Greek New Testament

My wife is about to begin a study of Greek and the New Testament in it’s original language. She took Greek at Gonzaga many years ago so this will be a refresher.

What she is looking for is a good Greek Lectionary with a Catholic perspective. The class she will be taking is being offered using protestant sources.

When she called Catholic Answers radio, Fr Mitch Pakwa had one he recommended but ran out of time before he could think of the name. He knew there was a copy a Powells in Portland, but their web site gives 50 hits and no indiciation which one he liked :slight_smile:

Any recomendations from the peanut gallery?

Don’t know which book he would be talking about, but just a reminder, (probably not needed but…) While greek was the original text written, Aramaic is what was spoken. So you are really studying a “traslation” from the Oral Word of God, not the original. God Bless,
Maria

I use A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature 3rd ed. I’ve found it to be quite extensive and not biased to either side. Check it out here: amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0226039331/qid%3D1129834782/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-5255637-5709717

Also if your interested in learning the language and not just a lexicon get amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0310250870/qid=1129835086/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/102-5255637-5709717?v=glance&s=books

I use Thayer’s Greek Lectionary of the NT. I have found it to not be biased. I have not found any lectionaries that are strictly from a Catholic perspective, and would love to purchase one if there is one on the market. Might want to try asking some Greek Orthodox Christians about what they recommend.

[quote=MariaG]just a reminder, (probably not needed but…) While greek was the original text written, Aramaic is what was spoken. So you are really studying a “traslation” from the Oral Word of God, not the original
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I recognize that Jesus spoke usually in Aramaic and probably used Greek in some of his business dealings. But the evangelists (save Matthew) wrote in Greek. Paul, Luke and John were probably well versed in the language and were able to express themselves well.

Since Paul never met Jesus, his writings would be what was revealed directly by Jesus or related by the other apostles.

I believe the scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit so the written word is an accurate rendition of the Word of God.

With all the poor “translations” I find it helpful to be able to read the Vulgate to find where the translater watered down the Word for a modern audience that they have no interest in educating. But the Latin is a lot easier for me because the alphabet (a greek word) is the same as our abc’s.

[quote=JLove]I use A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature 3rd ed.
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I purchased a copy, hope it’s everything she wants (of course I will be peeking over her shoulder :wink: )

[quote=Evan]I recognize that Jesus spoke usually in Aramaic and probably used Greek in some of his business dealings. But the evangelists (save Matthew) wrote in Greek. Paul, Luke and John were probably well versed in the language and were able to express themselves well.

Since Paul never met Jesus, his writings would be what was revealed directly by Jesus or related by the other apostles.

I believe the scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit so the written word is an accurate rendition of the Word of God.

With all the poor “translations” I find it helpful to be able to read the Vulgate to find where the translater watered down the Word for a modern audience that they have no interest in educating. But the Latin is a lot easier for me because the alphabet (a greek word) is the same as our abc’s.

I purchased a copy, hope it’s everything she wants (of course I will be peeking over her shoulder :wink: )
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I too completely believe it is God’s inspired words and is an accurate rendition of the Word of God.:slight_smile:

It just helps to remember what was spoken so when discussion of, for example, petros come about, that it wasn’t petros that was spoken but Cephas. And in this case the best translation of the word Rock put in masculine form since it was the name change of a man. Like I said, probably not a needed advice for you but maybe others.

God Bless and good studies to you both!
Maria

I encourage the study of the Greek NT.

Learning Greek is way different from using a lexicon or dictionary.

As a native English speaker, consider how ludicrous it would be to think you could learn how to speak, write, or UNDERSTAND English from only having a dictionary!

Good translation inextricably involves the ART that comes from learning anda uinderstanding the language, not just from looking at words in a lexicon.

Out of all the Biblical languages of importance, I would rate the Greek at the top of the list for the simple fact that most of the NT was written in it originally, though Matthew was originally in Aramaic, and Hebrews was originally written in Aramaic by Paul and translated into Greek by Luke or Clement according to some traditions. But not only do we have the Greek NT but we have the Greek Septuagint, which is the most important version of the OT because the Hebrew text that is most common today is a Pharisee revision called the Masoretic Text and is corrupted. Though, the Dead Sea Scrolls are valuable but are mostly fragments, but even at that the DDS agree with the Septuagint more so than the Masoretic Text used the the Orthodox Jews today and even most Bible translators for their OT, which is very unfortunate.

Most people don’t even know that we have an ancient Aramaic NT, called the Peshitta, and there are hundreds of Aramaic manuscripts of the NT. The Aramaic version is great for a reliable text of Matthew, and even proves the point in Matthew 16:17-18 that Peter is the ‘Rock’ because the same word Keepa is used for both, “You are Keepa and upon this Keepa I will build my Church.”

Latin is obviously very important, and I believe there is no other language that can translate from Greek and carry the meaning over as well as Latin. And without the ancient Latin Bible Manuscripts we would not understand the Biblical Greek like we do.

