Sunday, 25 June 2017

METANOEITE - change yourself


#wordstudy #gospel #greeknewtestament #classicalgreek

One of the first direct quotes from Jesus in Mark's Gospel is a statement that includes the word METANOEITE,( Mark 1:15) generally translated as REPENT, however its actually more a command to think again about previous actions and thoughts, you change because you have changed your mind or NOOS.

Note that Jesus doesnt say repent your sins but just METANOEITE!

You can check the LSJ online Lexicon site to confirm this but I want to recommend you look at one of Wesleys Sermons: VII of the 44 collected sermons. NO I'm not a Methodist but I found a copy of his sermons at a book sale and allowing for the 18th century context there is much sound common sense in them.

Some quotes from Wesley: " 'repent"; that is, know yourselves."

and further along "cease from evil, and learn to do well,

Modern readers may find his discussion of sin and guilt disturbing but bear in mind he also advises his listeners and readers to "be deeply sensible of this,"

Awareness of error is part of changing your mind.

Why cite Wesley. Remember he was a scholar who studied Latin and Greek before he became a preacher.

Metanoeite could also be literally translated as "Have after thoughts" or Consider your previous actions. Note also this is place before the words have faith in the Gospel.

Repentance is change. Metanoei Metaballei

Wednesday, 21 June 2017



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Sunday, 18 June 2017



#kairos #time #greeklanguage #oratory #biblestudy
There's a word at the beginning of Marks Gospel that also features in Classical Greek Literature and Oratory and Discussions of Rhetorical Technique


Mark 1:15 RSV translation "The Time is fulfilled ..." its Kairos not Khronos in Greek!

"Pepleerootai ho kairos " Why Kairos and not Khronos?

Kairos is not just time in general or season or event but the moment to take action, a kind of pivotal turning point during which action will have results whether its stabbing someone in a vital organ leading an attack giving a speech that's an exhortation to action or in the case of Marks Gospel, Jesus "heralding the good news from god" and telling people to repent and believe.

The use of kairos is an exhortation and a calling to action.

A final note on Kairos. The Romans translated it with a word that is the ancestor of our English word opportunity.

So whether you are reading about it in Aristotle Isocrates or the New Testament think about what sor tof "Time" is being referred to: Khronos or Kairos.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Athena and Hebe

#Athena #Hebe #greekvasepainting

A rare depiction of the Goddess Hebe shown here serving a drink to her sister Athena.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

MARK Begins with a Mosaic and a Manuscript

#byzantineart #manuscript #greeklettering #calligraphy #page layout

Lets begin looking at Mark with some Byzantine ART ! This post will also be of interest to calligraphers designers and typographers for the use of Greek letters so please scroll down!

First a page from a Byzantine manuscript 
Yes the Orthodox churches had a tradition of illumined manuscripts too!
I also picked this image because its an excellent and interesting example of design. 
I love the way the scribe has moved the iota up next to the gamma so that both words are balanced on the page and we also get a look at what sort of reading and writing desks  scribes used.

And here's how a mosaic artist dealt with lettering on a curved area.
Same letters but "heavier" and "bold" to make them stand out ! 

Next weekend more Mark and midweek perhaps Athena's owls.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Like a Dove and Textual Variants

#textual variant #gospels #greeknewtestament

A lot of people make a fuss about textual variants in the gospels however most of these variants are simply one of two words that do not effect doctrine.

Lets take Jesus' Baptism as an example.

My English version is the RSV

Matthew 3:16 behold the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him

Mark 1:10 saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove

Luke 3:21-22 the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form as a dove,

John 1:32 I (john the baptist) saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven

Really the only issue should be if there were any eye witnesses apart from John the Baptist?

All 4 accounts agreed the heavens opened that there was some sort of visual change in the air and that something came down katabaino that looked like a dove that the bystanders thought was the pneuma or spirit of god .

The main differences in Greek?

Matthew says open in aorist passive and uses hoosie instead of hoos and the greek says come down upon him erkhomenon epp autoon

Mark uses skhizoo split open  and eis instead of epi but eis can mean both into and onto

Luke gets more technical and uses somatikos plus eidei  and adds hagios holy to spirit

John emphasizes the Baptist as an eyewitness.

All 4 versions use katabaino All agree on a movement downwards materializing as something that looked like a dove that came down on Jesus.

And cynics might say it was a trained dove etc etc etc but the point is don't fuss over just one or two words when meanings are in concord?

Mid week back to Greek gods ... Next weekend either another word study or we start on Marks Gospel.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Themis of Rhamnous

There are surprising few images of the Titans and Titanesses in Greek art.

One of the rare exceptions is this statue of #Themis from a temple at Rhamnous in Attica which seems to have one of the few places a Titan was actively worshipped.

The position the missing arm and the surviving hand suggest he may have been holding objects in one or both hands perhaps looted because it was ivory or gold?

