Saturday, 30 January 2016

Catering fail and win!

Catering fail and win!
Yes we have reached the feeding of the 5000

#biblestudy #gospelofmatthew #greeknewtestament
Matthew 15: 32 - 39

This passage is a fairly straightforward description of a miracle.

It is however worth commenting on one verb


I am moved (to Compassion)

This verb only gets used about 12 times and half of those in matthew

literally his inner organs moved
he had an intense physical reaction of concern

In modern terms there's been a massive catering failure?

They're out in the wilderness a long hot dry walk from the nearest shops and apparently no local food vendors have shown up.

I suspect Matthew chose this particular verb to show just how upset Jesus was.
Given its emphasized he was talking to the disciples possibly somethings gone wrong due to human error?

Some people claim the miracle was Jesus inspiring people to share whatever food they did have with those who didn't but whatever the miracle was one of generosity or multiplication note the sequence and actions.

Jesus feels concern and does something about it.

Faith and compassion is expressed by actions joint actions by many.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

So you thought Greek verbs were nasty ...

I frequently see people claim they can't or don't want to learn to read Greek becasue they can't manage the grammar and syntax and the declensions and the accidence and the cases and moods ....

In modern greek one can simply say

S'agapoo you I love.

In Japanese you have to say

Watakushi wa anata o aishimasu

In the House becomes talossa in FInnish ev de in Turkish and ni uchi in Japanese and in Greek en ton oikou ... not so bad?

I can write dunamai graphein in Greek is kaku koto ga dekimasu in Japanese

I have left the worst for last.


I was made to eat



Okay the causative passive is a rather extreme example.

Next time we may look at the Greek optative .

Really if you think Greek is difficult look at some Japanese verbs or Turkish !

Saturday, 23 January 2016

A Woman of Great faith ... who wasn't Christian

#biblestudy #gospelofmatthew #newtestamentgreek

Matthew 15: 21 - 28

Some rather lovely and unusual #participles plus #Jesus reminding us not to be bigots ...

So Jesus went to Lebanon to Tyre and Sidon and a woman described as a Canaanite approached him crying for help for her daughter and he said nothing at first.

Why? I think he was testing both the woman and his disciples.

Now the disciples asked him to send her away because she was crying.

Some people think apoluson the verb used here means they were asking him to "free" heal her daughter from her illness whatever it actually was demonic possession mental health issues some neurological disorder ?
but it could well equally mean the disciples were asking him to tell her to go away to free them from her demands?

Jesus then speaks

Not was I sent if not to the sheep lost of house Israel

Seems rather harsh but as always there's a lesson coming.

She came closer to him and knelt and asked him directly and literally to help her.

Lord Help (give) to me

His response

not is a fine thing to take bread from the children and to throw to the small dogs / pets ...

was she known to be indulge dogs  or is he indirectly praising her for being kind to "unclean" animals?

Whatever she stands her ground and points out that the dogs are willing to eat table scraps

was little dog a local insult for pagans ?

Jesus final answer

o woman great of you the faith  let it happen to you as you wish!

and healed was the daughter of her from that time

I think Jesus is teaching both the disciples and us a reminder charity is not only for those closest to us.

There are refugees asking for help and we are rejecting them because of their faith.

Now given the variety of cults and sects in that area the canaanite woman may have actually been some kind of monotheist or believed in one god even if she was not jewish by conversion or birth?

The disciples wanted her to go away.

Jesus rewards faith and trust.
He doesn't insist she follow him.
He helps her and her daughter.

Message over may I draw your attention to some interesting and beautiful word forms

note aorist passive apostaleen I was sent (with a message implied)
apoloolota a perfect passive participle
iathee passive form iaomai being used instead of iasis the action is emphasized


Monday, 18 January 2016

Greek ABC series part4

How Greek Was and Is Pronounced

This is part 4 of a series of 4 blogs over one week.

Τ τ Tau Tactics or Time or sTand

Υ υ Upsilon The French U in Tu or the German ü or the Y in the form of Welsh that pronounces it as U. IPA [y] This sound tends to change to a i and is pronounced as I in Modern Greek just as some Modern Welsh speakers use i for the sound spelt “Y” instead of the “u” and also explains Greek sun in sunthesis coming to be pronounced sinthesis in English.

Φ φ Phi The Aspirated P at the beginning of words like Phobos or English Pin or Pool or mop-handle.
Modern Greek F as in Fat

Χ χ Chi An Aspirated K as in English Cat or Cool.

In Modern Greek it's a Fricative like the sound in the Gaelic (NOT the English) pronunciation of Loch or like the ch in German words like Machen.
This sound is also often transliterated as “h” as in Hue as it becomes ç before i and e but English speakers tend to hear it as a H so Classical Greek Metokhee is pronounced metohi in modern Greek.

Ψ ψ Psi Ps Pi plus Sigma as in EcliPSe or English caPS

Ω ω Omega the BIG O Ode Ocean like English sAW

There is NO H in Classical Greek. Aspirated letters have their own symbols. This has been covered in another post.
Theta for Th Phi for Phi Chi for Kh. These are NOT Fricatives in Classical Greek! See the notes for each letter.

