Saturday, 26 December 2015

Saturday, 19 December 2015


It's #christmas I'll be posting ecards for a week or so
some old some new
you can download and share these png files

I've transliterated the Greek into the Roman ABC
so you can get some idea of what the Greek text SOUNDS like!

well probably ...

Friday, 18 December 2015

Minoan Octopus Vase

I'm just shamelessly bumping one of my favorites cos this #minoanvase is just simply a masterpiece!

Excellent balanced form. 

Superb painted decoration.

Beautiful composition of design that matches form and flows over it.

A #ceramics masterpiece !

Saturday, 12 December 2015


Most of matthew 14 is about Faith

#faith #doubt #greek words #ntgreek

14:31 Jesus to Peter saving him from drowning

Small faith for what (about his command to come to him) why you doubted ?

eis here is more an adverb then preposition

distazoo is an interested verb which seem to be dis double plus tassw changed to a z distazoo ? the idea perhaps to doubt is to be double minded ?

Christmas ecards to share  coming next week!

I may also take a break and bump some old posts!

More on Ancient Greek COINAGE

Here's a lovely image of three of  the famous Athenian Silver Owl Coins showing how the design was refined over the centuries along with a modern equivalent!

#coinage #silverowl #atheniancoin #athena #euro

I've often wondered why the Athenians associated Athena with Owls.
Perhaps because owls hunted mice and in a country that had to import grain predators that preyed on vermin were valued?

Saturday, 5 December 2015

BE Confident Fear NOT

#metousia 300  #aristotlesethics #matthewgospel #aristotle #courage #faith

still hardly any followers ???

You've read the tags and might be wondering what Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics might have to do with the Gospel of Matthew and my ongoing #Whatjesussaid series of posts  ?

Okay Todays short quote really demos how knowing some Greek and reading "pagan" literature and philosophy is a good thing for Christians doing Bible Study and GREEK Philosophy students!

Matthew 14:27

The apostles have seen Jesus walk on water towards them and think its a ghost of spirit or something. Note that Matthew uses the word PHANTASMA in Greek in verse 26. Now Phantasma is the origin of Phantom and a Phantom is NOT just a ghost or spirit but the APPEARANCE of something that SEEMS and can be SEEN as UNREAL ODD UNUSUAL such as a man walking on water on a dark and stormy night? They really werent quite sure what they were seeing but it startled them literally "Spooked" them?!

Jesus doesnt give them a long speech about the nature of reality or miracles but just short and simply commands and encourages them


Tharsoo is one of those multiple meaning words varying on context.

It could be translated here as be brave / confident / happy /
and its coupled with its opposite state PHOBEOO / PHOBOS FEAR

So where's the Aristotle link?

Are you aware of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and his Doctrine of Means.

Read book two and read other sections in which he discusses courage.
WHile he uses the word andreia note how he uses thrasutees to mena rashness or over confidence and a kind of BAD courage.

Yes Thrasutees also comes form Tharsoo due to the greek habit of reversing some syllables ! especially thra /  thar clusters!

Aristotle's usage confirms that a word can change meaning in different contexts or have an extra meaning that that mind require a NOTE added to the translation.

Thi ties too to 14:31 which we will dicuss next time!

Please do consider reading Aristotle's Ethics if you have not already done so if only to increase your vocabulary of words used to discuss ethics!

And read the whole second part of Matthew 14 with its theme of the power of faith.

Finally in reference in recent events don't support ISLAMOPHOBIA

Remember we share a PROPHET.

Reach out to any Muslim neighbours with RAOK random acts of kindness. Don't preach or discuss politics unless they want to! Show them they have nothing to fear and protecting them from bigots is the best way to prevent "radicalization".

Thank you for reading this.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The oldest coins?

The oldest #coins in the Hellenic / Aegean cultural area were probably these lion designs on coins from #Lydia used to pay Greek mercenaries.

The irregular shape is probably due to users shaving bits of gold off the coin later and that practice was the origin of the term defacing the coin.

The idea of a standard weight shape and shape and alloy standard rapidly spread to Ionia to the mainland but before there were Athenian silver owls and other currencies the lion roared first!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Matthew 13:57

#biblestudy #greeklanguage

Matthew 13:57 is one of those very popular verse that gets quoted a lot .

Many of us relate to being rejected to friends or family for various reasons apart from being a prophet.

Jesus has gone back to Nazareth and hassled and heckled and mocked by local residents.

His reply is very ironic and often gets translated or (mis)quoted as prophets are not honored in their own country or some variation on that.

So whats the actual text?

Not is (a) prophet atimos = unvalued / worthless / dishonored in not in the homeland and in the house his

Atimos is one of those words that tend to vary ever so slightly in meaning but the basic idea is that he is un / dis / not / having worth value honour

In  Modern 21st century English perhaps

A Prophet is honored anywhere but his own homeland and household or birthplace and home

IN this context I accept but or expect as a translation of ei mee.

The double negative isnt a form English is comfortable with ?

This is one of those deceptively simple verse you have to change the syntax and word order around a bit to get the full impact in English without it sounding awkward???

You might want to look up timos timee and the verb timaw and decide for your self whether you want to use honour value or worth.

Friday, 27 November 2015


#BASILICAS #basilica

Basilica is actually an very odd word with a strange history that shows how a word can change in usage and meaning as it shifts from one language to another.

Basilica derives from greek and is an adjective meaning royal

Now there was a building in Athens called the Basilike Stoa used as a law court by the King Archon and this function is a distant echo of the time when Athen had kings and Kings were Judges.

It is believed this is the source of a Latin word.

Vitruvius a few centuries later refers to basilicas as buildings in the centre of cities that functioned as public halls used for business and law courts.

Yet Roman basilicas generally had their colonnades INSIDE and not along one side of a building or porch HOWEVER Roman era Basilicas often occupy the same position next to a forum  as a stoa did in the agoras of Greek and Hellenistic polises.

Yet why use a Greek loan word when a Latin equivalent was available?

I suspect some of the Hellenistic Greek or Hellenized Asian monarchs were building basilike stoa of their own but adapted to local climate traditions?

Perhap Roman architect studying in Greek and Asia Minor brought back the idea to Rome and then it spread back to the province and basilicas begun replacing the  stoa ?

In a final twist Basilicas once again became Kingly Houses for a different kind of King that of heaven when Christians took over basilicas for churches and then the word became associated with large churches and bishops.

From House to Public Hall back to House!

Secular Saturday


People due to a change to my schedule I'm moving the midweek #metousia posts to Saturday for a while

Also a request this weekend is an online shopping frenzy for some.

Could you mention my #redbubble url to others?

They have a 20% off discount and 40% on posters!

There's a link on my blog! Thanx

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Prayer For Terrorists 2015 PRO version

No Bible study this Sunday.
I'm just too appalled by the volumes of anti refugee remarks and islamophobia on the web

A Poster with the text of Prayer for Terrorists

I've posted the text for Prayer for terrrorists a few times before and decided rather than do "slackactivism" and just talking on action to sell the prose piece as a poster or other item and hopefully raise some money for charity donations since people are not using the paypal tipjar!

View the site Read the Text. Share BUT Encourage people to buy !

I don't get "FREE WIFI" and I am not on one of those unlimited data plans!

Usually when I am at the library or mall I have far too much shopping ot carry to lug my laptop along as well since I do NOT have a car and have to carry stuff home on foot.

Friday, 20 November 2015


I see from checking the stats while I know Meotousia has some fans and readers on G+ none of you are actually following the blog ... or using the paypal tip jar.

