New Greek Resources in Accordance

Whether you are in Boston or not, for the next twenty-four hours you can pick up two new Accordance Greek resources at an introductory discount. These are a part of their SBL/ETS sale. The best part: both are very affordable!

Gregory of Nyssa’s Great Catechism

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity states that Nyssa wrote The Great Catechism around AD 385 and describes it as “a work of his maturity … a doctrinal summa for teachers who needed a system in their instructions” (vol. 2, p. 184).

This type of resource is great for those of us who are more interested in digging through lexicons and working through texts in original languages but are aware that we should be reading more theology (at least a little, right?). Here, you get early Christian theology in Greek!

Along with the Greek text, the Accordance module comes with an English translation and notes containing a few cross references to scripture and other portions of the catechism.

Check it out here.

Whitacre’s Patristic Greek Reader

This is the one I’m most excited about because I tend to spend more time in biblical and classical Greek. Having this reader’s text in Accordance allows me to get a taste of post-NT Greek during down moments when I’m out and about.

In the Accordance module, the reader’s notes are accessible via verse reference hyperlinks. For example, in the second picture below, by clicking 1:3 the notes for that verse appear in the information window. You can click the hyperlink in the top right of the information window to jump to the notes section, which is something you might want to do ocassionally because all the resources Whitacre mentions, like BDAG or LSJ or Wallace’s Greek Grammar, are hyperlinked. You can navigate to them in your Accordance library with a click (if you own them, of course).

Another great feature of the reader is that the texts are arranged from easy to more difficult. The reader is designed to help students with one year of NT Greek study move into more difficult texts.

I’ll post more thoughts as I’m able to spend some time with these resources.

Check it out here.

Online English to Greek Lexicon

Someone asked me today how to say “differently” in Ancient Greek. I pointed them to Woodhouse online and then remembered that I have never highlighted this resource on the blog.

The University of Chicago has put together a nice website that allows you to search for English keywords and go directly to the relevant page scan of Woodhouse. Searching for the word differently will take you to a link for page 223 where you can see the Ancient Greek options.

You can purchase Woodhouse in Logos, as well.

What They Thought when They Were Wrong

Wisdom of Solomon, Chapter 2

Greek text

This is what they said to themselves when they were thinking wrongly:

Our life is short and stressful, and there’s no remedy for a person’s death. For someone to return from Hades is unheard of. We were born out of the blue, and in the future it will be as if we never existed. The breath in our nostrils is like smoke, and our speech is like a spark in the movement of our hearts. Once our body stops burning, it will become ashes. Our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will remember our work. Our life will pass away like a fading cloud and will be scattered like a mist that has been chased by the rays of the sun and worn down by its heat. Our time is the passing of a shadow. Our death cannot be undone because the matter was sealed up and no one returns.

So come on! Let’s enjoy the good things! Let’s make good use of the things of life like we did when we were young! Let’s be filled with expensive wine and perfumes. May no spring flower go unnoticed by us. Let’s crown ourselves with fresh rose blossoms. Not one of us will take responsibility for our revelry. Let’s leave the marks of our party everywhere because this is our lot and destiny. Let’s jump an innocent poor person. Let’s spare no widow and show no respect to some old, grey-haired, elderly person. Our strength determines what is just. You see, the weak are considered worthless.

Let’s set a trap for the righteous one because he is inconvenient for us. He opposes our actions. He ridicules us for our “sin against the law.” He ascribes to us the “sins” of our education. He claims to have knowledge of God and calls himself a child of God. He came to us to tell us our thoughts are wrong. He is unbearable for us and sticks out. His life is not like others, and his ways are extremely weird. We thought he was a fake. He steered clear of our ways as one might from something dirty. He blesses the final state of the righteous and speaks of God as father. Let’s see if his words are true. Let’s put to the test his thoughts on the end of his life. If he is the righteous son of God, then God will help him and deliver him from the hand of those who have opposed him. With torturous violence let’s test him so that we can see his character and test his patience. Let’s give him a shameful death, and how he fares will be dependent on the veracity of his words.

These things are what they thought, and they were wrong because their wickedness blinded them. They didn’t know the mysteries of God, and they didn’t hope in the reward of piety. They didn’t consider the honor of a blameless soul. God created people for incorruptibility and as an image of his eternal nature.

Death entered the world through the envy of the Devil, and those who are of his lot put the righteous one to the test.

Advice for New Greek Students

A friend asked me this morning, “What is the number one piece of advice you’d give a new Greek student?” Here’s my reply, assuming a seminary context:

The Goal

The end game is reading, and it is utterly possible. You must know that what you are doing is preparing for a life of reading Scripture in the language in which it was written. That is the goal, and no matter what anyone tells you, you can actually do this. It is worth it. It might seem impossible and impractical at the moment, but I’m telling you that it isn’t. You can do it, and it is worth it.

In the Meantime

You have to make peace with the fog. When the fog sets in — and it definitely will — you have to know that this is normal. It might happen with all the pronoun paradigms or maybe adjective positions or participles, but when it happens and you feel like you can’t keep everything neatly together in your mind, just know that this is normal. The fog will lift, but it might be a while. You have to press on. If you can just get through the basic grammar and start reading, the fog will lift.

Grammar is not the goal. Endure it, and reap the reading benefits for life.

Typos & Corrections – Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (BrillDAG / GE)

This post is a repository of typos I’ve found in The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek. The project manager has been informed of these and will make corrections for future releases.

Please use this site’s contact form to send me any other issues you find, and I’ll post them here.

Total of 6 issues — 7/31/17

ἐκδικέω entry is missing

κριός entry has only the headword

πρός entry has “prepic” for “prep.”

Some copies of the first printing are missing pages 515-546

κρατερός  entry has “offeelings” for “of feelings.” Not 100% sure on this, but it looks to me like a space is missing between the two words.

πέρα entry has “prepic” twice.

On Teaching Greek

I did a three hour talk today on teaching Greek in a middle/high school context. This was a part of the the Classical Latin School Association teacher training conference.

Here’s a portion of my notes, the online handout.

I wrote the handout in Ulysses‘ iPad app and exported it to PDF using a customized version of the Rough Cut style. Here’s a link to the Ulysses PDF style sheet. You’ll need to download and install the Brill font.

Off-Campus Oxford Handbooks Online Ready

Thanks to John Merritt, off-campus access to Oxford Handbooks Online is ready to roll.

Head over to the databases page, and you will see it in the New Databases section on the right side of the screen and in its permanent home in the O-section. Click the link, log in with your normal SBTS login information, and you are good to go.

At the top of the Oxford Handbook Online page you will see a Browse by Subject section. You have access to the religion, philosophy, and history handbooks.

Go ahead and save a bookmark to this address, and next time you can go straight to the login page:

SBTS Library Oxford Handbooks Online

Good news for SBTS students: I was just informed that SBTS students now have access to the religion, history, and philosophy Oxford Handbooks online. If you are on campus, you can navigate directly to, and explore to your heart's content. Off campus access is on the way. When it is ready, off-campus students will access the site via the SBTS library databases page. (Update: off-campus access is ready to roll.)

These should be the most used resources the library owns. No matter what paper you are writing, you should find help in the Oxford Handbooks. There are 66 handbooks listed in the religion category, 73 in philosophy, and 40 in history. Each handbook contains in-depth surveys and fantastic bibliographies.

Tolle lege.