Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why ORAL aspect in Greek is important?

I posted the following contribution to G-Greek and I will get back to that.


From the time that the Church was establish in Jerusalem, to the current day, when they read the Gospel (aloud) ἀνάγνωσμα – in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection, what is the language they use, is it Greek? In the last two millennia do we have any interruption of this practice?

In Thessaloniki, Corinth and other places in Greece, from the time we received the letters from St. Paul, we never stopped reading these letters and the rest of the Gospels in our Churches. Not even under Latin or Ottoman occupation. We never stopped reading aloud the New Testament. The same aloud reading is the non-interruptive practice in Alexandria Egypt, and mount Sinai, at the oldest monastery of St. Catharine.

Now it may be time to expand this practice to all, and not just to Greek Orthodox.

One more point, when Erasmus was in Italy, the Italians were reading and talking with Greeks together. In the previous century, Prof. John Stuart Blakie, Prof Edmund Martin Geldar, Prof. Telemachus Thomas Timayenis continued this practice. What is the obstacle of doing the same today? Are any benefits that we should be separate and in no communication?

Do accents, breathing sings, punctuation sings, diaeresis notation, the rule that one syllable has one voice, voice fluctuation and intonation have any purpose, or not?
Why Greek grammarians put the matter of ἀνάγνωσις in their grammars first of all? What is the meaning of ἑλληνισμὸς, σολοικισμὸς and βαρβαρισμός in the aloud reading?
Do we benefit if we practice what it is written:

Γραμματικὴ ἐστιν ἐμπειρία τῶν παρὰ ποηταῖς τε καὶ συγγραφεῦσιν ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λεγομένων. Μέρη δὲ αὐτῆς εἰσὶν ἕξ. πρῶτον ἀνάγνωσις ἐντριβὴς κατὰ προσῳδίαν, δεύτερον ἐξήγησις, μετὰ τοὺς ἐνυπάρχοντας ποιητικοὺς τρόπους, τρίτον γλωσσῶν τὲ καὶ ἱστοριῶν πρόχειρος ἀπόδοσις, τέταρτον ἐτυμολογίας εὕρεσις, πέμπτον ἀναλογίας ἐκλογισμὸς, ἕκτον κρίσις ποιημάτων, ὅ δη κάλλιστόν ἐστι πάντων ἐν τῇ τέχνῃ.

Grammar is empirical (knowledge) (of the general usage) of poets and prose writers (ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λεγομένων). It has six divisions, first expert (reading) with due regard to prosodic features; second explanation of the literary expressions found in the text; third, the provision of notes on particular words and on the subject matter; fourth, the discovery of etymologies’ fifth, the working out of grammatical regularities; sixth, the critical appreciation of literature, which is the finest part of all that the (science τέχνῃ) embraces.

As I take the translation from the Byzantine Grammarians, by Robert Henry Robins, page 44, I do have problems with the translation, and definitely ἀνάγνωσις is not just reading but aloud reading.

Randall has a point! 

The language not only has a voice, but φωνὴ εὔηχον.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A very interesting book, even if it is not directly about Greek J. Köstenberger, Michael J. Kruger - 2010 - 250 pages - Google eBook -Preview
Beginning with Walter Bauer in 1934, the denial of clear orthodoxy in early Christianity has shaped and largely defined modern New Testament criticism, recently given new life through the work of spokesmen like Bart Ehrman.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Some additional explanation on my method of Learning Biblical Greek in an ecclesiastical immersion

I would like to make a note about immersion.  In the weekly liturgical cycle of the Orthodox church the book of psalms is read once a week, as Kathismata reading, while several other psalms are used more frequently in all vespers and matins services.  I will use these readings.   98% of the four Gospels, a bit less of the Acts and the letters throughout the year, and portions from the OT readings in the service of vespers comprise the Biblical reading of the year.  This is why that lectionaries provide the best text among all other biblical manuscripts.

In Greece I met people who were illiterate, but because of their church experience knew by heart most of the psalms, and significant part of the other readings.  When the priest or the reader was reading, they were reciting the text from their heart as well.  This is the way that the Bible was transmitted without any interruption throughout the centuries.  Not only as manuscript and book, but as a living tradition.