Christmas is coming. Please consider following the blog and using the Paypal link. If its not working let me know?

If you would rather see the blog via Wordpress maybe or another site let me know?

The stats claim I have had 5000 views. Personally I suspect many viewers are actually botware. However humans out there and AIs please use the tipjar.

If 50% of you donated just one dollar each  I could tithe 10% to charity and still have money to cover all my December and January bills !

My one current casual job shuts down over the summer break in Australia so i could really use an income and savings boost.

Finally would anyone like to see some of these articles arranged and edited into a book a pdf ebook perhaps?

Thank You Julie Vaux

Ideology Idiots And ISI


Idiot and Ideology both derive from #GREEK words.

Idiot came into usage in English in the 1300s via French.

It appears sometimes spelt with a y in books by Wyclif Langland Caxton and Chaucer.

In Latin it was used to describe someone who was uneducated and ignorant but the original Greek usage was a bit broader and it was used to describe people who were too private ill informed ignorant and uninvolved in politics society and current affairs. People who were peculiar and eccentric in a very negative way.

The origin of idiot and ideology was the word idios private selfish peculiar.

#Ideology is a much more recent formation and vexation whose usage in English dates to the late 18th century again coming in via French.

It is an unfortunate and troublesome child of philosophy and one of its several dictionary meanings is " scheme of ideas ... justifying actions ..."

So why have I linked this to ISI in the title.

They use a malignant ideology to justify their actions and one aspect of it is an alleged rejection of Western values. I say allegedly as they seem to have no problems with using Western technology or ideas like social media and propaganda.

They also hate democracy and want a caliphate.

Who invented democracy?


along with other annoying "western" values like experimentation, scientific method, logic, the spiritual value of music, philosophy as an ends to wisdom, and much more.

ISI's true ideology and aim seems to be that of most dictatorships power thru promoting ignorance and fear. History betrayed into propaganda. Emphasis on past enmities.

One way to defy ISI ??? Study. Counterbalance propaganda with facts.
Insist on eyewitness reports. Don't over interpret events.

Support Western Values.

Revenge is not one of them.

Consider Solon's reforms. He would not permit one faction to have more power than another or act in vengeance or let himself be pushed into becoming an oligarch to tyrant. He sought to strengthen Athens thru a balance of power.

(see Plutarchs life of Solon)

BALANCE and Moderation. Two more "Western values" !

Don't be a vengeful idiot like ISI Be Aware and practice balance and moderation!

and READ the Classics!

(OED and LSJ used for notes on ideology and idiot)

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Scribes and Householders

#newtestament greek #classicalgreek #biblestudy #greek

Matthew 13:51

because / by / thru this thing (understanding parables?) every scribe who has studied into (possibly within in this context) the realm of of the heavens like is a (hu)man housemaster ( in sense of owner of property sometimes translate householder not housekeeper / servant
who brings forth out of the treasur(y) his new and old (treasures)

A grammateus is generally presumed to be a "SCRIBE" or a scholar of the Jewish scriptures in the New testament but a grammateus can also be a teacher or clerk or someone who is literate and earns money by being literate.

This is 1st century ad Palestine  an era in which many home owners Jewish or greek or hellenized jew or other pagans might have barely had the equivalent of say basic primary school .

Whether your education is secular or theological like a compotent home owner you should know how and when to make use of valuables you have in store.

This is a sound principle that can be applied to things other than parables and theology to knowledge and learning in general.

Use treasure wisely!

I'm a bit off schedule due to an ear infection and the joy of installing new software over the weekend.

Check out the mid week posts on the Ionian confederacy.

Next mid week post should be on basilicas!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Two More Smyrna Maps

#smyrna #history #geography

I've been searching through Google image to find the most useful maps to share with you.

I quite like this old map because it clearly shows the location of the site of the Hellenistic city in an area now a suburb of the modern city. Plus silting is indicated and the surrounding hills  and how the Ionian colonists and later Hellenistic era Greeks sensibly built their cities and harbours north and south of the river deltas.

History and Geography interact.

This is why a GOOD Classicist truly is a generalist who knows some science too?!

One more map showing the surrounding areas and how very lucky or careful the colonists were picking their site!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Understanding SUNIEEMI

#greeknewtestament #sunieemi

When you read through the #parables section of #matthew you will see forms of #sunieemi used frequently. This verb demonstrated how adding a prefix (SUN) can change meanings and how "Irregular" forms change into more regular forms with sunieemi being declined as if it was sunioo.

Matthew 13:13 suniousin
Matthew 13: 14 suneete
13:15 sunoosin
13:19 sunientos
13:23 suniesis

other forms derived from this verb you might see are sunesis and sunetos

Now it should mean something like bringing together but  here its applied to the process of bringing together of perceptions and thoughts  leading to ideas and insights so translated as UNDERSTAND.

Greek often treats thought as an active process of thinking a process not merely a recall of facts and in this case understanding is not merely knowing.

Mid week more on the Cities of ionia
Next weekend more on sowing and gardening

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Ionian Confederacy

Our next mid week sequence will focus on the Ionian Confederacy.

There were 12 cities including Miletus.

Of the many cities marked on this old map those in the Confederacy were,  from North to South:

Phocaea Smyrna Erythrae Clazomenae Teos Lebedus Colophon Ephesus Priene Miletus  and the two islands Chios and Samos>

I have chosen this old map despite the changes in coastlines since the 1880s  as it clearly shows the mountain ranges and rivers in the area. Also as many of you have probably noticed when looking into the geography of the region modern maps tend to show the Greek or Turkish names but not both or show the Turkish and only mark the archaeological sites unless they are major or give you the impression the nearest modern Turkish  village or town is a short walk away when its not!

More on this next time.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Parable or Myth and Hellenic influence on Jewish culture

and Hellenic Influence on Jewish Culture

Why does New testament Greek use the word parable rather than Myth when both mean story and can refer to fiction and prose.

Many scholars have suggested parabolee is a translation of mashal(im) but why would Matthew chose that word amongst several available?

I suggest and suspect if we had the textual evidence we would find the usage can be traced to the Alexandrian Greek speaking Jewish community which had been exposed to Greek philosophy and rhetoric.

In Greek rhetoric a parabolee is a short story inserted within a longer text or speech used to illustrate an idea or compare it to another idea.

There is also another Greek word parabolos that can be translated as side meaning and the prefix para implies parallels , juxtaposition, something nearby moving along with a similar course ...

Given Alexandria and First century AD Palestine had large populations with people with varying degrees of fluency in Greek I can see the two words fusing into one?

It is also intriguing as it suggests the possibility that rhetorical texts like Aristotles Topics and Rhetoric or Isocrates speeches were well known outside the Hellenic speaking communities in major cities?

Were there Jewish teachers of basic rhetoric training other scribes and teachers on how to explain mashalim to Greek speaking Jews or even teaching Aristotle or Isocrates to students who might need to interact with Greek speakers?

In Northern Galilee of all places?

Or does this tell us something about Matthew himself?

In a single lies hidden lost histories!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Miletus and Mud

#Miletos #Miletus #Balat #turkey #Greekcolony #Ionia

I was looking for more town plans showing agoras when I came across this map that shows the the intersection of #history and #geography.

Yes now that gray green area in the middle was once open water!

Now Miletus has been occupied since at least the Bronze Age and hence probably even earlier. Who was there before the Minoans and Mycenaeans I don't know but it was a city and port both multicultural and yet a classic Ionian Greek Polis too! However like Ephesus silting turned it from a major port to a declining backwater now in ruins near the modern Turkish village of Balat.

