Sunday, January 22, 2006

Chrys Caragounis comments

Recently I wrote about the ‘Historical Greek Pronunciation’ of NT Greek, and in the post I recommended a couple of works by Prof. Chrys Caragounis. A few days after the post I received an e-mail from Chrys, and he’s given me permission to paste it here:

“... I would like to alert you to my web page ( which ought to have further materials of interest both about pronunciation and about the importance of later Greek for the exegesis of the New Testament. Besides, it is taking up new writings of mine (studies, comments, debate points, etc.) as they are written / appear.

In it you will also find my Response to a polemical ‘review’ by Moises Silva (both published in the last issue of WTJ 2005) as well as a Reply to Silva’s “Rejoinder” to my Response, the latter of which was published in the same Journal and issue. My Reply to his Rejoinder could not be published in the WTJ, so it appears on my web site.

How grossly Silva has misrepresented me you can easily see by comparing the wholly different evaluations by Prof Keith Elliott in Novum Testamentum, Leiden, last issue of 2005 and Prof Peter van der Horst (Prof at Utrecht) in Nederlands Theologische Tijdschrift first issue in 2005. See also the forthcoming review by Prof Gilbert van Belle et. al. (Leuven) in Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, first issue of 2006.

With kind regards,

Chrys C. Caragounis”
I want to thank Chrys for this helpful information, and for alerting me to his webpage which had somehow alluded my initial research. It is really worth a look and has all sorts of useful resources - all the more so as he plans to update it with further studies and comments etc.

In particular, I want to draw attention to Chrys’ response to Silva’s review of his book The Development of Greek and the New Testament. Some of you may remember, I have posted before on a matter of contention I had with Silva’s ‘Greek Fathers Principle’, one that I will perhaps develop into an article. Here is not the place to speak my full mind, nevertheless, I will at least say that I am in real sympathy with Chrys’ reaction to Silva’s review for the simple fact that Silva’s manner of criticism (a tad overly assertive) has never been to my taste.


At 6/07/2007 5:25 PM, Blogger EYTYXOΣ said...

Thanks to your mention of it, I contacted Dr. Caragounis and obtained his "How To Pronounce New Testament Greek" CD. As an amateur lay teacher at church, I am using it for my current NT Greek class, and each of the students will be purchasing it as part of the course. (I still don't know my class size - it could be as few as 9 or 10, or as many as 15-20.) After teaching "Erasmian" for my previous classes, Dr. Randall Buth's comments at B-Greek (as well as in person) and Dr. Caragounis's writings persuaded me to abandon it this go-around in favor of either Buth's Phonemic Koine Greek or the Historical (aka "Modern") Pronunciation of Greek (HPG) (Caragounis's term) - which will be the two options my students will have.

(After all, many Biblical Hebrew courses and books teach a Modern Hebrew pronunciation, so why not the same with NT Greek? Also, since most of my students are Orthodox Christians, I certainly don't want them to go to a Greek Orthodox Church and start reading the Liturgy like βαρβαροι!)

Buth differs from HPG in that η is pronounced like the "ey" in "obey" (similar to Erasmian) and οι and υ are pronounced like a French u, as there is evidence they were still moving toward "ee" during the Koine period and hadn't fully itacised. In other words, Buth argues for a 7-vowel system, versus the 5-vowel HPG/"Modern Greek" system. (This helps differentiate the first- and second-person plural pronouns, too - i.e., ημεις, etc., from υμεις, etc.)

Caragounis's CD, IMO, is a better way for students to hear and learn a good Greek pronunciation than Spiros Zodhiates's New Testament CDs read with the "Modern Greek Pronunciation" or anything I've found on the Internet.

I also have Dr. Caragounis's book and am reading it as time allows.


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