However there is what scholars call a rough breathing.
In classical Greek Ὀρος is oros but ὁρος is horos. Ῥήτωρ is rheetoor.

Although the historical rough breathing is used in written forms in many Modern Greek texts the “h” is NOT spoken and you will often see the breathing symbol omitted.
The dictionary form Holos ὅλος all becomes όλος olos.
(I am not going to explain Katherousa versus Dhemotika here!
That is a topic for a separate post)

If you would like to see these notes collected and expanded in  an e-book or print book please let me. I am considering publishing on LuLu.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

into the mouth ... out of the mouth

Into the mouth ... out of the month
#biblestudy #newtestamentgreek #koinegreek #gospel
More on Matthew 15:1 - 20

Jesus's disciples had been criticized for NOT performing a handwashing ritual before meals.

As I stated previously a hygienic code developed over the centuries from the time of Moses that prevented disease had for many become a hollow ritual with ritual gestures making food sacred becoming more important than actual hygiene and human traditions more important than actual commandments.

Moving on from what I posted last week

Jesus preached

Matthew 15:10

Hear and understand
not that which goes into the stomach makes common /profane / defiles the man
but that which comes out /proceeds from the mouth that defiles the man.

Koinoo is a verb with multiple meanings generally translated as defile but it means make common or share and came to mean profane or defiles cos of the concept of scared as separate ?
While the man is the most accurate and exact translation for teaching purposes changing that to people in general might be acceptable given we speak Modern English and not New Testament Greek. Your choice though?

Further explanation was asked

Matthew 15: 16 >>>

Point edge and you not understanding is!?

This statement in English syntax ... my suggested translation would be
And the point you're not understanding is this?!

not you understand that all coming into the mouth into the stomach proceeds and into the latrine is ejected / expelled? something more graphic
Many translation omit mention of the latrine ... yes a toilet or drainage ditch is the word in greek ...

but that proceeding out of the mouth out of the heart comes and these things defile the person

for out of the heart comes thoughts evil, murders, perversions, whoring, theft, false witness blasphemy

these are the things that defile the man and not washing hands eating not defiles the man

Point being that the Pharisees were more concerned with human rituals than teaching people how to avoid sin? Or only teaching rituals to avoid sin and not reaching the heart of people.

What is unclean? Food Hands Sin Humans ?

The next section of this chapter deals with a different taboo ...

Do read and reread the whole chapter in English and Greek too if you are learning Greek!

My Greek lexicon is Lidell and Scott
MyNew Testament Greek is the United Bible Societies Aland 3rd edition

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Greek ABC series part three

This was due out mid week but heat wave followed by storms !

#greekalphabet #classicalgreek #greek #julievaux

How Greek Was and Is Pronounced

This is part 3!

As the Greek ABC has 24 letters I will be posting this article as a series of 4 blogs over one week.

Ν ν Nu in Naxos or net

Ξ ξ Xi usually a ks sound as in Sphinx sphinks or boX boks

Ο ο Omicron O in Optic or pOt but Modern Greek the sound in bOUght or tAUt and spells u as ου!

Π π Pi in Perimeter or sPin

Ρ ρ Rho Rhinoceros or Run or thRee was more like the Scots Rolled R.

Σ ς σ Sigma Stasis or Sign and sTick
A medial double sigma as in thalassa is 2 S sounds NOT a Z.
In Modern Greek s before a Voiced Consonant becomes a Z

An expanded version of this as an ebook may be available on lulu later this year when I get confirmation submitting a pdf is possible and that unlike Amazon Lulu is unicode compliant.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

wifi disruption

people reading a recent post made a few minutes ago due to some kind of wifi disruption the server cut and paste m post into the comments box ? I will try ot edit the repetition out if possible but if you're wondering what happened something disrupted the wifi???

Law Versus Tradition

Matthew Chapter 15

 #biblestudy #greeknewtestament #pharisees #tencommandments #gospel
 Verses 1 - 9

The Pharisees and Scribes and Scholars had accused Jesus' disciples of transgressing Jewish traditions and culture of that time period by not washing their hands before eating.

First of all I have to point out this hand washing was often merely a token ritual of just pouring a handful of water over one's hands rather than fully washing one's hands and drying with them with a towel.

The appearance of ritual "cleanliness" had become a performance rather than an actual purification or hygienic gesture.

Jesus rebukes them by asking why they also transgress against one particular commandment by placing tradition over Gods' law.

It seems there was a recent or ongoing scandal involving people not supporting their parents by claiming property or money or other obligations to their parents had been transferred to the Temple.
Note in verse 5 the use of the verb opheloo to owe a debt.

These people were privileging "tradition" paradosis over an actual commandment entolee.

Note also the verb akuroo translated as cancel or to make void as in a contract but also a+kuros kuros lord master authority  they are working against the authority of god

remember also that the people of israel believed that the laws were a binding contract with god

the pharisees supporting these "traditions" were overruling the original contract of the ten commandments and Mosaic law and replacing them with a human tradition.