It dates to the Classical era.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The most important word in the Greek new Testament

#agape #font #specialcharacters #greek

The most important word in the #greeknewtestament is surely this one?
Scroll down for a #howto #diy note !

ΑΓΑΠΗ αγαπη

αγαπη ΑΓΑΠΗ

ΑΓΑΠΗ αγαπη

How to generate Greek letters? In this example I was in Open Office and the fonts used to display AGAPE in Greek, are Times New Roman , New Athena Unicode, and Lucida Sans Unicode, and the method is to select and then use the Special Characters dialog box, scrolling down to the Basic Greek subset. Then I copy and paste the text into Google blogger.

Come back next Saturday or Sunday depending on your time zone and join us for Mark's Gospel.

I take or try to a very ecumenical approach in my comment on New Testament Greek.

Mid week I post mainly on Classical Greek art and literature, language and philosophy, and related topics, so do consider following regularly?

Next Sunday will either be another word study or we start on Mark's Gospel.

Mid week I'm still thinking about!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Heracles versus the birds.

#heracles #hercules battling the rather small  stymphalian cranes

And thats it! I have run out of ideas of bird related Classical Art !

Next sequence will be either Famous Greek or Hellenistic Queens or the Children of Zeus.

I have a birthday coming soon. If you're enjoyed or made use of the images I've found or the ideas I've shared please consider showing some appreciation? 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Greek Accents - a sampler

#fonts #accents #specialcharacters #greek

Sundays is usually bible study but as I just finished Matthews Gospel back to basics for a few posts!

A Sampler of how Greek Accents look in several fonts.

Remember you will need the insert Special Characters Command to find and add these.


