Sound of 1st Century Greek: Mark 1-9

mark1-1imageLouis Sorenson has produced a nice reading of the first nine chapters of Mark’s Gospel following Westcott and Hort’s 1881 text using the Restored Koine pronunciation. His Let’s Read Greek website has numerous helpful resources for reading Greek texts. This is one among many.

Text and audio of Mark 1-9


Mike Aubrey’s Masters Thesis

Mike Aubrey has uploaded his anxiously awaited thesis to

The Greek perfect and the categorization of tense and aspect: Toward a descriptive apparatus for operators in Role and Reference Grammar

Click on the title to download a copy or read it online.

Mike has posted two reflections on his blog that you will find very helpful as you read his thesis. I’ve included links to those reflections below along with what he says about their value:

If you’re a Greek student/scholar. I would encourage you to read the two posts dedicated to discussing my thesis. This is because it’s not a work that’s oriented toward biblical scholars [or] to classicists. It’s a work by a linguist for linguists. The two posts I’ve put up […] on my blog are designed to provide some orientation for people whose primary interest is Greek rather than linguistics proper.

Part I: Challenges in language analysis: thesis prefatory material

Part II: Thesis Prefatory Material: A Narrative Account

Here’s the abstract that Mike included on

This thesis attempts to expand the theoretical and methodological basis for operators within Role and Reference Grammar for purposes of language description, using the Greek perfect as a test case. This requires first examining the current theoretical and methodological approach to tense and aspect in RRG and its strengths and weaknesses. Here I demonstrate that while some areas of RRG have a well-developed and robust set of theoretical and descriptive tools for language description, operators such as tense and aspect are distinctly lacking in this regard. To that end, I propose a model for tense and aspect operators that attempts to fill in the gaps that exist in RRG while also maintaining the integrity and spirit of the linguistic theory. This involves three steps. I begin with a survey of the broader typological literature on tense and aspect in order to establish a set of morphosyntactic tests for the evaluation and categorization of operators. This is followed by an application of the proposed morphosyntactic tests to a particular grammatical problem: the Greek Perfect in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the tests. I then concluded with a synthetic model for tense and aspect operators that both satisfies the theoretical and typological claims of the broader literature and also validates the existing structure of the Role and Reference Grammar framework, thereby furthering the goals of RRG as a useful theoretical model for language description.

I encourage you to take the time to look at Mike’s work.

Syntactic Analysis for Humans (“Does this analysis make my text look fat?”).

If you want to see some of what is to come in the presentation that Jonathan Robie and I will make at SBL on Monday afternoon, check out the following posts on the B-Greek forum:

If you won’t be in San Diego, you can still participate in the discussion through the B-Greek forum!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this earlier post.

Robert E. Longacre: Obituary at LinguistList Site

Robert E. Longacre, SIL Linguist and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington passed away recently. Thank you to Mike Aubrey for pointing out the obituary posted on the LinguisList Site:

Dr. Longacre dedicated his life to advancing the work of translating the Bible into many local languages. He also contributed greatly to advancing the use of linguistics in the study of the Greek New Testament. He wrote important works on Discourse Analysis, including The Grammar of Discourse that have influenced Biblical Studies in significant ways.

Mike Aubrey’s review of 2 recent works on Greek Prepositions

Mike Aubrey has now completed his three-part review of two significant works on Greek Prepositions:

  • Luraghi, Silvia. On the meaning of prepositions and cases: Semantic roles in Ancient Greek. Studies in language companion series 67. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.
  • Bortone, Pietro. Greek prepositions from antiquity to the present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

You can read his review here:



B-Greek Forum

This is a very late notice of an important change to the most used discussion list related to the Greek text of the New Testament. I thought I had mentioned it before, but it appears I have not.

On May 30, 2011 the B-Greek email list became the B-Greek Forum. (Actually, the change just became public on that day. It had been in the works for some time.) If you are not familiar with B-Greek, I suggest you take a look at The email list began in 1992 and has for the last 18 years been a very active place for discussion of the Greek texts of the New Testament. I was quite active on that list in the late 1990s, but dropped off the list because of the huge volume of email it produced.

The new forum format avoids that problem, allowing you to read what you want, and easily ignore the topics that don’t interest you.

I help moderate the Greek Language and Linguistics topic in the new forum.

Discourse Analysis and Textual Criticism

On June 21, Steve Runge posted a discussion of the placement of the phrase ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου in John 16:23 that can serve as a good example of the usefulness of discourse studies in resolving (or clarifying) difficult textual decisions. NA27 and SBLGNT place the phrase in different locations. Take a look at Steve’s discussion and the comments in response to it if you are interested in this topic.

SBL Greek Langauge and Linguistics Site

On June 30, while I was away at a retreat in the mountains of North Carolina with my daughter, Mike Aubrey announced over at ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ that the Greek Language & Linguistics section of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) has a new website up and running. You can find that site at

The site has preliminary abstracts for the papers that will be presented in November.

Here’s what the site says about its purpose:

This site has an informational purpose. While it provides some information from past meetings, it will mainly serve to post announcements about future meetings of the Section at SBL and provide details of the papers to be presented.

This seems to hint that more information on the papers will be forthcoming, but it’s hard to tell.

The Greek Language and Linguistics Section of the SBL holds two sessions at each meeting of the SBL. One is an “Open Session” often presenting papers on a wide variety of topics. The other session is “Thematic,” that is, focused on a single theme. This year’s thematic session will focus on discourse markers. If you are interested in discourse studies and their relation to Linguistics, you will want to read the abstracts for the “Thematic Session.” Follow the link above and scroll down to find them.