[quote=Evan]My wife is about to begin a study of Greek and the New Testament in it’s original language. She took Greek at Gonzaga many years ago so this will be a refresher.

What she is looking for is a good Greek Lectionary with a Catholic perspective. The class she will be taking is being offered using protestant sources.
[/quote]

Another option would be to use a lexicon which is neither Protestant nor Catholic, i.e., one which is based upon the usages of all texts, regardless of their ideological bent. This will provide a much more accurate comprehension of a C1st reader’s grasp of the denotations and connotations of the words in the text. After all, who learns English from the Bible?

The best such work is the enormous, and terribly expensive, Liddell-Scott-Jones Lexicon, which covers usages of Greek words in Homeric, Attic, Ionic and Koine Greek, with references to appearances of words in the texts themselves. This is available in a slightly summarised form online, through the philanthropy of Tufts University.

An advantage to a lexicon that is restricted to biblical Greek might be the words will be in the vocabulary of the Church. When we talk of the Word (Logos) it has different interpretations than when Homer or Plato might use Logos. The advantage of a Catholic prespective is there might be footnotes to where the word was also used by Early Church Fathers that might otherwise be missing.

We view Presbyter and Episkipos different than our separated brethren. So I would not want a lexicon that ignores the Catholic interpretation of these words.

That is why I queried if there was such a beast.

[quote=Evan]An advantage to a lexicon that is restricted to biblical Greek might be the words will be in the vocabulary of the Church. When we talk of the Word (Logos) it has different interpretations than when Homer or Plato might use Logos. The advantage of a Catholic prespective is there might be footnotes to where the word was also used by Early Church Fathers that might otherwise be missing.

We view Presbyter and Episkipos different than our separated brethren. So I would not want a lexicon that ignores the Catholic interpretation of these words.

That is why I queried if there was such a beast.
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In that case, I would suggest using the LSJ in conjunction with G. W. H. Lampe’s Patristic Greek Lexicon, a work of similar scale to the LSJ, which was designed to supplement it for that very reason: Lampe’s work only includes words which were used in the Patristic period in ways which differed from their usage in Koine and earlier dialects. This will not give you any reference to how these words are interpreted now, but it will give you the best summary of how those words were understood by the Fathers.

I have yet to find an online copy of Lampe, unfortunately, and it is quite expensive, but these two will give you the best reference which you can have without spending your own lifetime researching the usages. If you live near a university, you could check their library for these texts; if they have a Classics department, then they should have both.

Hi Evan,

What she is looking for is a good Greek Lectionary with a Catholic perspective

What do you mean by a Catholic lectionary? If you mean a critical edition of the Greek New Testament, there is really no “Catholic” one. Critical editions are by definition scientifically exact and do not vary much one from the other.l

Verbum

[quote=Verbum]Critical editions are by definition scientifically exact and do not vary much one from the other.
[/quote]

‘Scientific’ = exact ?

Scientists are people. And all have a background which colors our views. One who believes and does a scientific analysis of new testament text will result in a completely different paper than a scientific analysis done by a Hindu or 7th Day Adventist.

A lexicon tries to equate words from two cultures with equal ideas. This is a difficult job. But the ideas in Catholic theology use different words than the same ideas in Protestant theology. The is what leads to the necessity of dialog between Catholic and Protestant. So we may understand each other. We speak english but use words in a different way.

You lexicon is only as good as the one who creates it.

[quote=Evan]A lexicon tries to equate words from two cultures with equal ideas. This is a difficult job. But the ideas in Catholic theology use different words than the same ideas in Protestant theology. The is what leads to the necessity of dialog between Catholic and Protestant. So we may understand each other. We speak english but use words in a different way.

You lexicon is only as good as the one who creates it.
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This is why I suggest the LSJ and Lampe; if you look at them, you will see that they do not merely try to equate words from two cultures (which would necessarily be a doomed enterprise). Instead, they present examples of usage, so that you can then go back to the original texts and see how those words were actually used by real, contemporary writers of the language. Translation is available, but unnecessary.

As for the ‘scientific’ issue, that is about as close as we can come with linguistic studies, but language was never about exactitude.

Hi Evan,

I asked what the person meant by “lectionary” and surmised that this was a critical edition of the Greek original.

A critical edition of the original text is one that lists all the variants of the various manuscripts and uses widely approved scientific methods to establish the text that is closest to the original.
It has nothing to do with interpretation.

Verbum

We just got our copy of A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature

It’s quite a delight. But you can see the protestant roots… In the introduction it warns against using deacon for DEACONOS or bishop for EPISCOPOS. Because there is such a history associated with these words. Whereas the church uses these words precisely because that is what the greek says.

On the other hand, the examples and discussion that is associated gives a clear picture of what was meant be these words so it is easily seen when the use of deacon or bishop would be appropriate.

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