Tag Archives: New Testament

Ancient Greek Pronunciatio

Translations of the Greek New Testament into other ancient languages help us know what the sounds were in ancient Greek compared to now.  In order to translate Christian texts, the Copts invented 7 extra glyphs for sounds unknown to the Greeks, but which they needed for their language.  This is informative to us as to what Greek sounded like as late as the early church times.  Thus we know that even as late as the Christian era in Egypt, the Greek letter φ (Phi) was not pronounced like English “F” but instead like our English “P.”  We know this because Coptic had to invent a separate letter Ϥ for the F sound, a sound which Coptic had, but Greek did not have.

And because of the law of Phonetic symmetry in the distribution of points of articulation in the mouth, we can reasonably extrapolate this principle to the other set of consonants also, that is, Χ and Κ.  And predict the following: the Greek letter χ sounded like our English “K” and the Greek letter Κ was a softer, unaspirated K for which English does not have a letter or symbol.  In Phonetics we find that languages that have both an aspirated and unaspirated P, will also have both aspirated and unaspirated versions of the other stops such as T and K etc.  Thus, φ was p sound, θ was t sound, χ was k sound, and π, τ, κ were unaspirated versions thereof, for which we do not have letters in English.

Another example that Plumley gives in Metzger’s book shows that the Greek letter θ definitely was not a “th” sound like we have in English, as in the word “thick.”  It was simply our Englsih “t” sound, as in “tick.”  One way we know this is because Coptic translators, when they heard the Greek word θαλασσα, wrote down HALASSA with the feminine definite article T in front of it.  That’s because it was pronounced TALASSA and the scribes or translators heard TALASSA.

The above knowledge can lead us to some interesting insights.  For example, knowing that φ was pronounced “p” and θ was pronounced “t,” we can pronounce correctly the word φθινοπωρινος in Jude v. 12, and recognize our English word “patina” there, and see how that relates to change in color of leaves in Autumn.  Greek had a word φθινα for the mildewing of material (which would change its color), but see also φθῖνάς “a waning, a wasting away”, or φθινιασμα “declining,” and the verb φθινω, “to perish, decay, waste away.”  Our English word patina also refers to the wasting away or corrosion of semi-precious metals, like copper and bronze, upon which a green film accumulates.

This page gives the correct pronunciation of ancient Greek consonants.

Textus Receptus Revelation

I have completed and uploaded editions of the Revelation of John based on the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text, and also another one based on the Textus Receptus.  In addition, my previous eclectic edition of Revelation has added to it many more footnotes.  There are now 508 footnotes in these editions, showing the textual variants, and the ancient witness support for each.
Here you can download the Robinson-Pierpont edition of the Apocalypse of John
or the Textus Receptus edition of the Apocalypse of John

Greek Cursive Ligatures

Quick-Reference Greek Ligature Guide

Many of us read printed editions or transcriptions of New Testament Greek frequently. But unless you are collating or reading minuscules often, you can forget the “ligatures” used in cursive manuscripts. Ligatures are the shorthand mergings or combinations of Greek letters that are found in cursive minuscule Greek manuscripts. I myself was reading minuscules often in the early 2000’s, but then after I stopped doing that, I have been forgetting the ligatures. So I use this guide myself when reading minuscules.

Here I offer free download of a quick-reference Greek ligature guide in PDF.  It has two narrow columns. So narrow, that you can make it a sliver on one side of your screen or monitor, and still have plenty of room for your mains documents. The first column is the more familiar form of a Greek letter or number, and on the right of that, a column showing various ligatures for that letter alone or ligatures for combinations of letters that start with that letter. It mostly uses Dr. Vernon Kooy’s character set, but also some others. I know that this will be useful to people in this group. The download is free, but you can also order a printed and bound edition from Lulu. Also, if someone has made a font or knows of a font that includes one or more ligatures than I have included in this document, please let me know, and I will add it to the document.

Please share this post about the Quick-Reference Greek Ligature Guide.

Textus Receptus Jude

I have completed and uploaded editions of the Epistle of Jude translated from the Textus Receptus and from the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine textform.  These, like my eclectic edition, show the readings of 62 Greek manuscripts plus 12 Greek New Testament editions, including the Antoniades, Von Soden, Pickering, Tregelles, SBL, NA28, Wesctott and Hort, Stephens 1550 Textus Receptus, Scrivener 1894 Textus Receptus, Hodges/Farstad, Tommy Wasserman, and David Robert Palmer editions.  These are PDFs in landscape mode.

Download the Textus Receptus Jude

Download the Robinson-Pierpont Jude

You can also download whole Bible editions based on the Textus Receptus and the Robinson-Pierpont.

2 Peter with Greek text

Announcing a new Greek-English diglot of 2nd Epistle of Peter, with TC footnotes citing 9 Greek editions: TR, Tregelles, Westcott-Hort, Antoniades, VonSoden, Robinson-Pierpont, Byzantine Greek New Testament (f35), SBL, and NA28/ECM2. And citing Greek MSS P72 P74 01 A B C K L P 044 048 049 0142 0156 0209 0247 5 33 307 623 665 1175 1241 1243 1448 1735 1739 1852 2298 2423 2464 2805.

TR edition cited is Stephens 1550, except in 3:7, where Stephens, Beza, Elzevir, Erasmus, and Scrivener are split.


Please share this post.

Scrivener Plain Introduction

Scrivener, F.H.A.: A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. 1, “Scrivener Plain Introduction”

PDF, 32 MB, now available for download at the bottom of my translations page, and also by a link in the image below.

Scrivener Plain Introduction

F. H. A. Scrivener

An image of Scrivener from the book A Plain Introduction Vol 1., free download, “Scrivener Plain Introduction”