButh » March 7th, 2018, 4:55 am

Check out Select Papyri, v. 1 LOEB.
You will need to do some library work with Oxyrrhyncus Papyri for pictures, then search data banks online. Some amusing situations are in that papyri volume. One father writes to his OIEIWI, 100 CE. That should get your students attention.
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S Walch
Posts: 133
Joined: June 13th, 2011, 4:27 pm
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by S Walch » March 7th, 2018, 10:52 am

Archive.org has quite a few of 'The Oxyrhynchus Papyri' volumes there, several of which contain translations of the papyri contained within:

https://archive.org/search.php?query=Ox ... s%20papyri
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Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 7th, 2018, 11:51 am

Ruth Mathys wrote:
March 7th, 2018, 2:13 am

Also, years ago I remember reading a very funny letter from one Egyptian temple functionary to another, along the lines of "I need to tell you that head office is sending an auditor around, but don't worry, he's a golfing buddy of mine and I'll sort things out with him for you. And by the way, I'd love it if you could send me [shopping list of wants]..." Does this ring a bell with anyone, and if so, can you give me a reference?
Might be this one:

[1]κυρίῳ μου ἀδελφῷ Ἀμμινέῳ
[2]Σαμβᾶς.
[3]ἐπειδὴ ὁ κύριός μου ὁ δεσποτικὸς
[4]νοτάριος εὐτυχῶς σήμερον
[5]ἐπιδημεῖν ἡμῖν μέλλει τῆς
[6]τῶν τιρώνων συλλογῆς
[7]ἕνεκεν καλῶς ποιήσεις κύρι[έ]
[8][μο]υ ἄδελφε̣, ἐκδέξασθαι τὰς

P.Abinn.: The Abinnaeus Archive: Papers of a Roman Officer in the Reign of Constantius II. (n.d.). Perseus Digital Library.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Shirley Rollinson
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Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
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Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » March 7th, 2018, 3:48 pm

Ruth Mathys wrote:
March 7th, 2018, 2:13 am
I may have the opportunity to teach a session at a NT Greek refresher course ("I kinda learnt Greek at seminary 25 years ago and haven't really used it since") and I'd like to give the students some papyri to read, to give them a taste of "real-world" Koine. Could anyone suggest some materials that meet as many of the following criteria as possible?

1. Available online - this is non-negotiable - preferably for free, and ideally with an English translation (that's to help me!)
2. Straightforward for students in the outlined demographic (with vocab and grammar help to be added if required)
3. Motivating and fun to read, esp. if it sheds light on some aspect of the NT.

Also, years ago I remember reading a very funny letter from one Egyptian temple functionary to another, along the lines of "I need to tell you that head office is sending an auditor around, but don't worry, he's a golfing buddy of mine and I'll sort things out with him for you. And by the way, I'd love it if you could send me [shopping list of wants]..." Does this ring a bell with anyone, and if so, can you give me a reference?
From a pedagogical point-of-view, before deciding on course material, it might be an idea to ask what the participants are hoping to get out of the course. Are they preachers who want to brush up exegetical skills for preparing sermons? Do they want to inform/re-vitalize their personal Bible studies? Do they want to "dig into" the NT or LXX?. i.e. find out their interests and then design the course to meet interests/expectations of the students.
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Jason Hare
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Location: Rehovot, Israel
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Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by Jason Hare » March 7th, 2018, 10:11 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote:
March 7th, 2018, 3:48 pm
From a pedagogical point-of-view, before deciding on course material, it might be an idea to ask what the participants are hoping to get out of the course. Are they preachers who want to brush up exegetical skills for preparing sermons? Do they want to inform/re-vitalize their personal Bible studies? Do they want to "dig into" the NT or LXX?. i.e. find out their interests and then design the course to meet interests/expectations of the students.
That's certainly true, but fun little things can be thrown in on the side as a distraction and to give them a sense of accomplishment. It's clear that the material will be to give a wider view of the language – but also to show that the Greek they already know can be used to read a wider range of materials.

In our second-year Hebrew class, when I was just learning the language, the teacher brought in the Mesha Stele for us to translate, as well as the Siloam Inscription. It wasn't our intention to read inscriptional Hebrew or Moabite written in the Paleo letters. However, it was just a small point in the class that we did in passing – and it gave us some sense of accomplishment and breadth of understanding from what we'd already learned.

Honestly, if I hadn't learned the Paleo letters back then, I may not ever have thought that it was something that was easy to learn.

I think bringing in some papyri will give some added value to the course, no matter the general purposes of the course. It's a great idea, Ruth. 👍
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Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

Ruth Mathys
Posts: 13
Joined: September 5th, 2011, 6:11 pm

Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by Ruth Mathys » March 12th, 2018, 7:11 am

Jason has the gist of it. If I get the chance - and it's not my course, I have to sell the idea - I want to push the students outside their comfort zone a bit.

I was hoping that someone had done my work for me by creating a package like Hayes and Nimis's Lucian materials. Oh well.
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RandallButh
Posts: 961
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: Recommend papyri for teaching?

Post by RandallButh » March 12th, 2018, 10:21 am

Hopefully the line:
"One father writes to his OIEIWI, 100 CE."
was clear to most old-timers on this list.

To clarify just in case, the father wrote in good first-century phonetic spelling to his son, to his υἱῷ, plus a silent historical dative marker (-I). The whole short papyrus is worth reading in the original.
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