Greek with Accents Times New Roman

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω

ά έ ή ί ϊ ΐ ϋ ό ύ ώ

Greek with Accents Palatino Linotype

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω

ά ἀ ἁ ἂ ἃ ἄ ἅ ἆ ἇ ᾰ ᾱ ᾲ ᾳ ᾴ ᾶ ᾷ

έ ἐ ἑ ἒ ἓ ἔ ἕ

ή ἠ ἡ ἢ ἣ ἤ ἥ ἦ ἧ ᾐ ᾑ ᾒ ᾓ ᾔ ᾕ ᾖ ᾗ

ί ϊ ΐ ῐ ῑ ῒ ΐ ῖ ῗ ἰ ἱ ἲ ἳ ἴ ἵ ἶ ἷ

ό ὀ ὁ ὂ ὃ ὄ ὅ ὸ ό

ϋ ΰ ϋ ύ ὐ ὑ ὒ ὓ ὔ ὕ ὖ ὗ ὺ ύ ῠ ῡ ῢ ΰ

ώ ὠ ὡ ὢ ὣ ὤ ὥ ὦ ὧ ὼ ώ ᾠ ᾡ ᾢ ᾡ ᾢ ᾣ ᾤ ᾥ ᾦ ᾧ ῲ ῳ ῴ ῶ ῷ

ῤ ῥ

Greek with Accents in Lucida sans unicode

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω

ά ἀ ἁ ἂ ἃ ἄ ἅ ἆ ἇ ᾰ ᾱ ᾲ ᾳ ᾴ ᾶ ᾷ

έ ἐ ἑ ἒ ἓ ἔ ἕ

ή ἠ ἡ ἢ ἣ ἤ ἥ ἦ ἧ ᾐ ᾑ ᾒ ᾓ ᾔ ᾕ ᾖ ᾗ

ί ϊ ΐ ῐ ῑ ῒ ΐ ῖ ῗ ἰ ἱ ἲ ἳ ἴ ἵ ἶ ἷ

ό ὀ ὁ ὂ ὃ ὄ ὅ ὸ ό

ϋ ΰ ϋ ύ ὐ ὑ ὒ ὓ ὔ ὕ ὖ ὗ ὺ ύ ῠ ῡ ῢ ΰ

ώ ὠ ὡ ὢ ὣ ὤ ὥ ὦ ὧ ὼ ώ ᾠ ᾡ ᾢ ᾡ ᾢ ᾣ ᾤ ᾥ ᾦ ᾧ ῲ ῳ ῴ ῶ ῷ

ῤ ῥ

Greek with Accents ms reference sans serif

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω

ά ἀ ἁ ἂ ἃ ἄ ἅ ἆ ἇ ᾰ ᾱ ᾲ ᾳ ᾴ ᾶ ᾷ

έ ἐ ἑ ἒ ἓ ἔ ἕ

ή ἠ ἡ ἢ ἣ ἤ ἥ ἦ ἧ ᾐ ᾑ ᾒ ᾓ ᾔ ᾕ ᾖ ᾗ

ί ϊ ΐ ῐ ῑ ῒ ΐ ῖ ῗ ἰ ἱ ἲ ἳ ἴ ἵ ἶ ἷ

ό ὀ ὁ ὂ ὃ ὄ ὅ ὸ ό

ϋ ΰ ϋ ύ ὐ ὑ ὒ ὓ ὔ ὕ ὖ ὗ ὺ ύ ῠ ῡ ῢ ΰ

ώ ὠ ὡ ὢ ὣ ὤ ὥ ὦ ὧ ὼ ώ ᾠ ᾡ ᾢ ᾡ ᾢ ᾣ ᾤ ᾥ ᾦ ᾧ ῲ ῳ ῴ ῶ ῷ

ῤ ῥ


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

EOS and Mnenon

#Eos #Dawngoddess #Mnenon  #atticvasepainting

Iris the Messenger is not the only Winged Goddess in Greek mythology. Her Cousin Eos the Dawn Goddess is often depicted with wings and is shown here holding the body of her mortal son by Tithonus, Mnenon. I wish we had more examples of early Greek Encaustic or Fresco paintings to compare to the colors used on ceramics. Did early paintings also use lines and outlines and dark backgrounds? Or not? The Vase painters had to limit their colors to mineral pigments that would not burn off in the final firing. While yellow and orange were available as ochres they seem to have chosen to focus on a contrast of black to red or a reddish brown. Were there no deposits of white clays in Attica?

Saturday, 13 May 2017

A note on Matheeteusate

#greeknewtestament #biblestudy

Matthew 28:19 states

go forth / travel therefore and then uses an IMPERATIVE form of Matheeteuoo?

Should we translate this as make students or instruct all the nations ?

Lidell and Scott says it can mean either.

I would prefer instruct as the translation myself since verse 20 emphasizes this opening with didaskontes ...teaching them.

Convert by teaching the message but not forcibly ?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Archaic Greek Bird decorated Bowl

#archaicgreekceramics #bird #bowl #archaicgreekart

This clay bowl with a pattern of birds has been dated to Boeotia approx. 55O BC

It may not have the naturalism or realism of a Classical or Hellenistic piece but one thing I have noticed about Geometric and Archaic Greek Ceramics is that animals and birds feature far more frequently than in Classical art at least on ceramics. Their plumage becomes a pattern but usually a symmetrical graceful pattern such as this one.

Saturday, 6 May 2017


#greeknewtestament #wordstudy #biblestudy #koinegreek

The last words of Jesus in Matthews Gospel are an exhortation even an order to go and make students of all the nations to baptize them and teach people to keep on doing what Jesus taught.

( I should note there that matheuoo could also be translated as instruct rather than make to learn though it was strengthened by the use of the Imperative)

I'm going to analyze this paragraph in more detail over the next few weekends but first I want you to consider one word:


Verse 18 in the final chapter 

"It has been given to me ..."

Power and Authority over all heaven and earth!

What a startling statement this is when you give it deeper thought.

Many of my readers may be thinking "Yes Jesus is Lord!" but think about how great this power is!

Jesus is saying to his disciples that he has power greater than the Roman emperors and the magistrates and officials who served i,t or the temple theocracy or other powers, human , and more than human! Think how shocking that use of exousia would be to people in the first century who saw Rome dominating the known world.

Does he tell the disciples to worship him or rebuke them for doubting his resurrection?

No he commands them to do what he did, to travel about and teach others, to continue and complete the ongoing mission.

I end by reminding you what Jesus stated to be the two greatest commandments.

Love God and your neighbors with all your heart mind and soul.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Iris and Hermes Together

#Iris #Hermes #greekceramics

I was going to blog about Maia but while searching for good illustrations found this on Wikipedia Commons. The photographer didnt mention what museum it came from but it's an interesting image.

This is the only depiction I have seen of Hermes and Iris together.

Iris or Hermes feature in various plays and poetry as messengers of the gods but never together like this. Now I've mentioned before my belief some scenes on ceramics vases depict scenes or performances from plays especially Athenian vases. Did some Athenian dramatist write a play in which Hermes and Iris appear together? A comedy perhaps or a tragedy based on some obscure myth not recorded in other literature? 

Share please if you know where this vase is on display or have more information about it or any other works, ceramics, mosaics, or sculpture, showing Hermes and Iris together.


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Byzantine Christogram

Double metousia today since I couldnt do the midweek post however I'm still adjusting to a change of work hours so today some Christian #byzantine art featuring birds.

Back to #greeknewtestament next week !

I do love the corner knot patterns in this #mosaic and note the use of the Alpha Omega symbol!


#sirens #greek myths

While the #Harpies and their sister Iris were daughters of Titans although serving Zeus the Sirens were probably death spirits or fever demons since their use and appearance on funerary objects suggest they had other functions apart from beguiling sailors.

Regardless of who their parents are (the stories vary) they are always described as living on islands near Sicily or in the Adriatic. 

Another possibility is a distorted memory of sacred islands guarded by priestesses in bird costumes?

The Sirens are never mentioned as preying on women only men?

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A beautiful thing

#matthew26 #greeknewtestament #biblestudy

In #Matthew26 the disciples complain about a woman coming into the dining room and pouring expensive scented oil over Jesus' head. Its very expensive oil "barutimou" in an alabaster which is white marble jar. They felt it should have been sold for charity.