Odd that the Romans who could drain lakes and build canals and breakwaters for their ports never turned their engineering skills to divert the silt behind dykes.

Of the ancient note that Smyrna now Izmir is still a port but it lies in a narrower river valley in which the river flows straight with less silt buildup.

Back to Miletus home of philosophers and the Milesians.

They had a double agora and no not because the Romans expanded the agora area building a forum next to the Greek agora as happened in many cities.

While the bay marked D was the primary port the other bays and coves were probably used too by fishermen. However with the silt buildup moving the shore line closer and closer what was once a sheltered bay with great anchorage and clear views of any enemy fleets became an indefensible site. 

Poor Miletus conquered by geography!

The nearby fertile riverlands that attracted Greek colonists  ended up becoming a bane instead of a blessing!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Thrilling Future Passives

#Greek #newtestamentgreek #Classicalgreekgrammar #futurepassive #biblestudy

Matthew 13: 11-12 Thrilling Future passives

While this is the start of a new section about the parables and the parable of the sowes be warned this first  post will focus on language features.

If you're not into #biblestudy but rather looking for verb forms examples these two verses have three beauties!

Note that he's talking to the disciples after a public preaching of a parable.

13: 11

to you it has been given dedotai PERFECT PASSIVE didoomi
to know Aorist Infinitive the mysteries of the realm of the heavens,
to them but not it has been given.

13: 12

He who(ever) note that hostis is used in Greek for has / owns hold
 (the knowledge and interpretation Jesus is about to give?)
dotheesetai FUTURE PASSIVE from didoomi will be given to him
and more / and he will have abundance / abundant knowledge?
perisseutheesetai FUTURE PASSIVE

hewhoever not has and what (he) has will have taken away from him
FUTURE PASSIVE artheesetai

If you're reading this for bible study do read and reread the rest of Chapter 13 in English or Greek or both.

Any section involving a Parable requires thought.

If you're reading cos you're studying or teaching Greek I hope you enjoy and make good use of the future passives I pointed out and the usage of hostis too!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Corinth Agora

Another major site where you can see the outlay of an ancient #agora is at #Corinth.
While like many sites it's mainly foundations that remain the overlaying that obscures sites like Athens is lesser here. 

Note the layout 

A Bouleuterion or Council Hall and other public buildings.
 Stoas Temples Theaters A open area for markets and meetings. 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Random Sowing

The first #parable in Matthew Chapter 13 is actually kinda wierd and zen like or maybe not?

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament #parables

The language is 13:3-9 seems quite straight forward and plain. Very few unusual words or features ... some lovely examples of aorist but rereading it I came to the conclusion the main insights I can share with you come from my gardening experience not just my knowledge of Greek!

Neither in English or Greek does it specify WHAT KIND OF SEED is being sown. The sower isn't carefully making holes and planting seeds in rows or a pattern but randomly scattering them while walking alike and apparently not in a field but a long a path or road hodos so the birds eat them or onto stony ground unprepared soil or amongst weeds or thorns?


We get given one clue!

Jesus says he who having ears let him listen !

Now all sorts of explanations have been given but consider this?

Maybe soil is being tested.

When I have a lot of seed depending on the plant I put a couple of seeds in several pots to test both the soil and the seeds whether or not the seeds are fertile and whether or not my mixtures of fresh potting mix old soil seaweed soil and other mystery ingredients are working.

A lot of people hear this story and think of sowing a grain crop but what if this is a garden not a farm? The type of plant is never mentioned.

Maybe the lessons to be learnt are multiple?

And one is to take risks testing soil and seed and don't just go for easy crops?

Parables ... mystery or common sense?

Midweek we're back to agoras!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Philippi Agora to Forum

The ruins of Ancient Philippi are an excellent and compact example of how an agora can change to a forum and then a Byzatine town centre.

Fortunately for archaeologists it seems to have been abandoned some time after 1345 despite having fortifications as the population shifted to other towns in the region or possibly just around the mountain to what became modern Krinides?

There may have been a Thracian settlement nearby and the original Greek colony from the nearby island of Thasos was called the Fountains Kreenidees so perhaps the wetlands that have now been drained for agriculture were once fed by springs whose surface outlets have disappeared. The Thracians were noted for horse raising so if those wetlands dried up to grasslands in summer and autumn ...

Here's the most useful map and photo I could find on the web.

If you want more images make sure you specify Philippi in Greece!

The city acquired its name from a Macedonian ruler.

The "Acropolis" seems to have mainly been used as a watch post with a clear post over the road a major trade route later incorporated into the Roman Via Egnatia. The Roman forum was built right next to an older agora and various public buildings. There were also several Byzantine churches and chapels and the modern village of Krinides may have been the "garden suburb" outside the walls of the main polis.  Drama is an actual city on Thrace! Not shown on the map are shrines to Bendis and several tombs.

As with many Greek cities the original larger agora acquired more and more public structures over the centuries. 

Google Earth has an aerial view but I rather like this photo !

I rather suspect the original Agora covered most of the area in the middle of that shot with the "Library" Basilicas and Roman era Forum replacing older stoas or council buildings. 

Yes this is the Philippi of the New Testament! 

Remember however this one is in Thrace in modern Greece!

Please consider giving this blog some extra support via  

Saturday, 3 October 2015

MY family is ... Matthew 12:50

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament #whatjesussaid #gospel


whoever for should / would do / make (poiew aorist subjunctive)
the will of father mine / of me  in the heavens that person (my translation of autos) of me brother and sister and mother is.

Now Jesus was gesturing towards his disciples when he said this but note it is not just being a follower of Christ that makes you part of the family of God it is doing the will of GOD. Faith and works! Unlike the Pharisees he's been rebuking!

For more about faith and works and the necessity for both please read the Letter of James!

Sorry this post is so short but local weather conditions combined with pollen or something has caused a nasty sinusitis attack and I'm fighting the urge to slump back onto pillows as I type .

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Greek Agora One Thasos

The Greek Agora is surely the ancestor of the European plaza and town square!

Google #Agora and your usual result will be a plan of the Agora at Athens at any stage from the Archaic to the Roman era.

However I've hunted up some diagrams and maps of the agora area of other cities for your use.

Note the common characteristics :

An open near a shrine or temple or public buildings used both for markets and gatherings.

It does not always have palaces nearby nor do the main roads or streets lead straight away into it.

Large public buildings like stoas or basilicas or courtrooms are often later additions.

Even the smallest polises seem to be have had one.

Now for some images:

The Agora of THASOS

and a map of the city to show its relation to other areas

Sometime next week Corinth !

This weekend we return to the Gospel of Matthew !

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Compact Comparative

How Deliciously Compact the #Greek Comparative can be!

#biblestudy #greekgrammar #classicalgreek #koinegreek #greek

#Matthew 12 verses 41 -42 has a lovely example of this!

and why learning some Greek needs to your appreciation of either or both the #GreekNewTestament and the Greek Language.

... and behold something greater than Jonah

... and behold something greater than Solomon.

Something greater than is one simple elegant word in Greek


which is the neuter form of pleioon the comparative form of plus

polus pleioon pleistos many more most

Its whats called an Irregular Comparative and if You have a copy of Goodwin's Greek Grammar go to P.61

You'll also find this topic covered in the JACT text and various others.

The study of Classical and New Testament Greek should NOT be separate subjects. A solid grounding in studying Greek grammar and reading Classical literature aids one's appreciation and understanding of New Testament greek. Likewise reading the Greek new Testament reminds us Greek was a living language used not just by Athenian and Hellenistic dramatists orators historians and philosophers but ordinary people as well.

