Ancient Greek


Mosaic from Caesarea (Rom. 13:3)

This page offers a number of handouts and notes used in my Greek classes. Classes in ancient Greek are offered to any interested party. Contact me via this website to apply.

Classes are provided via a live interactive webinar. They are geared towards understanding the New Testament. The New Testament itself, however, is not actually read until late in the second year in order to prevent students from thinking they are reading Greek when they are actually more reliant upon their memory of the Bible than Greek paradigms, idioms and vocabulary. Although the courses are quite flexible, the following provides an overview of the content of each year.

First Year

Working through Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek in conjunction with the reading of the first 20 chapters of my Animal Story, a graded Greek reader.

W. D. Mounce, The Basics of Biblical Greek, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009)

Second Year

More advanced grammar including the ability to read and write in a more pure Attic dialect. Readings in Animal Story are continued. The reference grammar of Smyth is introduced and used. Simple Greek prose composition is taught using the first century textbook of Theon’s Progymnasmata (‘preliminary exercises’). Simple texts are read such as 1 Enoch 1-11 and then one’s teeth are cut on portions of the New Testament.

H. W. Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges (New York: American Book Company, 1920)
G. A. Kennedy (transl. w. introduction and notes), Progymnasmata: Greek Textbooks of Prose Composition and Rhetoric (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003)

Third Year

Focus is given to word-order in general and particularly the ability to recognise and use hyperbaton and various forms of verbal periphrasis. The letter to the Hebrews is read as well as selections from Josephus, Chrysostom and several others. Exercises in Greek prose composition based on Theon’s Progymnasmata continue.

Fourth Year

Luke 1-2 is read with emphasis on how this text is heavily influenced by Classical Hebrew idiom. Prose composition now also emphasises correct use of accents. The Ionic dialect is introduced and sections of Herodotus relevant to the Bible are read as well as stylistic commentary on the same by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Hexameter poetry is also introduced with readings from Aratus’ Phaenomena (quoted by the apostle Paul) and Oppian’s Halieutika (‘On Fishing’) relevant to the New Testament.

M. L. West, Introduction to Greek Metre (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987)
D. G. Miller, Ancient Greek Dialects and Early Authors: Introduction to the Dialect Mixture in Homer, with Notes on Lyric and Herodotus (Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014)

Aids, Handouts, Notes and Grammars

A handy app utilising digital memory cards has been adapted by Jared Bruning for the vocabulary of Animal Story and 1 Enoch. You can access this by clicking here.

Anki digital memory cards are also available as follows:

Animal Story (Rodney den Boer)

1 Enoch (Dathan Pleiter)

Aratus (Jacob Baijal)

For a modest price there is also a good app for learning your verb forms. For the Apple version click here. For the Android version click here.

For a handy English to ancient Greek online Dictionary click here.

A number of the handouts, notes, and a slightly annotated version of Smyth’s grammar are available below (all files are in PDF format):

H. W. Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges

Exercises based on Mounce

A Workbook for the Exercises of Theon’s Προγυμνάσματα

Sample Answers to the Exercises of Theon’s Προγυμνάσματα

Greek word order in contrast to Hebrew

Stress Rules for Greek (summary)

Signs for Counting (Greek and Hebrew)

Annotated Readings: Second Year

1 Enoch 1 – 11

Notes on the Greek text of 2 Peter

Notes on Greek NT texts related to Women in Office

More exercises in Indirect Speech

Answers for the exercises in Indirect Speech

Annotated Readings: Third Year

Notes on the Greek text of Hebrews

Josephus and the Bible: A Greek Reader

Readings from 1 Maccabees

Readings from 2 Maccabees

Life of the Prophet Isaiah & Martyrdom of Isaiah

Chrysostom on speaking in tongues

Annotated Readings: Fourth Year

Herodotus and the Bible: A Greek Reader

Dionysius of Halicarnassus on Herodotus

Notes on the Greek text of Luke 1 – 2

Aratus, Phaenomena (excerpts) incl. notes on Acts 17:16-34

Oppian, Halieutica (excerpts) and Biblical References to Fishing

Supplementary Annotated Readings

Strabo and the NT: A Greek Reader

Roman Requisition of Transport and the NT

The Question of the Temple Tax: A Reader

Polybius and Paul on the Soldier of God: A Reader

Readings from Justin Martyr’s Apologia I

Readings from The Wisdom of Solomon

Notes on Greek New Testament Documents

Index to Gospel Passages in Various Readers 

Matt. 13:1-23 The Parable of the Sower 

Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43 The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares 

Notes on the Greek text of Luke 1 – 2

Acts 13:13-52 Paul in Pisidian Antioch

Romans 11:13-24 Paul’s Metaphor of the Olive Trees

Romans 12-13

Romans 14:1 – 15:7: Dealing with Jewish Rituals and Customs

Notes on the Greek text of 1 Cor. 6:1-11

Notes on the Greek text of Galatians

Notes on the Greek text of Ephesians

Notes on the Greek text of Philippians

The Interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Notes on the Greek text of Hebrews

Notes on the Greek text of James

Notes on the Greek text of 2 Peter