Unspoken however may have been a concern that the Temple officials would be further provoked by this action as it could have been seen as consecrating Jesus as a ruler!

Some people wonder if  the woman was Mary Madgalene.

Let us focus on Jesus' response.

He calls her action beautiful! "kalon ergon"becuse she did it for him"eis eme"  not for herself!

Some scholars write about the "the poor will always be with you" but I want to draw your attention to the chilling words further along,

"for this woman by throwing this ointment/oil upon my body for entombment made me ready"

More prophecies fulfilled.

Extravagant acts of generosity are okay but so are regular acts of charity.

Perhaps we should balance both?

Remember Jesus approved of this because the act benefited another.

Also it was a party? A time and place for everything!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Harpies as young Girls

#harpies #Birds #goddesses

The Harpies literally the Snatchers are the daughters of Thaumas son of Pontos and Gaia and the Oceanid Electra. Apollonios Rhodios in his Argonautica describes them as monsters

They are said to have lived in a cave on Mt Dicte on the island of Thrace and had the role to sinning those who sinned against the gods.

Other artists had different ideas. The Harpies shown here appear to be young girls though the position and shape  of the wings suggest that maybe young boy dancers in costume for a play are being depicted? Also there are 3 Harpies not two.

Their older sister was Iris goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods in the oldest epics.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Chi Rho Symbol

Something simple today. A png to download. #chirho #easter #christ #typography

I was tempted to do an elaborate Celtic style construct of spirals within spirals and knots but opted for minimalism instead. Enjoy. Use it as a capital or whatever.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Artemis or Aphrodite with Bird you decide

This image could been Artemis as lady of the Beasts or Aphrodite with a dove.

In the Archaic period Artemis wasn't always depicted as a huntress with bow and arrow.

While it was found near a temple to Artemis that site is noted for a diversity of art depicting a variety of gods so its not impossible that a statute of Aphrodite might be on the precincts of the temple to another deity. This happens at several sites.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Why its PALM Sunday

#palmsunday #GospelofJohn #greeknewtestament #bibletrivia
 Lets face it Easter in its current state is a horrid muddle or folk pagan seculary myths and commericalizations and a few actual Christian traditions. However it is PALM SUNDAY


We don't know the exact date but have a statement by John 12:1 it was 6 days before Passover.
 Bear in mind for centuries in Europe Sundays were one of the few days off people had from work.

John is also the only Gospel writer who clearly states cut branches of date palms were used.

John 12:13 baia toon phoinikoon "Phoenician" palm branches ... the date palm.

Matthew 21:8 says cut branches ekopton klados
Mark 11:8 uses stibados kopsantes which could also be rushes grasses or other plants
Luke 19 only mentions clothes.

Now in some countries where date or other palm branches are not available different spring plants are used but many churches try to ship in date palm branches for authenticity.

While there was other palm species the date palm was the most common in the first century and this century.

Possibly John stresses the use of date palms because they were a scared symbol throughout the Middle East and linked to royalty.

You might want to read down to verse 16 where John says that the disciples did not understand egnoosan  this as first to prooton but later remembered the events though Johns reference to things that had been written makes me wonder if he was thinking of not just Old testament prophecy but also Marks gospel which may have been written before John's. Or some kind of protogospel was circulating and various people were creating their own versions. Of the four gospel writers Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses but Matthew and John would have been there.

So John is our witness that the branches were palms and hence Palm Sunday!

Next week since its Easter some GREEK Byzantine Christian art though a goddess NOT Ostara may make an appearance in the mid week post!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Consider the Quail

Consider the #Quail

Ever wonder what ancient cooks used for eggs before the jungle fowl was domesticated?

Or ducks or geese?

For most of us Quail eggs and meat are luxury items.

Ever wonder why there are no references to sweet cakes or omelettes or other deserts in Homer and why they don't start getting mentioned until Aristophanes?

No or few eggs for cooking! Duck and geese eggs would have been seasonal.

Quail however are small birds that can be trapped with nets and raised for both eggs and meat.

However you still would have had to have spare grain to feed them!

While they will eat a variety of grain ... you have to have surplus to feed them hence quail eggs and meat as a luxury item , hunted or farmed, in ancient Greece and Europe.

They can't thrive on table scraps like some chickens.

Thats why many scholars think references to cakes in lyric poetry were references to cakes of pressed dried fruit .

See my previous post and the notes and  translation of the swallow song.

Saturday, 1 April 2017



No bible study today I'm recovering from a stomach bug!
Instead  a little something extra for Easter

The Greek letters Chi and Rho the first letters of Christ often appear in Christian art even in areas and eras where Latin had replaced Greek.Here's my rough attempt at a ChiRho. You're welcome to play with it further! I'm attempted to draw a more detailed Celtic spiral one but that could take hours!

Swallow Song Two Notes and Draft

#swallowsong #greeklyricpoetry

Next installment a more polished version!