As I was talking to them, I realized that this is the way to go, respectfully and ecclesiastically.  Biblical Greek is not theatrical Greek, but it is the best oration that Greek language has to offer.  The only music one can put to it that it is appropriate is the ecclesiastical byzantine music, available in Greek, Rumanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Slavic, Arabic and now English. Soft or any other music is not appropriate.

Grammar and Syntax are mathematical terms, because they provide the logic of the language, this logic is presented by Theodosios. Later than 14 century Grammar are influence by the Latin formalism and do not carry the Hellenic αἰτιολογίαν, the reason and the logic of putting things together.  When the Greeks moved to Italy and started teaching Greek in Latin, for paedagogical (I prefer the old spelling form) reasons they stop the emphasis into the reason and focussed into the form. Thus we have the new, or modern grammars, that focus on memorization and tables of forms.  I will use them as secondary sources, and make reference to computerized forms for this type of learning.  Learning is to learn the reason, not the form, that one can easily get it from the web where various sites provide it

I will also use the works on the Greek music to provide additional evidence and information on the voice as well.  Fr. Athanasios Siamakis with his publications in Greece of Alypios, Kleonidis and Ploutach open my eyes and expanded my understanding on the subject.  Now he is working on the work of Manuel Bryennios, that I will also use, and the work of Chrysanthos on the Theory of Music (1821/1832) that its main part is translated into English by the Axion Estin Foundation (

I will use Greek grammars available in Google Books written before the 1453, and some after that time.
BUT my main reference will be the Grammar of Theodosios and of course Dionysos the Thrax. I put them in this blog just a day before as links.

Also I will have videos posted in Youtube linked to this blog.

I believe that the best way for one to proceed with Biblical Greek is to completely immerse into reading aloud, and slowly getting into comprehending the structure of the language, and build vocabulary.
For this purpose I will use the available computerized aids.
Those I chose are:  
         Allows one to keep notes by verse and compare texts
        Uses Byzantine text and makes grammatical analysis among other things
        Combines both of the above
        Preforms syntactical analysis will be upgraded this fall.

Have a nice δεκαπενταύγουστο.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Which Greek Grammars do I use? and why?

I prefer the Grammar written by Greeks for Greeks, Διονυσίου Θρακὸς and Θεοδοσίου.  Both have extensive commentaries, written during the antiquity, and there are available in the web.  Most of them are 100% available.  I like to base all on Dionysius Thrax, or Dionisios - since his name is Hellenic and not Latin.  I understood the Greek grammar when I read Theodosius - Theodosios from now on.
Many of those who wrote comments made good points, but I like to stay on his text.

I will publish his text in Greece this year.  In my discussions here I will use this text.
Already you can find a video where I read the comment on the meaning of Hellenism and Barbarism in the language.
I will give the text as I will discuss it.

I do not like post 1453 grammars because they bring the Latin influence into the Greek thinking.
These are the books I used, and I suggest you to read at some point of your life.


Robert Henry Robins - 1993 - 278 pages

Evangelinus Apostolides Sophocles - 1867 - 322 pages

A. N. Jannaris - 1897 - 737 pages

W. Keith Percival - 2004 - 342 pages

C. N. Constantinides - 1982 - 222 pages

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The 1904 edition of Antoniades Greek New Testament

Ē kainē diathēkē: egkrisei tēs megalēs tou Christou ekklysias
Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, ἐγκρίσει τῆς Μεγάλης τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἐκκλησίας

It can be found with the above title in Google Books.
First edition 1904, second edition 1911.
Reprinted several times, but this year on its 100th anniversary 
there is a photographical reprint from ΣΤΑΜΟΥΛΗΣ 
8.15 Euro's

The second edition did not correct all typographical errors, 
Prof. Maurice Robinson in his work where gives the variations of 
his text to Antoniades text, identifies all differences.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A new beginning

This is a new beginning, after a year of researching and writing.

Business Decisions (quantitative) BUS 220 with a new Mathematica version, with videos and screencasts, with business communications in their most modern form.

Introduction to Business BUS 104 with US downgraded and the Greek Economy into a path I had forecasted about 15 years ago.  What time to teach business!!!

Introduction to Reading Greek, Ἀνάγνωσις, using ecclesiastical Biblical Greek, non-interrupted since the time New Testament was written, and even couple hundred years before, using all electronic aids available.

Let's enjoy it all, in one forum, Read Greek 2 ME, so I will.

Prof. Adamou