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In Print:
The Original Greek New Testament

Excerpts from a study contained in Homeric Greek - A Book for Beginners, University of Oklahoma Press 1985. The text contains some words in Greek, download Greek fonts, if you don't have. 


Page 8

      The vocabularies of Xenophon and Homer, which are compared in these lists, are : Xenophon's Anabasis entire, and Homer's Iliad, books I-VI. The pages as given above are according to the Teubner texts. The number of words in Xenophon's Anabasis is approximately the same as that of Homer's Iliad, books I-VI.
      In these lists, words which are closely enough related to others that ordinary students who know the meaning of one may infer the other are counted but once, as
θάνατος, ἀθάνατος ; βαίνω, ἐκβαίνω, καταβαίνω, ἀναβαίνω, etc. Proper names are also omitted.

From this table it will be seen that Homer is a much better preparation for the Greek drama, Hesiod, the elegiac and iambic poets, than is Xenophon, and it is along these lines that the course should be developed. For Plato the difference is so exceedingly slight that in the matter of vocabulary one is practically as good a preparation as the other, and a few of his easier dialogues should find a place after some of the best poetry has been read. After that the Greek course ought to be able to take care of itself. Herodotus might come at any point. There is a slight advantage here on the side of Xenophon in the matter of vocabulary, but his language is so much closer to that of Homer, as well as his general style and imaginative genius, that he would be very easy and stimulating to those who had read any considerable amount of Homeric Greek. Those who wished to read Thucydides and the orators would find Xenophon's vocabulary somewhat better for their purpose, and the same is true if they wished to read the New Testament and Menander ; but in all these the advantage is relatively slight, and in most cases the difference would probably not be noticeable. In the case of the New Testament, for example, the difference is less than one word in two Teubner pages of Greek text.

It is generally recognized that for the best results in the study of the New Testament, students should read a considerable amount of other Greek first. In the whole circle of Greek literature the two authors most important for the student of the New Testament are Homer and Plato. (...) Homer and the ideas he represents are infinitely more important for the student of the New Testament and of the early Church than is Xenophon ; and if one can study not more than a year or so of Greek before taking up the New Testament, he should by all means have some Homer followed by Plato. Experience has shown that after a year of Homer, students can and do pass with little difficulty into the New Testament. The passage from Homer to Attic, or to Hellenistic, Greek is of course a great deal easier than vice versa, and occupies very little time and effort.

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    Cf. The Complete Iliad ||| The Complete Odyssey

    Related:  Andrew Lang, We need Homer and the Study of Greek   Homer Bilingual (Greek English) Anthology  Homer : Greek - English Interlinear Iliad  A Commentary on the Odyssey Homer: Achilles' Grief, Returning to Ithaca & The Underworld Cavafy, The Horses of Achilles Helen Keller, It was the Iliad that made Greece my paradise,  Plato Home Page 

The Greek Word Course : Lessons in Ancient Greek

Cf. The Complete Iliad * The Complete Odyssey
Greek Grammar * Basic New Testament Words * Greek - English Interlinear Iliad
Greek accentuation * Greek pronunciation

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