This is a rough DRAFT with Notes


Source Lyra Graeca and other D. Campbell texts
Recorded byAthenaeus in Doctors at dinner
citing a book by Theognis on Rhodian Festivals

Note Dialect is Doric

λθ̓ λθ̓ χελιδὼν (she) comes comes aorist swallow

καλς ρας γουσα, fine seasons / hours times – as ending doric bringing

καλος νιαυτούς, fine years plural returning again ?

ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκά, upon stomach belly white

ἐπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα. upon back black (swallows b+w)

παλάθαν σπροκύκλει cakes you roll out
prob preserved pressed fig or dried fruits
ἐκ πίονος οκου out of ??? house
pionos fat oily rich in slang ?

ονου τε δέπαστρον of wine and cup/ and cup of wine
depastron < depas
τυροῦ τε κάνυστρον. Of cheese and basket a basket of cheese
usually a not u cane / wicker baskets
καὶ πύρνα χελιδὼν and wheat loaves (for) swallow

καὶ λεκιθίταν and pulse “bread'” some kind of bean cake
or porridge served cooked in pan

οὐκ ἀπωθεται. πότεῤπίωμες λαβώμεθα;

not you it drive away apootheoo whether or not will we get
  • mes ending doric apeimi nor will we go away

εἰ μέν τι δώσεις. εἰ δὲ μή, οὐκ ἐάσομες.

If any u give if and not we will not relaese let go

τὰν θύραν ϕέρωμες ἢ τὸ ὑπέρθυμρον

neither or the door we will carry away subjunctive / future or the lintel?

τὰν γυνακα τὰν ἔσω καθημέναν.

Or the woman wife inside sitting ?

μικρμέν ἐστι, ῥᾳδίως νιν οσομες.

Small little she is easily nin =ionic min it her him enclitic form autos
fut form of pheroo we will carry away

ἄν δὴ φέρῃς τι, μέγα δή τι φέροις.

anything whatever you bear to us let it be big

ἄνοιγ̓ ἄνοιγε τὰν θύραν χελιδόνι.

Open open fut form The door to swallow

οὐ γὰρ γέροντές ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ παιδία.

Not for elders we are but children

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

#Swallowsong #greekfolksong #lyric

For those of you who may not have a copy of Campbell or Loeb's Lyra Graeca or Trypanis
here is the SWALLOW SONG in a slightly larger font size and double spaced

This should print out or save to one a4 page


λθ̓ λθ̓ χελιδὼν

καλς ρας γουσα,

καλος νιαυτούς,

ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκά,

ἐπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα.

παλάθαν σπροκύκλει

ἐκ πίονος οκου

ονου τε δέπαστρον

τυροῦ τε κάνυστρον.
καὶ πύρνα χελιδὼν

καὶ λεκιθίταν

οὐκ ἀπωθεται. πότεῤπίωμες λαβώμεθα;

εἰ μέν τι δώσεις. εἰ δὲ μή, οὐκ ἐάσομες.

τὰν θύραν ϕέρωμες ἢ τὸ ὑπέρθυμρον

τὰν γυνακα τὰν ἔσω καθημέναν.

μικρμέν ἐστι, ῥᾳδίως νιν οσομες.

ἄν δὴ φέρῃς τι, μέγα δή τι φέροις.

ἄνοιγ̓ ἄνοιγε τὰν θύραν χελιδόνι.

οὐ γὰρ γέροντές ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ παιδία.

Notes and translations in next post

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Visit and Help

More on people misreading Matthew 25 #biblestudy #greeknewtestament

VISIT THE SICK doesn't just mean get well messages.

Yes VISIT is the simplest translation but lets take a look at the Greek Verb used in Verses 36 and 43.

EPISKEPSASTHE is an aorist middle form of EPISKOPEOO.

Yes its related to the same word we get BISHOP from!!!

So it is visiting but visiting with thoughtful regard to look into or at a situation.

If you have access to a Liddell and Scott  in any format online or print look at the entry for EPISKOPEOO.

Ah you say maybe I'm reading too much into the verb!?

Think about the rest of the passage. Its about helping people!

You visit the sick to help them with food or treats or making sure they have adequate medical care or helping change bandages or checking they can cover their bills or need a lift to the hospital or doctor or clinic.

You visit to help. 

Even if how you can do is pass on health care tips online thats still helping though probably best to that if its something you have personally experienced for seen work for another.

You could also help the sick by doing first aid training and by supporting private charities or public health plans.

And do please look up the verb at Perseus or elsewhere or in your library!

LSJ Liddell Scott and Jones

and before anyone asks what I do or have done ... by odd coincidence I am now working in health care only part time and limited hours since I have health issues myself ... and yes I have first aid training!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Another Eagle Coin

I'm still working on the Swallow Song notes and translation so here's another #eagle #coin

This one is Hellenistic and was issued by one of the Ptolemies. Note the lettering and that the eagle is holding Zeus' thunderbolts. The Greeks excelled at Sculpture on a small scale as well as large!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The least of these and Strangers too.