I did say there would be some mid week posts soon.
I've almost finished the research for that!

A Request 

I do hope some of my readers and followers will consider using the paypal tip jar occasionally?

I don't have FREE wifi and I had to upgrade to a wireless modem to overcome poor reception conditions so I do have to pay power and broadband bills to bring you these posts.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

3 days and nights

#Matthew 12:40
#prophecy #resurrection #whatjesussaid #biblestudy #newtestamentgreek

If you're debating teaching discussing or just plain quibbling about whats said about the Resurrection in the Bible you might want to take a look at this verse.

Note also the rest of the passage verses 38 - 42 in which OT figures such as Jonah the Queen of Sheba and Solomon are mentioned

Jesus summarizes the story of Jonah emphasizing he was in the belly of the whale or sea monster 3 days and 3 nights and then says

"so (likewise) will be the son of man in the heart of the earth 3 days and 3 nights

Make of that what you will or just believe but those are the exact words spoken.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Pegasus on a plate

Here's #Pegasus.

I'm sharing this simply cos I'm sorting thru older images in my laptops folders and wanted to share the pleasure of this striking piece showing Pegasus acting as a war horse aiding his rider to defeat Chimera!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

MARTYR or not ...?

MARTYR or not ... ?

There is a great gulf in difference between the Greek and English usages and meanings of the word martyr.

A MARTYR is someone who gives witness or testifies about an event.

However for Christians in the early church it came to have another meaning.

ST. Stephen is referred to as the first martyr but we often forget that is partly he give witness in a long speech to the council that condemned him.

While in later centuries there were anti Christian riots the word martyr came to be applied to persecuted members of the early church because they could not be condemned to the arena or other punishments for "atheism" or not sacrificing to the Emperor BEFORE they were processed by a magistrate.

They could give witness in their own defence.

Its a perfect and tragic example of semantic transfer and extension from one limited meaning to another broader one.

To most people it now means someone who suffers for a cause and their suffering is seen as a form of witness. Yet originally the witnessing the giving of testimony in court was more important than the consequent suffering.

There are some people who undoubtedly think a certain Kentuckian county clerk is a martyr. That person however may be and think she's witnessing her faith but she is not at risk of death or torture unless by torture you include some of the social media memes cartoons and other satire appearing on the net.

Martyrs first and foremost should be witnesses presenting evidence not heros or victim. However the only thing Kim Davis' activities seem to be proving is that she doesn't understand she lives in a secular democracy not the first century AD Roman Empire!

She wasn't asked to sacrifice to idols or worship the President as a living god.

IF you want to be a social activist Davis try supporting the local homeless or refusing to issue marriage licenses to church elders who marry girls young enuff to be their daughters or to adulterers maybe?

Or perhaps you could resign your cosy bureaucrat's job and go and help Syrian refugees many of whom genuinely are persecuted ! ... and possibly more Christian than you?

It also appalls me that I see people curiously nearly all white middle aged american males getting on social media "witnessing" that refugees are actually ISI jihadis or economic migrants.

Witnessing is supposedly to be based on things you have seen and experienced FIRST HAND not RECYCLING whatever paranoid or homophobic nonsense you saw on the web!

If you're witnessing about anything be a responsible informed witness!

Next week we presume working through the Gospel of Matthew though the way some people are behaving about refugees I'm tempted to do a word for word translation of the Good Samaritan story especially the part where the Samaritan doesn't ask the person to provide visas passports and other proof of ID.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Careless Words Can Condemn

Matthew 12. 36 - 37  #biblestudy #greek #greeknewtestament

#Jesus continues his rebuking of the Pharisees.

I say and to you that every word careless / casual/idle see note which they say the people they will give back yield be judged by implied by their own word in / on day of judgement

argon is a+ergos not shining or white  careless idle unworked lazy casual

out of for of the words of you you will be judged / justified
and out of the words of you condemned

readers please think and speak with wisdom compassion and carefully

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Abundance is not always treasure

Abundance is not always  treasure
#biblestudy #greeknewtestament #gospel #greek
Matthew 12 34-35

There are some very interesting Greek words in these two verses.

First my word for word


Offspring of vipers how are you able good things to say (while) evil being.

out for the overflow / surplus of the heart the mouth speaks.


the good man out of his good treasure / treasury / storehouse brings out good
and the evil man out of the evil treasury brings out evils.

Note first the use of a neuter genneemata not family or clan but offspring and of poisonous snakes!

Then there's perisseumata usually translated as abundance but this from of abundance implies over flow surplus excess even waste too much of something.

They're spewing!

A theesauros can be a storehouse or room or a chest anything you store something you think is valuable EVEN if it isn't!

Offerings arent always gold and silver and spices and silk but sometimes candles sashes old clothing an odd peice of brocade old furniture.

I think from the context Jesus was thinking of a treasury that's a mixture of junk and valuables only the owner thinks are treasures ... (something like my garage or library shelves!)

Finally remember he has just rebuked them for accusing him of black magic!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Known by its fruit

#Matthew 12:33

#gospel #biblestudy #whatjesussaid

"Either make the tree fine and the fruit of it excellent
or make the tree rotten and the fruit of it worthless
for by the fruit the tree is known."

Some language points

In #greek "Good" is KALON" which also translates as fine or excellent or beautiful.

Rotten and worthless are two possible readings of  Greek sapros.

Note the use of MAKE in an Imperative form.

Coming after a passage in which he rebuked the Pharisees for claiming his healing powers came from demons and asked who they got their powers from?

Its not just the tree and its fruit being good or bad. They can be made good or bad. Sapros is not just flawed imperfect fruit its fruit that is rotten infected diseased  or moldy.

However trees can be healed like people or churches or whole religions.

You can trim infected branches and perform other actions.

A recent example might be the actions of the #Duggar family.

Instead of removing the infected fruit they're trying to down play the sexual misconduct of their offspring and one has to wonder what flaws are in the rest of the family tree?

How do you heal trees or families?

Sound healthy food compost or manure and clean water.

Cut out infected parts and burn infected fruit or wood.

Fundamentalism is it a poison ?

Known by its fruit?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Why the Bible is A Classic

Why the Bible is A Classic
and why a Classicist posts a Greek Testament Bible Study on weekends

Yes the Bible is a "Classic"
Yes I know its an anthology that evolved over many centuries however like it or not it is a foundational classic of Western Culture.

It, like many other classics, Homer, Aristotle, Sophocles, Ovid, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, has influenced philosophers poets painters theologians and politicians.

As a Classicist I love being able to read the Greek New Testament for several reasons:

Not all of them religious!

Insight into how Greek was used in writing and speech by people using it as a second language.

being able to spot when some one goes but the bible says and they're using a bad translation or misquoting both the original and their preferred translation

giving me verses to use for digital typography

The second reason is my main motivation for shifting towards weekend bible study posts. I have had the privilege of studying Greek and felt an obligation maybe even a calling to share that knowledge of Greek and Ancient History with others.

If you have been or become a follower you'll notice I keep interpretation to the minimal. Yes I could score more followers starting theological arguments but evidence comes first. It may not be exciting but making it easier for people to understand where and why translations differ is an ethical obligation.

Also Evidence comes first and in this case the evidence artifact and data is text!

As Paul says Panta Dokimazei Test everything

The verb he used could also be translated as assay test examine !

I hope my posts have provided some helpful insights but people please some feedback?!