Which is more important?

Traditional Values?

Biblical Law?

Human Interpretations of Both?

While Jesus is also focusing on issues of ritual cleaniness and purity we should remember here what he said about the Ten Commandments and Mosaic law and Prophetic teachings as a whole.

Matthew 22:40
On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets

Here are his two commandments that summarize the body of Judaic law tradition and teaching

Love your lord god with the whole of your heart and soul and mind

Love those around you as you love yourself.


However don't use as some have in the past Jesus' rebuke as an excuse for extremes of asceticism or austerity. Hygiene is good! Dirt is not holy either.
Many of those rules about hygiene in Mosiac law were often sensible forms of protection against bacteria and viruses for a primitive society.


Oh and if you know of any politicians trying to cut any preventative medicine programs and claiming they are supporingt corporations and wealthy individuals "rights" to be "free" of obligations to support others perhap you might want speak out against that?

Next post back to the basics and the next instalement of the greek abc!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

More on Greek ABC

#greek #Greekabc #greekpronounciation #greekalphabet

note to readers there is an older posting of this article
I am reposting the series of 4 this week and next  cos I like to start the newyear with a review of basics

How Greek Was and Is Pronounced

This is part two of a series of 4 blogs over one week.

Η η Eta a LONG e sound like the e in hAIry or French tête
Modern Greek I though or “ee” as in fEEt

Θ θ Theta A aspirated T as in the beginning of Tin or Tare or the sound in the middle of hot-house however it later became a th as in THIN. The lack of the fricative sound in Irish Gaelic is why some speakers of Irish English even those with no knowledge of Gaelic change th in some English words to a t sound. This is declining due to the influence of modern media but if you've ever wondered about the Irish accent jokes in old movies and books well that's the origin of them.

Θ θ Φ φ Χ χ are all aspirated letters in Classical Greek.

Ι ι Iota I in machIne or bIn.
These letters are ALL pronounced IOTA in Modern Greek.
η υ ει οι υι all = ι as in English bEAd IPA [i]

Κ κ Kappa K in Kinetic or Back or sKin

Λ λ Lambda L in Labyrinth or Look

Μ μ M in Metaphor or seeM.

Don't forget to check the first post and the next two !

Sunday, 3 January 2016


I like to start each New year by reviewing the Basics and whether you're learning #ModernGreek #NewTestament or #ClassicalGreek you have to start with the #alphabet!

How Greek Was and Is Pronounced

Part One Covers the letters from Alpha to Zeta

As the Greek ABC has 24 letters and some of my readers may be viewing it via a mobile I will be posting this article as a series of 4 blogs over one week. Some long sentences have been split for people with smaller older mobile screens

A Note to Classical scholars planning to visit Greece. Learn the Demotic pronunciation!
Modern Greeks may study some Homer and Classical writers in Secondary School or University but using katherousa even accidentally may be offensive or more importantly just not understood!

I have tried to explain this in a way that will make sense to people who have not studied linguistics in College or University. If you do want a more formal explanation check out the excellent Wikipedia sites on Greek Phonology and language.

A α Alpha The vowel in Archon or cAlm or cUp or Italian Amare.

B β Beta The B in Biology or Bed.
However in Modern Greek this is a V as in Voice!
English V in OVER would be written as οβερ.
Classical Greek wrote W and V sounds as OU
so when citing Latin or other non Greek names like Valerius start with ου.

The b sound in Modern Greek is written as μπ
but note that this is “mb” in the middle of a word.

The Greek Diphthongs αυ ευ are pronounced av and ev or af and ef depending on the following consonant.So Αυγά is avga in Demotic and αυτός is aftos.

Γ γ Gamma The G in Graph or Gang or Got. It's a HARD G in Classical Greek!
Modern Greek has a j / y or a sound like the G in German sagen or jager or the g in Spanish fuego or English Yield or Gem or suGar.
The G sound in English Get is written as γκ.
A double gamma is used to represent the “ng” sound in Angle and Angel in Classical Greek hence New Testament and Classical aggelos.
It's Angelus in Latin and Angel in English.
Gamma before κ χ and γ is nk or ng.

Δ δ Delta D in Democracy or Deed or Dot
Modern Greek Delta has become “dh” the soft sound in
English This or breadTH or faTHer.
D as a sound is now written as ντ which also represents “nd” in the middle of a Greek word.
Dachshunds are Dogs becomes something like νταχσουντ αρ ντογξ!

Ε ε Epsilon E in Epigram or the vowel in pEt or French é

Ζ ζ Zeta was a zd or sometimes dz sound as in Zeus
or English aDZe, glaZeD or wiSDom
Modern Greek Zeta is Z as in English laZy!
Τζ in Modern Greek is a ts dz type sound.

Other letters used to represent double consonants also known as digraphs are
Ξ ξ and Ψ ψ. This is a sensible innovation as Greek verbs add s to their stems in the Future and Aorist.

Digraphs have been described in a previous post.

Watch for Part Two later this week!

Readers I've noticed I'm getting more likes the last couple of months but please also share the posts with others. 
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