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament

Yesterday there was a brief twitter storm over some media pundit who claimed to understand Greek stating two verses in Matthew referred to helping the Christian poor only.


Verse 28  talks about taking away from someone for not using the money they were given.

However even a single talant would have a small fortune by the standards of that time.

Verses 35 to 36 The Son of man enthroned as King welcomes those who fed the hungry gave drink to the thirsty and welcomed a stranger and clothed the naked, comforted the sick and visited prisoners.

Now Xenos can mean Stranger or Guest but once a Xenos has received hospitality and entered a household then he or she is a guest with certain rights  and the verse talks about welcoming strangers without specifiying anything about their background, rich, poor, Jewish, Greek, Roman.

Then Verse 40 the words of my brothers the least of these are used and again in 45 the words least of these are used. The word for least is elakhistos the very smallest a superlative form of micros.

Finally anyone who thinks brethren means fellow Christians only urgently needs to reread the story of the Good Samaritan or Peters Vision in Acts.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Minoan Swallow Vessel

#minoan #ceramics

Our next bird will be the #Swallow

This ceramic vessel shows the Hellenic admiration for the grace and beauty of swallows dates back to the beginnings of the culture and isn't just limited to the Thera frescoes.

Note how effectively the decoration makes use of a three color system of slips,
 yellow ochre, iron red and iron black.

Saturday, 11 March 2017


#biblestudy #anaginooskoon #noeoo

Matthew 24:15 ends with a clause probably inserted by a later editor but the insertion is a very sensible piece of advice whether one is reading biblical or classical greek or other ethical texts.



ho anaginooskoon noeitoo

Present Active participle followed by a Present Imperative

Anaginooskoo - to know something and think about it also to read in NT  greek and note it is followed for emphasize by an Imperative form of NOEOO to see something and and think before taking action.

READ the TEXT Biblical or other THOUGHTFULLY and THINK about it as well as ACT.

Bible or other study is NOT how much text you read but knowing and understanding the text and taking action. Since the two chapters are linked you might want to take a look at the end of Chapter 25?

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Sicilian Eagle Coin

#greekcoinage #greekcoins #eagle

In  keeping with our #bird theme here is a particularly beautiful #Sicilian #coin depicting two eagles from one of the Greek Colonies on that island . I have no why a grasshopper is in the background! Note that the prey is an HARE not a rabbit!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Leavetaking and the Rapture

#rapture #biblestudy #paralambano

Matthew 24 is rather disturbing and trickier than it looks in English because of the constant shifting of tenses.

At first Jesus seems to be talking about the destruction of the Temple during the Jewish Wars then he seems to be forecasting future persecutions and the Second Coming but than he returns to stating these things will happen very soon Verse 34
'that not will pass the generation this until heoos in greek all these things have happened"Now that seems to fit the destruction caused by the Jewish Wars also forecast in verse 2!?

However disturbing has those forecasts are I want to draw your attention to two verses used to support a belief in the Rapture and depictions of the Righteous being raised into heaven.

In some unknown day and hour in the future (see verse 36 ) two men may be working side by side in a field

tote duo esontai en tooi agrooi

one will be taken as one left

likewise of two women working in a mill the

The verbs are  paralambano and  aphieemi in presnet passive forms.

There's nothing there about an ascent into heaven ???

Paralambano is take along receive or accept

Aphieemi can mean forgive or remit debts or sins , be let go, or left behind,

so a disturbing thought to me ... 
what its the sinners who get taken away for judgement 
and the forgiven who are left behind ?

Meanwhile we must Verse 13 endure to the end  hupomeinas eis telos and performing good works to demonstrate faith?

Skip ahead to the end of 25 and read and  remember what we have to do!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Zeus and his Eagle

#eagle #zeus #greek #ceramics #archaic #naucratispainter

Naucratis Painter 560 BCE Zeus and his eagle

Zeus is depicted as a male aristo with long hair and a cloak with elaborate patterning.

The consensus or Majority opinion is that his eagle was a Golden Eagle seen as the King of the birds because it was one of the largest bird species known to the Greeks.

A note on technique. The reds and blacks are a clay slip of iron oxides. The higher the iron content the darker the slip. The yellow ochre lines are a technique called sgraffito of making lines by scratching thru the slips down to the base clay with some kind of stylus.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

PRESSURE or why we use Tribulation to translate thlipsis


Why is #tribulation used to translate #thlipsis?

#wordstudy #biblestudy #greeknewtestament

The word thlipsis appears three times in Matthew 24 and Paul uses it 3 times in Romans and once in Thessalonicans 1: Chapter 3 - 4

Now Thlipsis and the related verb Thliboo mean to to press hard or rub something so it gets translated as Affliction Suffering Oppression and frequently as TRIBULATION.

Tribulation is cognate to thlibow its stem is tribo rub and its easy to see how t in Latin corresponds to th in Greek and the r to the l.