Thank You

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Feedback requested on Metousia post topics please

I've noticed an increased number of readers for the sunday bible study but still no comments sooo

Feedback please !

Do you prefer notes and bible study on new testament greek to posts on classics ?

Would you prefer me to go back to a mixture of Classics mid week and nt greek on weekends ?

Would you like to go more articles on archaeology and art?

Would you prefer to see more posts on mythology ?

Did you want to see more study guides to learning Classical Greek ?

Would you prefer quotable Quote type posts translating remarks by famous philosophers ?

Who is your favorite Greek philosopher ?

IF you want more art posts do you want them to be about ancient greek ceramics sculpture or architecture or about the influence of greek myth on later art ?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Matthew 12 1 - 14

#Bible study #gospel #sassyJesus #Greek  #ethics
oh and maybe Jesus being sassy to those pharisees ... AGAIN

Really All 14 verses in this first section of Chapter 12 of Matthew  revolve around verse 12

So its possible on the Sabbath days to do good things!

Yeah I know most translations go for "lawful" but this is one verse where the greek meaning is wider.

Jesus is about to heal a man inside a synagogue on a Sabbath day when he makes this statement and points out if people might  "break" the Sabbath doing farm work and tending to stock  and if a man is more important than a sheep ...

The actual verb is eksestin which  Grammar and Lexicons call an impersonal form but consider the verb ek - out of / from + being.

Despite the "impersonal" form its not just a lawful action but something you do personally hence the verb being translated as lawful permitted allowed possible, an action within one's power.

Practical Action doing good comes before Law - Nomos and tradition.

Note also kaloos poiein to do well to do finely something both beautiful and good.

Healing not sitting in or running a cafe or other business and complaining about how you have to pay penalty rates.

Respect people especially health workers or anyone running essential services who has to work Sundays !

And if you think work people shouldn't work on Sundays bear in mind they may have such a low wage its the only way they can cover their living expenses and don't go shopping or out yourself unless you have to or have no other day off to do essential shopping for food!

Saturday, 25 July 2015



What does #biblestudy #historicallinguistics and maybe some #doctorwho aliens have in common?
No I'm not trying to create a false linkage as an excuse for tags. There is a link.
I will admit to trying to make this post a little more lighter than usual?

Last week I looked at the Take up my yoke verse in Matthew.

It occurs to me some of you raised with tractors or no knowledge of farming may have no idea what a yoke is? Yes you can look up details on Wikipedia but before you do ...

Basically a yoke is device for joining one or two or more animals to a plough or carriage. The animal can and has been cattle donkeys horses mules even elephants since the Indian Army used them for hauling large artillery!

Now the rise of protestantism and missionary activities by various religions lead to a need for dictionaries and word lists for translation from Aramaic Hebrew Greek and Latin into other languages  and since yoke is a word that appears several times in the bible ...enough times so that its not common but distinctive...

Scholars first noted that Greek Zugon and Latin Jugum had a g in the middle and seemed similar to European words like Lithunian jungas and German Joch  and then there's Old English geoc and Old Church Slavonic igo.

Then European scholars got access to Sanskrit and Persian texts and lo and behold Sanskrit had yuga and Farsi had yug.

This and other studies lead to to the sciences of philology and historical linguistics. It also lead to YOKE being a standard common textbook example even high schoolers might be aware of.

So how does this tie in with bible study and ZYGONS!

Yoke as a noun or verb is used used to describe a forced burden being imposed or lifted. The verse in matthew talks about lightening a load and some of you may recall the phrase yoke of slavery?

Zygons are oppressive conquerors.

Now I don't know if this is what happened but I'm wondering if some script writer who'd heard the word ZYGON at school or university and heard the word YOKE during a sunday sermon or bible study as a child or teenager and some subconsciousness processing merged the two?

So the next time the Zygons appear on Doctor Who consider things Hellenic or Biblical and that a study and knowledge of historical linguistics and Greek can add in understanding biblical verses or get the fans in your congregation paying more attention during sermons if you want to use this idea?

Possibly something a more more serious next week!

I'm still enduring the final symptoms of that virus I mentioned previously  as a  lingering cough.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Primary Texts for Greek Mythology

Mythology and Literature are intertwined.

Whether you're reading them for the story or the literary values here's a hopefully useful list in chronological order of Greek and Latin texts.

Home the Iliad and Odyssey

The Homeric Hymns

Hesiod Theogony

The greek dramatists Aeschylus Sophocles Euripides and Aristophanes


The Greek Pastoral Poets

Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica


Virgil  the Eclouges Georgics and Aeneid


Ovid the Metamorphoses Heroides and Fasti


Saturday, 18 July 2015

matthew resumes

#health #biblestudy #newtestamentgreek
Now that I've almost after three weeks  finished spewing toxic acid waste from my sinuses and elsewhere weekend bible study posts resume.
A note to GooglePlus followers I have two other blogs (metousia and glyphika) and if you're not interested in New testament greek please refer this particular blog to someone who might benefit from it? Also note I have some new ideas for Greek mythology posts but have been unable to write up my notes due to illness.

Severe Bronchitis sinusitis rhinitis all painfully combined ...

Back to Matthew after a short break for more coughing ...

Matthew 11 25-30

25 in this time or on this occassion declared (aorist passive participle made this statement) Jesus said

I thank / acknowledge / praise  exxomologeoo middle ) to you father lord of the heaven and the earth  that you hide these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants

26 yes father that such was your grace/ good will

27 all things to me have been delivered by the father of me and no one knows  the son if not the father nor does one the father know if not the son and who ever / anyone to whom whenever he chooses the son reveals

28 here then towards me alllwho work hard and are heavily burdened and I will  give you release / rest  (verb anapausoo) you

29 take up my yoke / harness for ploughs upon you  ( the very poor who owned no livestock would have to yoke themselves to a plow) and learn from me that gentle I am and humble in the heart and you will find rest for your souls

30 for the yoke mine is loving and the burden mine light is.

One should remember this was an era in which iron plows were rare and plowing truly was manual labour !

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Jesus Cares Poster

Metousia is currently sick and not getting any paid work and due to the nature of my ailment and the local weather  probably will not be working for at least another two weeks.

Going outside just to do food shopping is literally going to be painful due to the risk of the cold wind aggravating things

Anyway if you have found metousia useful could you please considering helping out by sharing this link?

This is to a poster print mugs tees decals stickers etc also available

Thank You

Please support thtis blogger while she's sick

If you've found any of my metousia useful please consider supporting this blogger while she's sick. I currently have a SEVERE rhinitis / sinusitis infection and my doctor could me on a double dose of steroids fearing I'll get pleurisy.

Anyway that means I'm having trouble concentrating and literally cant focus on the screen so if anyone would care to use the tip jar...

I've been in and out of bed for a fortnight and given the way they way my bronchitis flares up after any cold or sinusitis ... you might maybe just get a fresh blog post next weekend though how I'm going to make up for the month of work I've lost ...

There's a paypal tip jar ... will someone please use it?

Meanwhile I'm going to bump some older posts.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Health hiatus

There will no metousia posts until Ive seen the doctor and get some medication that actually works for my current severe bronchitis / sinusitis

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Land of Sodom and Love Wins

Oh the irony ...I have reached Matthew 11 verses 20 - 24 in which Jesus proclaims that certain pagan cities may fare better on the Day of Judgement and in which Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum  compared to Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.

Many Old Testament prophets described up those cities as doomed places of perversion.

