A Koine reading list

Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
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jeidsath
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A Koine reading list

Post by jeidsath » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:58 pm

I have been spending most of my time reading Attic Greek lately, and it was a pleasant surprise to come back to Mark and find out that all that work has paid off there too. I was able to read through Mark like a novel, in just a few hours, with full comprehension, including all of the chapters that I had never looked at in Greek before. This is exciting to me -- I feel like I'm able to read again.

What Koine texts can I pick up next? I think that I have a good picture of some easy texts in the NT: The Gospels, John's letters. But I'd appreciate any suggestions for easy reading, secular or non-secular. I've been eyeing Pratum spirituale, but I don't know if that's too far out of my range.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by bedwere » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:53 pm

I didn't know Pratum spirituale. It looks like good spiritual reading. I was recommended to read Capita de caritate by St. Maximus the Confessor. I think it is in volume 90 of Patrologia Graeca (parallel Latin is a big help for me :D ). I need to read it again. Happy Thanksgiving!

PS

Here it is
Last edited by bedwere on Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by Shenoute » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:07 pm

the Didache is ranked as the easiest text in Whitacre's Patristic Greek Reader. My Greek is weak (to say the least) but I found it a nice change from the NT.

edit. The edition I linked to is badly scanned, the one I have on my computer is not but I can not remember where I downloaded it. This one should do better.

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by uberdwayne » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:06 am

jeidsath wrote:What Koine texts can I pick up next?
I found Galatians to be a slight "bump up" from Mark and 1 Timothy a slight bump up from Galatians :). As for the Didache, I have a pdf I've been working on formatting. If you pm me your email, I can send it to you if you like.
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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by Qimmik » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:38 am

Daphnis & Chloe

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by jeidsath » Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:15 pm

I read through Galatians, since it was easy to make into a PDF for my Kindle. It was harder than Mark for me. The first half was straightforward, but my comprehension in the second half came and went. Some sections were easy, and others I didn't understand. To increase comprehension, I plan give it a read through in a translation once, and then read through it in Greek again. I notice that Paul is a lot tighter in Greek than in English. He has always come across as disconnected to me before.

Reading through the first page, the Didache looks very easy. I'm excited to read through it.

I gave Capita de Charitate a very brief glance, but found it harder going. The short sections seem easier than the introduction, but I'll need to get more context before I can dive right into it.

Daphnis and Chloe is the most exciting to me, as a "novel." I had to look up a few words in the introduction, but it made perfect sense after that. I hope that after reading through a few pages to pick up vocabulary, it will get very easy. Also, I see that it's online in the Perseus Github documents, so I will be able to make it into a PDF for my Kindle.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by Markos » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:44 pm

Joseph and Asenath

http://www.letsreadgreek.com/texts/jose ... senath.pdf.

is the easiest "decent" Greek that I have seen.

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:04 pm

[quote="jeidsath"]I read through Galatians ... It was harder than Mark for me. The first half was straightforward, but my comprehension in the second half came and went. Some sections were easy, and others I didn't understand. To increase comprehension, I plan give it a read through in a translation once, and then read through it in Greek again. I notice that Paul is a lot tighter in Greek than in English. He has always come across as disconnected to me before.

Many of the translations in the last 40-50 years have tried to make Paul's difficult syntax instantly readable which accounts for some increase in the word count.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by daivid » Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:04 am

I presume you count the Acts in with the Gospels being Luke part two. Beyond that I'd mention Chariton. It is a little harder than the gospels but not by much. Callirhoe does does take her passivity to an extreme but I appreciate a prose writer who is not afraid to express strong emotions in contrast to the rather two dimensional characters of Herodotos' stories. (And the first book has a Bryn Mawr commentary)

St Paul is far too hard for me. It may be that this is just St Paul but I do wonder if the problem isn't that he is dealing with abstract ideas.

Why is Pratum spirituale considered hard? I had not heard of it before but from the Wikipedia article it sounds like a collection of quite simple stories directly told.
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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by Kopio » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:44 am

jeidsath wrote:I have been spending most of my time reading Attic Greek lately, and it was a pleasant surprise to come back to Mark and find out that all that work has paid off there too. I was able to read through Mark like a novel, in just a few hours, with full comprehension, including all of the chapters that I had never looked at in Greek before. This is exciting to me -- I feel like I'm able to read again.

What Koine texts can I pick up next? I think that I have a good picture of some easy texts in the NT: The Gospels, John's letters. But I'd appreciate any suggestions for easy reading, secular or non-secular. I've been eyeing Pratum spirituale, but I don't know if that's too far out of my range.
Funny how simple the New Testament can be after wrestling with other texts. I described the Gospel of John the other day as like reading "See Spot Run!"

I will tell you what I picked up and absolutely loved. It was recommended to me by Carl Conrad (of B-Greek fame)....he said read Apollodorus' Library. Apollodorus wrote in the later Koine period, but he Atticized a lot...trying to make his writings look older. Here's why it's great though....it's all of the Greek Myths retold and bundled up into two books! I got the Loeb Classical Library version (Frazier's footnotes are wonderful)...some people don't like Loeb because of the English on one side, but it does make it easier than dragging out your lexicon every 5 minutes. Anyhow...really fun read. I'd strongly recommend it!

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by Qimmik » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:55 pm

it does make it easier than dragging out your lexicon every 5 minutes.


Well said. There's nothing wrong with using Loebs. They're a great resource for English speakers. The newer ones are particularly good (as are many of the older ones, too). If you want to read Dionysius of Halicarnassus, or Dio Chrysostom, or many other Greek texts, such as Apollodorus, you have few other sources for the Greek text.

Stay away from Edmonds' Greek Bucolic Poets, though.

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Re: A Koine reading list

Post by njericks » Tue May 10, 2016 4:54 pm

I realize this thread is old, but for anyone who finds it late, like myself, I want to add another suggestion. The Testament of the 12 Patriarchs is some good Koine reading. Pretty straightforward with a lot of repetition of vocabulary (it does not make much use of adverbial participles outside of ων, οντες κτλ.; It reads much like LXX narrative). There is a critical edition of it by R. H. Charles titled: The Greek versions of the Testaments of the twelve patriarchs. Available on archive.org

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