Consider the relationship of the VULGATE to the King James Version

The Vulgate usually translates thlibo and thlipsis to tribulatio.

The translators of the KJV probably learnt and used Latin far more frequently than Greek and would have grown up with the Latin Vulgate version.

Tribulatio would have been an obvious choice.

However the translators of the RSV and other later versions in English wanted to respect the traditional familiar KJV yet also reflect the Greek texts more accurately than the KJV too so in the RSV we see afflictions oppressions and suffering  used as well as tribulations.

Finally in Latin a tribula or tribulum is a sledge used for crushing the husks off wheat and other grains so a negative pressure a crushing.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

To Greece to Italy - Classical Influences on Later Art

#greeksculpture #lysippus #manneristpainting #parmigianino

Below is an example of how Greek Classical culture influenced the Renaissance and how one medium sculpture can effect another painting.

Compare these two images

The first is one of several Roman copies of a sculpture by the late Classical Sculptor #Lysippus.

This is a Mannerist 16th century painting by Parmigianino 

Anyone know if he had access to the Villa D'Este copy before it was moved to the Vatican Museum?

Saturday, 18 February 2017


Matthew 24 #biblestudy  #rapture #greeknewtestament  #tribulation #signs #omens

A lot of people obsess on Matthew 24 because of Jesus talking about signs and omens and think it refers to the Apocalypse. However many scholars also think it refers to the Jewish wars or the persecution of the early Church and then there's the people fixated on the "RAPTURE"

I think people should start any study of this chapter by looking at the GREEK verbs and their tense and Aspect and especially at VERSE 6

for it must happen but NOT YET is the end

NOT YET translates oupoo and note the use of estin - present and genesthai Aorist Middle

Its not a definite fixed event  YET

and note verse 14 and then will come the end

and then will have to come  / it will have come to the point

the verb is HEEKOO Future heeksei

then verse 34 this generation will not pass away Autee this

and verse 36 but of that day and hour no one knows oudies oiden

and 37 EVEN JESUS the SON does not know

There seems to be NO fixed date for the Apocalypse?

Many general signs and omens but no fixed detailed prophecies?

But but Revelations you say ...
 yes but JESUS HIMSELF states what is more important is how we behave
we can't use it as an excuse for sin

BUT NOT YET IS THE END may be the key to this chapter

next time some more in depth discussion of Matthew 24

Please read the LSJ entries on HEEKOO and consider the mixture of verbal tenses not just the signs and omens when reading this chapter ?

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


#eros #myth #aristophanes #hesiod

EROS was originally depicted as a young man or a teenager.
The depictions of Eros as a child or baby start appearing in the Hellenistic era.

The myth about his origins seems to have changed sometime in the Classical or Hellenistic era.

People writing about him in Greek and Latin started describing him as the Child of Aphrodite and Ares but in older texts he is a PRIMORDIAL being predating the Olympians.

Hesiod Lines 116 Theogony describes Chaos as being the first being and then Earth line 120-22 Tartaros and EROS "most beautiful among the immortal gods"

One fragment of Parmenides writings also refers to EROS as the first born

Aristophanes uses a variant of  this older myth to support the idea the Birds are the oldest of beings .

Lines 696 >> Eros is the first being to be born from an egg with golden wings and Line 703 hence the Birds are the children of love since they fly ...

Aristophanes version came form the Orphic mysteries but all these writers Hesiod, Parmenides and Aristophanes and the Orphics agree EROS is something primordial and ever young.

Saturday, 11 February 2017


With Valentine's day this Teusday I'm doing a hybrid post today comparing Classical and NT Greek usage.

#classicalgreek #eros #newtestamentgreek #agape #philia

One of the most striking differences between Classical Greek and New Testament Greek is the preference for AGAPE over EROS and PHILIA.

In Classical Greek Prose and Poetry, Drama and Comedy, Eros and Philia are the verbs most frequently loved to describe relationships of desire,  love and friendship, and familial affection is rarely discussed.

However in the NEW Testament GOD IS LOVE - AGAPE

Now one idea I have seen is that AGAPE is actually a loan word based on the AfroAsiatic HBB stem and given how the Greeks altered  other loan words from Egyptian and Phoenician that seems possible but I think another reason was cultural. The NT writers wanted to distance themselves at first from Greek philosophers' ideas about love, Platonic or other.

Eros even in its widest meanings refers to passionate love usually with  sexual or romantic element.

Philia is friendship

Storge Affection.

HBB / Agape covers all those things and more though we should bear in mind Aramaic also used other words.

A possible issue is people using Greek as a second language. Look at the differences between the declensions of EROS and Agape and their connected Verbs. People learn the simplest forms first.

With Latin usage starting to spread into the Eastern empire Philia could have caused confusion as the Romans had filius and filius to describe children  and since neither Greek or Aramaic used a F sound in the initial position  at that time period that I know of ...

Agapaa agape agapoo easy to pronounce and write and read no need to remmeber eroos has a T in other cases than nominative and the initial Consonant cluster in STORGEE plus an R next to a G .