YET consider these words

" that if in Sodom had happened the works of power which happened in you it would still remain  today  but I say  to you that for land of Sodom more tolerable it shall be in the day of judgement than for you!"

The souls of the people of Sodom land of perversion and abuse and people who assaulted strangers instead of treating them as guests may yet receive better treatment than the occupants of good "Jewish" cities?

Many people are celebrating or wailing about a certain USA supreme court decision .

I am  not going to rehash the endless arguments for and against gay marriage.

Just remember we are all sinners whatever our sin and what the supreme virtue  is ...


With #lovewins being a trending social media topic let us remember there is more than one kind of love,

Charity or compassion, whichever translation of Agape you prefer, Philia, friendship, Storge, affection, and Eros, passion are all forms of love. 
Whichever kind of relationship you're in or partnership let desire become love.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Charleston Shooting

Given a recent event the #CharlestonShooting I wish to show respect for the victims and family by citing a passage from #Galatians ... yes the end of chapter 3 verses 26 and 28 ...please forgive my modernization of a few words and phrases

For we are all children of god through faith in Christ Jesus  ... 
Nor is there a Jew nor a Greek or Slave or Free nor Male or Female.

All of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Personally I feel we are all Children of God Christian or other

I also wish to remind people of #Matthew 5:9

Blessed (are) the PEACE MAKERS 

People please do not be tempted into debates or arguments with political or paranoid agendas about mental health racism gun control or flags.

Consider instead what actions we can take to MAKE PEACE as individuals and communities? Thank You.

Our normal slow progress through the #gospel of Matthew continues next week.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

More on Matthew 11:19

Some more notes and comments of Matthew 11:19
#greeknewtestament #biblestudy #textualvariants

I distractedly overlooked two aspects of this verse  last week.

ONE : Textual variants

There are  ancient texts (see the footnotes in the Aland Greek New Testament if possible)  in which like Luke 7:35 the  word teknwn children is used instead of ergon. This textual variance should not worry you. Both versions have the same meaning Wisdom is justified by actions and results.

TWO dikaiow appears as an aorist passive usually translated as justify.

Perhaps we  have give some attention to what this means?

The verb is an action of making right / just / righteousness
Wisdom is judged by her actions / children is another possible translation.
The Liddell and Scott Lexicon gives three meanings to this verb .
All of them are closely related so again don't worry about it too much!

If some one cites this as an example of the Bible or various translations  "contradicting" each other draw their attention to the meaning of the verse?

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Wisdom Justified

Matthew 11 16 - 19 #gospel #newtestament greek #biblestudy

to what and I will compare the generation this ?
a thing / event / activity like similar to children sitting in the agora = public places / central streets squares markets / business centre  of town or village
who are calling out to the others saying ( a folk song)

We piped to you and not you danced
we wailed and not you mourned

came John neither eating or drinking and they are saying he has a demon /
 he is possessed by a spirit
came the son of man eating and drinking and they are saying
behold a man eating and drinking wine with and to sinners  taxpayers a friend

and wisdom is justified from her deeds / actions

John was condemned for being an ascetic and Jesus for socialising with everyone
How to judge them ? By their actions?

Remember Jesus started this speech to asking Johns disciples to tell others about seeing healing.

Judge both the ascetic monk or the seemingly worldly by the results of their actions.

Charity is an expression of Wisdom?

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Modernizing the Greek Lord's Prayer

Recently I saw a modernization of the #lordsprayer that I felt was flawed ... a bit TOO PC and not respectful of the #Greek text.

This following text #Copyright Julie Vaux is more a paraphrase than an exact translation but those who read Greek can see where I've expanded some phrases cos the greek word has several possible meanings.

I have also tried to create a version that's in line with most churches teachings and the new testament itself but with a 21st ethos?

I'm not replacing the KJV just suggesting a modern alternative that's hopefully poetic?

Please give feedback on the translation and if people like it I'll put it on prints on stationery on my Cafepress Shop.

(hey please dont rip off my copyright I have mid year health fund payments  due and if I do make a profit I can cover my other bills also and then donate to local charities )

This is a work in progress so share it only with people who read new testament or classical greek and can give feedback?

#copyright Julie Vaux 2015

A Modern Alternative to the Lord's Prayer Based on the Greek Text

Holy Spirit of Love and Wisdom (gender free!)

You who are beyond earthly perception (change earthly to mortal ?)

Yet move within our hearts minds and souls

Let your name be holy and revered

Let your realm abide in reality and eternity

Let your divine will be manifest throughout creation

Give to us today and tomorrow our needs for body mind and soul

that we may likewise give to others

and release and forgive us from our sins and errors

as we likewise do so to others

and test us not with temptation or trial

but rescue us from evil physical and spiritual !

I consulted the Matthew and Luke versions of the Prayer for this work

#Copyright Julie Vaux 2015

I have a mixture of secular and spiritual designs on my


please visit

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Jesus about John the Baptist 3

#Jesu about John the Baptist 3
#biblestudy #greeknewtestament #gospel
Matthew Chapter 11 verses 11 - 15

Now this section seems quite straightforward
Jesus is praising John and linking him to a prophecy about the return of Elijah.

There is a problem with one verb though and a phrase.
truly i say to you not has risen in those born of women more greater of genitive marks comparative John the baptist
the and least in the realm of the heavens more than him is
12 from and the days of john Baptist until now the realm of the heavens forces?
see my note below is forced and violent men ravage it.
13 all for the prophets and the law until  John prophesied
14 and if you  wish to receive this same person is Elijah the one future to come.
15 he who has ears let him hear

Why is biazetai a problem ? It seems plainly to be the middle form of biazoo and it could be that it is  just a reference to a persecution of John and his followers but here we see it being used  in the the same sentence as the words realm of the heavens ... this is of historical interest and seems to support the argument that Jesus and John had links to the Essenes ?

They too contrasted a divine just heavenly realm with secular ones and why Jesus usually seems to be talking about Heaven given that he's just finished talking about John and what happened to John ...?

Jesus is saying the the realm of heaven is currently being attacked not in the future but right now. Perhaps as well as what happened to John and the verbal attacks and criticism by various jewish factions Jesus and John's followers were also being harassed and hassled by various local secular authorities?

I don't normally give much time or regard to theories about secret messages or code so I don't think we should read too much into this but it does seem to be a significant reference to events happening during Jesus' ministry that only seems obscure to us because they were so long ago few details survive?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Jesus about John the Baptist part 2

#jesus #johnthebaptist #biblestudy part 2 #Matthew 11 7 - 10

#matthew #gospel #greeknewtestament

word for word translation

verse 7

they and going begun the Jesus to speak to the crowd about John

What did you come out into the wilderness to see ?
(see as a spectator watching an event )
(a) reed by wind shaken ?

verse 8
but why /what did you come out to see?
a man in soft robes draped ?

malakos here means soft rather than perverse a meaning supported by the next word which is a participle form a verb meaning vested draped clothes around

he is referring perhaps to hellenized jews wearing wraps but more likely to  temple priests / prophets wearing heavy soft expensive wool robes or over wraps / capes  that wrap and drape themselves around the body

behold the ones soft things wearing in the houses of rulers are!

Jesus is critizicing the established priesthood who served and supported the elite or perhaps the prophets at the temple who wore elaborate robes of the finest wool

verse 9

What did you come out to see? a prophet

Yes I  say to you and more than a prophet

He then cites an old testament prophecy.

