LSJ in Wikiform!?

That’s right. The Liddell, Scott, Jones Ancient Greek Lexicon (LSJ) is now available in a wiki implementation. Check it out. Just type a Greek word into the search bar in the upper right of the window.

Language Choice in Ancient Palestine

I have added Hughson Ong’s article, “Language Choice in Ancient Palestine: A Sociolinguistic Study of Jesus’ Language Use Based on Four ‘I Have Com'” Sayings” (Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics. 1.3 [2012]) to the bibliography at

Here’s the abstract I included:

Ong discusses language authenticity to address a problem in historical Jesus research—the lingua franca of Jesus’ social environment. Using sociolinguistic principles he argues that Palestine was a multilingual society and that various social groups necessitate the use of language varieties, raising the issue of language choice (the occasions and reasons multilingual people use their native tongue over and against their second language). Ong’s objective is to show in four “I have come” sayings in the Synoptic Gospels that, with high probability, Jesus’ internal language was Aramaic, and his public language was Greek.

Those of you interested in sociolinguistics may find Ong’s argument particularly stimulating.

Fonts Page Is Back

Okay. I get the message loud and clear. Removing the Fonts page was a bad idea. I have updated it and re-uploaded it. Version 3 (or is it 4?)

Today I uploaded a completely redesigned site at Every page except the grammar has been redesigned. You will see much that looks familiar, but plenty that is new as well. The greatest changes are behind the scenes, with a thorough rewriting of the code that makes the site run. I have written many hundreds of lines of HTML and totally replaced all of the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) that control the look of the pages.

Here are some of the more obvious changes:

  1. The alphabet page now contains pronunciation recommendations for the Hellenistic period. (It always had them for Classical and Modern Greek.) I have inserted audio recordings with the Hellenistic Koine pronunciation suggestions. This slows down page load time, but has a big enough payoff to warrant it. The recordings are not stellar, but they provide an approximation of one of the many varieties of pronunciation that were current during the period.
  2. ALL informational pages now have a Google search bar at the bottom of the page.
  3. The bibliographies page has been cleaned up and now has a clearer, easier to follow organization. Several former pages have been combined into a single elegant page.
  4. The blogs page had become obsolete since the same information it contained is included here on this blog in the blogroll on the right. This page was simply replaced by a link that brings you here.
  5. The dictionaries page includes a number of additions, including a new section with basic information on Ancient Greek lexicographers—writers in the ancient world who wrote discussions of Greek vocabulary or early lexicons.
  6. In addition to cleaning up the epigraphy page I have added information on resources that have come online since the last major renovation of this site (2009).
  7. I added Textkit’s Greek and Latin Forum to the forums page and streamlined the look of all the resources presented there.
  8. Little has changes on the history page other than visual presentation and small improvements in wording.
  9. On the learn Greek page, I deleted references to sites that have not been updated in the last couple of years and added a link to William Mounce’s online resources for his Basics of Biblical Greek.
  10. The manuscripts page brings a range of improvements from updated information on the resources that were already listed there to adding resources that were not available in 2009.
  11. The software page has also seen updates with the deletion of links to organizations that have provided nothing new for the study of Greek in several years to the addition of one company that has recently begun a move into Ancient Greek software.
  12. Since the overwhelming majority of computers now on the market can use Unicode fonts, and there are many of them available on the internet, I have eliminated the fonts page here at

I hope you enjoy the updated site and find it useful.

Like everything new in the world of computing, I’m sure there will be some mistakes in what I have created. I encourage you to point them out to me. You can do that either by emailing me, if you already have my address (I’m sorry I can’t post it here because of SPAM bots that read websites to find them!), or by using the contact option in the menu bar just under the picture at the top of this page.

If Only Paul Had Used The Chicago Manual of Style

I ran across a Google doc today written by Roger Omanson with some great examples of the kinds of difficulties the lack of punctuation in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament can cause. He writes in a way that can be easily understood even if you don’t read Greek.

Here’s the doc: “If Only Paul Had Used The Chicago Manual of Style

I had the tremendous pleasure of studying under Dr. Omanson at Southern Seminary many years ago. His knowledge of the Greek text of the New Testament is truly amazing.

Green Certified? Really?

It’s something of an odd distinction for a site dedicated to linguistics and Ancient Greek to have received, but is now Green Certified. That’s because the hosting company that provides the space on the web and the fancy functionality to make this site work is now 100% wind powered. You can read about it on our certification page or by clicking on the wind-power icon in the sidebar to the right.

Server Problem

Because of a server configuration problem, this blog was down much of the day today. I apologize to any of you this may have inconvenienced. The hosting provider I work with is amazingly good. This is the first such outage in over ten years, and it is my mistake that created the problem, not theirs!

New Dissertation on Koine Word Order

In November Allison Kirk (Leiden University) completed a doctoral thesis with the title, Word order and information structure in New Testament Greek.

I have added her dissertation to the bibliography here at With the entry I included a slightly shortened version of the abstract that appears in the entry for the dissertation at the Leiden Repository. Here’s the shortened abstract:

The dissertation examines word order variation in the Koine Greek of the New Testament in declarative clauses, questions and relative clauses. Kirk examines the way word order corresponds to information structure. She argues that although New Testament Greek shows a variety of possible permutations of the sentence elements subject (S), verb (V) and object (O), in declarative clauses, questions and relative clauses; the word order is not free. Rather, it is partly governed by phrase structure and partly by information structural considerations such as Topic and Focus. The basic word order is described as VSO with an SVO alternative. Marked clauses, such as SOV, OVS, OSV, and some SVO clauses, involve topicalization or focus movement of the arguments.

You can download the entire text from the Leiden Repository.