AGAPE WINS! with so many advantages over other words, philosophical, semantic, theological, cultural, sociolinguistic, and artistic. The return of Eros to Western art though is a subject best discussed over on my Glyphika blog.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Aristophanes - The Hoopoe Serenade Part Two

#aristophanes #greekcomedy #hoopoe #song

In the previous post I gave you the Greek text and a transliteration into English so non Greek readers had some idea of how the song may have sounded

This time first a word for word paraphrase with notes then a cleaned up version.

Most of the lines in the serenade are 11 syllables long and in a meter that's not really suitable for English verse and then there's the poetic syntax problem

I've tried to keep as close as possible to the original line breaks but sometimes ...

Line One Age is an imperative given the rest of the line Awaken is acceptable

sunnome means mate consort partner moi to for me pausai future infinitive however its  NEAR future event so cease and sleep hupnou is genitive from sleep

Line 2 luson release free loosen and nomous herds laws normally the idea seems to be multiple lines of song hence strains of song in many translations I'm going to add soon justifying it by the future infinitive in the first line

line 3 hous dia theiou stomatos threeneis which by/ thru divine lips mouth you lament

Dative tois sois for for mine (own) and yrs much wept for Itys (their son)

elelizomenee is often translated as trills but she is literallly quivering trembling with song liquid fresh  dierois song melesin

Yes theres no up in original but its bird song rising up see next stanza

Proceeding or advancing thru leafy curls  and i have moved up smilakos and moved down kathara

Dios equals Zeus though divine could also be used

hina so that the goldhaird Phoibos = apollo hearing
ack one long sentence with verb stuck in middle !

yes elegy is a greek word antiphalloon to play a stringed instrument as a response or accompaniment
it being Apollos phormigga or lyre with ivory inlay

i had to merge and shift two lines next

histeesi should be causes to stand up (to sing) but that just does not work in english

Xumphonos is probably used here cos the attic dialect form fits the metre better or for euphony with khoorei  or both

there are 2 genitives in greek  but of harmony of unison in english .... no

ololugee can be cries of both sorrow and joy ?  if i use both it echoes the original metre ?

Awaken Consort for me Cease from Sleep

And Loosen Soon Odes of sacred song

Which through your divine mouth you make lament

For mine and your son much wept for Itys

Trembling with liquid song

Up From your tawny throat

Proceeding thru leafy curls of woodbine

A pure sound echoing towards Zeus' seat

So that golden haired Phoibos  listening

to your elegies responds (then) with song

 ivory inlaid lyre stirring  godly choirs

and thru immortal lips comes a harmony

of sound divine blessed cries of sorrow and joy

I have tried to balance echoes of the original structure and metre with the need to reflect the actual meaning and the need to have a loose but poetic translation that could perhaps actually be set to music in English and I hope  hasn't become BAD free verse?

If you can figure out a way to get this into an English friendly metric scheme that even rhymes do share or comment please?

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Aristophanes - The Hoopoe Serenade Part One

#aristophanes #greekcomedy #song #hoopoe

This post has 2 parts first the Greek Text with a transliterations into
and then next part translation and notes
The transliteration is there to give non Greek readers a rough idea of how it sounds!
Bear in mind that th kh and ph are aspiratd t k and p not fricatives!
 Meter in Greek mean the lines do not have to have an equal length of syllables, and vowel length and pitch are factors too!

Aristophanes' Birds

The Hoopoe's Serenade Lls 209-222

γε σύννομέ μοι πασαι μὲν ὕπνου,

age sunnome moi pausai men hupnou

λσον δὲ νόμουςερῶν ὕμνων,

luson de nomous hieroon 

οὓς διθείου στόματος θρηνεῖς,

hous dia theiou stomatos threeneis 

τὸν ἐμὸν καὶ σὸν πολύδακρυν Ἴτυν

ton emon kai son poludakrun itun 

λελιζομένη διεροῖς μέλεσιν

elelisdomenee dierois melesin 

γένυος ξουθῆς.

genuos ksouthees

καθαρχωρεῖ διφυλλοκόμου

kathara khoorei dia phullokomou 

σμίλακος ἠχὼ πρὸς Διὸς ἕδρας,

smilakos eekhoo pros dios hedras 

ν̓ χρυσοκόμας Φοβοςκούων

hin ho khrusokomas phoibos akouoon 

τοῖς σοῖς ἐλέγοιςντιψάλλων

tois sois elegois antiphalloon

λεφαντόδετον φόρμιγγα θεῶν

elephantodeton phormigga theoon 

στησι χορούς. διὰ δ᾿ ἀθανάτων

histeesi khorous dia d'athanatoon 

στομάτον χωρεῖ ξύμφωνοςμοῦ

stomaton khoorei ksumphoonos homou 

θεα μακάρων λολυγή.

theia makaroon ololugee

The Ancient scholia imply the background music to this includes at least one flute perhaps more?

Next time the translation !