John the Baptist was not just a prophet but a messenger announcing an arrival

Perhaps judging from the next verse both Jesu and John dressed simply

remember jesus commanded his disciples to do so ?

a religious rally or meeting shouldnt be theatre and costume but focus on teaching

there are some preachers who seem to think dressing up is the best way to attract an audience?

As well as linking himself and John to various prophecies he's also defending himself and John again their establishment critics ... read on ...

more next week

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Jesus to John - One

#Matthew matthew 11 4 - 6 #bible study #greeknewtestament

#Jesus had a cousin called #John. John the Baptist.
His response to a group of John's disciples was this:

I'm just going to do a loose translation since there's no unusual words or syntax in this section

"Go back Proclaim to John what things you hear and see!
blind see again cripples walk
lepers are cleansed and deaf hear
 (possibly deafmutes not merely hearing impaired no cochlear implants or hearing aids back then so most deaf people if deaf from birth  would have been mute as well and had no choice but to use some sign of sign language)
and dead raise up (see story of  synagouge officials daughter and lazarus)
and the poor receive good news.
and blessed are who ever should - its ean and an aorist passive subjunctive in Greek -  not be offended / shocked / caused to sin / angered by me !

Note what comes last in this list ! Evangelising.
 Helping and helping comes First!

We can't perform miracles but we can support having a decent low cost health care system or welfare for the disabled.

None of that The Poor are Lazy and Don't Deserve help nonsense.


You may be noticed I post at different times of the day depending on what i'm doing on Sunday mornings or afternoons.

If you're reading this on Google Plus please remember if you follow the blog directly you can get an message about new posts?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Serpent Queens and Snake Goddesses

Who was SHAHMARAN? How is she linked to other Serpentine Myths?

#serpentqueens and #snakegodesses and an #indoeuropean #myth found across Eurasia from Greece to India and beyond.

In the Middle East there are tales in Syria Turkey Iran and elsewhere of a shape shifting serpent queen who marries a human and shares treasure called #ShahMaran.

She is depicted in folk art and on jewellery and amulets as a woman wearing jewels and a crown with a snake or dragon body.

France has the legend of Melusine who is said to have an half serpent form and have come to her spring from something in Albania or the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Greece has Lamia and the Echidna who are part serpent.

India and SE Asia has stories of nagas  such as this couple!

Given the spread of the myth it appears to be IndoEuropean or even Pre Indo European as the nagas are described as living in caves and rivers.

Another clue is the description of Echidna being pre Olympian and also in one story the ancestress of the Scythians of Central Asia and the Steppes who probably spoke an Indo European Language.

In Greece Echidna like Tiamat in Mesopotamia is a mother of monsters but those monsters were more hostile to the Olympians than humans though there is the story of the Lamia  who kills children and preys on adults too.

My personal suspicion is that this sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile entity may even predate the IndoEuropean expansion? 

Perhaps she was originally a goddess of water carving out rivers and channels through primodrial wetlands into seas and lakes . The twisting body of a snake  may have seemed like the meanders of a river to the ancients.

So why compare Shahmaran to Echidna or the nagas?

It shows us both convergence and divergence play a role to cultural development with preIndoEuropean beliefs across Eurasia fusing with IndoEuropean ideas about dragons and serpents yet changing over the centuries so we have Melusine the Fay with children with monstrous features and yet Nu Wa the half serpent mother creatrix in ancient Chinese myth and Tiamat and Nagas.

Both the vampiric Lamia of Greece and Shahmaran the majestic are echoes or shadows or something else of a power ancient and primal.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Receiving the Righteous

Matthew 10 40 - 42 #biblestudy #gospel #jesus #christian #greeknewtestament

We're almost at the end of a major section !
Fairly straightforward in this section but there are a couple of things ...

but first the word for word so you get some idea of what the greek is like


he who receives you pl me receives
dekhomai is the verb receive accept take welcome
and he who receives me receives the one who sent me (as a messenger)


he who receives a prophet in name (= equals in english for being a or because)
what we see here is what Goodwin's Grammar 1207 d calls an accusative of Purpose or Reference it could also be translated as for or for being but because works best in modern English ... there's another example further on
so he who receives prophet in name of prophet reward of prophet will receive
the verb changes here from dekhomai to the future form of lambanoo but both have very similar meanings


and who ever will provide / give a drink of water
this is one verb in greek the future form potiseei of potizoo
(to) one of the small these  (to any) of these small ones

possibly a joke .. there is an oral tradition jesus was very tall?
a drink cold alone in name for a student / disciple (of mine)

there are old testament stories about people giving prophets cold water a symbol of hospitality and dangerous if that prophet was currently being escaped by which ever courtier king or religious official he had offended

also cold water was a precious commodity no fridges water had to be filtered and cooled since you lived next to a mountain spring of cold water !

truly i say to you not in the least will be lost the reward of him.

so he's asking people to treat his students and followers as if they are prophets for his sake and the sake of the divine

you don't have to give religious leaders private jets or palaces but show respect and concern and good manners if they are genuine followers of Jesus is how I read that

A final note on that accusative ... why use because ? think of a syntax you sometimes see I am doing this for the sake of him or I do this for him or I do this for the name of so and so however saying for the name of is perhaps too formal in the 21st century and has a slightly archaic flavour so changing this to because reflects the simpler Greek syntax and the meaning and intent?

You may be getting a mid week metousia on the links between greek and yezidi mythology

See you then but people please remember I don't get free wifi so any paypal donations towards my wifi or other bills  would be helpful?

Whatever you think is the equivalent of a cup of water ?

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Lysias On Remembering Warriors

 #sydney #anzac #greekorators #classical culture

 #Lysias on remembering warriors

for the Anzacs and Others

If you are a student of ancient Greek history and culture you may have read Pericle's funeral oration as reported by Thucydides.

Other orators also gave orations at state funerals.

#Lysias gave as one reason for honouring the dead by giving a speech about their deeds of valour that

"they also are events which all men ought to remember .....
honouring them on such occasions as this and finding in the achievements of the dead as many lessons for the living."

After describing the Athenians valour during the Persian Wars he told his listeners that the dead should be remembered in public and private as men fighting for the right and democracy  who prized valour above all else and he also called on people to support and honour surviving family members, parents, widows, orphans.

At the end of this speech he said something that may well be the origin of a certain statement that appears on many war memorials.

Conincidence or indirect quote Lysias said this:

"For I say their memory can never grow old
while their honour is every man's envy.

I hope you all had a great and good Anzac day despite the ghastly weather in Sydney!?

Lysias' funeral oration appears in the Loeb bilingual edition in which you can compare the original Greek to the English translation.

Swords and Peace

Matthew 10: 34 - 37 #biblestudy #gospel #guns

It really worries me that these verses especially 34 are often cited to support things like concealed carry and the right to bear arms etc

I notice that people who cite these verses rarely if ever mention Jesus appears to be quoting from the Prophet Micah 7:6

Furthermore in parallel passages in Luke and Mark as with this one Jesus seems  be  prophesying the persecutions of later centuries and perhaps even the religious wars of Catholic versus Protestant ?

People seem to over look the possibility the guy capable of overturning tables at the Temple might have been doing irony as well?

So time to look at the original or as close to the original as we can get ...

not think that i have come to cast throw bring peace upon the earth
not i have come to bring peace but a sword

is casting down a sword a gesture of peace or surrender?

remember the verb is balloo?

verses 35 and 36 are a quote from Micah 7:6 so he is talking about prophecies !

note that dikhasai is an aorist infinitive form of the verb dikhazoo split differ

37 he who is loving a father or mater over me not is of me worthy
and he who is loving a son or daughter over me not is of me worthy

38  and whoever not takes the cross of his him and follows behind me / after me not is of me worthy

39 he who is finding  the life / spirit of him will lose it
and he who is destroying the life / spirit of him for the sake of me he will

auteen is literally her and refers back to psykheen the word often transcribed as psyche in English.

I think when reading this verse bear in mind the next section about rewards.

You are not ... well so it seems to me .. being called on to take violent action but to beware sometimes violence and dissent is evitable?

There is certainly nothing about guns or encouragement to personally take violent actions!

This is on my mind cos last week I saw some one cite this verse in a discussion about concealed carry and some Catholic priest in the US supporting using his church hall for teaching classes in it.

Make sure when you study this section and verses you read or reread the verses before and after!

Please think about Content and Context!

as St Paul said in his letter to the Thessalonians

PANTA DOKIMAZEI  Examine Everything !

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Acknowledging Christ

Acknowledging Christ #matthew 10: 32 - 33 #biblestudy #gospel

all therefore whoever homologeoo confess / admit/ declare say plainly acknowledge / claim in me before people ... everyone who speaks for me
i will speak for in self equals same way here ? before the father of me in heavens


whoever and / but should deny / disown me before the people
i will disown him before the father me the in heavens

The problem nowadays seems to me to be people claiming to be Christian or to speak for Christ regardless of whether they are or not ?

But thats one of the reasons I do this blog. I'm lucky enough to have been able to study Greek and while we have no proof Christ spoke Greek  though it is possible given all the greek colonies in the area the people who translated early Aramaic  gospels or their precursors into greek were often bilingual in both languages

I hope these literal word for word translations are of some help to those who do not know Greek ?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Greek Gallipoli

#Gallipoli #Greek#maps

Did you know Gallipoli has a #greek heritage too?

While the modern name is Turkish #Gelibolu also #canakkale  Gallipoli derives from Kallipolis the Beautiful City one of several Greek colonies on the Dardanelles peninsula which was once known as the Thracian Chersonesus.

Its also the site of the famous Aegospotamos Naval Battle, and Xerxes' bridge was constructed somewhere along its shores. The cities of Abydos and Sestos and the Hellespont crossed by Leander to court Hero were here.

Here are two maps showing ancient sites in the area.

If you're lucky enough to be visiting don't forget there are other Turkish Byzantine Roman and Greek sites of interest and you can catch a ferry across the straits to visit #Troy or feature further into and visit Bursa once ancient Prusa or Iznik / Nicaea.

Here are the maps.

Do bear in mind these are very old sites and the best artifacts will have been removed to museums. However if you've hired a car and are not part of a fixed tour you might want to take a look before driving back to Istanbul?

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Have no fear

Have NO fear
 #Matthew 10:26 -31 #biblestudy #jesus #greeknewtestament #gospel

First the literal word for word
26 : not there be afraid them
 (note the greek has passives  and imperatives in this passage that are best translated as active forms in English)
nothing for is covered which not will be revealed.
(note the use of apokaluptoo the verb from which apocalypse is derived and the reason we have a book of Revelations ... the Apocalypse is not merely a catastrophe despite its shift of meaning in English)
and hidden which not become known

Y es I know the English uses that but the Greek uses relative forms

27 : what i say to you in the dark tell / speak off in the light
and what into the ears you hear herald upon the dwellings
(remember flat roofed buildings so a person could spread a message from one roof top to another and I have read accounts of women and men still doing this in in modern times.

I have used the word herald to stress these are public proclamations.

A greek herald or keruks was a public official !

28 and not be afraid about those who kill the body
the but soul not they are able to kill

be afraid but rather of the one  being able and / both the soul and  body to destroy in gehenna.

note the contrast between merely killing and destruction ?

29 (are) not 2 sparrows (for) one ass  sold
( a type of low value coin use cents ?
and one of them any one out of them (sparrows flock) w
will not fall upon the earth without father yof ours (knowing )

30 from our and but the hairs of the head all are counted / numbered

31 not therefore be afraid many sparrows ... but its a genitive plural of comparison so not be afraid (for) many / much more (than) sparrows differ = are of more value you you are of more value to god than sparrows yet god values both sparrows and humans

be not afraid is repeated and verse 31 reminds us of why we should not be afraid

god values us  ! 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Escaping Hell

Escaping Hell #Hell #harrowinghell #limbo #hades

Lets look at the difference between pagan and particularly #Hellenic #pagan and #Christian legends about Escaping #Hell.

I've chosen this as a theme as today is #Easter Saturday in my timezone and this is the day or night when Christ is said to have descended into hell / sheol / hades  and freed various souls there.

Now several polytheistic cults sects and religions have stories about a shaman or hero or deity descending into the underworld / afterlife to try to gain the rescue of a soul or special knowledge or contact with the divine or demonic.

The Norse have the story of  Hel refusing to release Baldur unless every soul swept for him. Ancient Sumerian culture had the tale of Inanna's Descent into the Realm of the Dead. The Egyptians had tales of Osiris being restored to life yet also becoming the ruler of the dead?

The Greeks told stories of Heracles fetching Hades hound from the gates of the underrealm up to our world while he was still alive and mortal.
Some of them believed Hades Realm was a place you could access physically via gates or tunnels and you could return if you were very very careful.
Orpheus sing his way through trying to reclaim Eurydice and failed and Theseus's attempt lead to him having to be freed by Heracles but that was only possible because Theseus Heracles and Orpheus were demigods.

Ordinary mortals if they were lucky or had gone through the Mysteries might reach the Elysian Fields or Islands and if unlucky or evil be judged and their souls imprisoned or get to drink the waters of Lethe and either be reborn or wander mindlessly.

The afterlife had a class system like reality!

Now Christian churches tend to vary in how much emphasis or attention they pay to stories about Harrowing Hell and whether the souls released were Jewish and also Pagans?

The only references are 1 peter 3:19 and Matthew 27.53 which are both rather vague. However speculation about this appears not just in Dante's Divine Comedy or Catholic and Orthodox theology but a couple of odd minor works that while NOT CANON are Apocrypha.

The main one is the Gospel of Nicodemus which includes a section that seems from its language and style to be an inserted copy of an even older work.

It claims to report what two young men who came back to life saw in Hades realm. Hades is described as a jailer in charge of the afterlife and Satan as a separate entity. The legend is that Jesus descended to hell and freed the souls of various famous Jewish figures.

Coupled with the Righteous pagans verse in Romans this explained into a legend that Christ freed all righteous souls Jewish or pagan.

Now since this post is about myths and legends I'm not going to discuss the validity of the legend further.

Let's look again at the differences.

In the Hellenic mythos only those  Heroes who were sons of the gods seem to have been able to journey in and out of Hell. True Odysseus does pay a visit but only to the borderlands not the depths. Otherwise if you were a hero or had been one of the Mysteries a set of rituals you might reach Elysium and some scholars claim that some of these cults taught reincarnation as a concept but you had to be both righteous and trained.

The Christian Mythos and various legends of saints and indeed most churchs' Official teachings claim everyone or nearly everyone has a chance to repent and be saved and many churches believe the Innocent small children etc get a "free pass".

Paradise is not only for heroes! There is  a price but its not gold or silver or even blood. The price was and is a gift of faith hope and love. The ritual sacrifice a gift for all not just the elite.

On Good Friday we mourned the sacrifice.
Tomorrow Easter Sunday we celebrate the gift.

If you're not doing church or Bible study or after you do so enjoy reading some literature or mythology!

And don't over indulge in Chocolate !