THE "H" SOUND
The poor H is one of the most abused consonants in the world. Some languages, like a few of the
British and American dialects, pronounce H where it shouldn't be, or ignore it altogether - like HEIR,
HONEST, HONOR, and HOUR. Other languages, like Spanish, apply it to multiple letters, such as X and J
in MEXICO (Meh-hee-koh) and JALEPINO (hah-leh-pee-no). Sometimes the H is impotently stuck behind other consonents,
as in RHINOCEROS, RHINESTINE, CHRISTMAS, and CHAMELEON. It's
almost as if the world is ashamed of the H. Koine Greek follows that tradition of abuse by making it the most obnoxious NON-existent
letter of the alphabeta. Rather than just created a letter foor he H sound, every single Greek word that begins with a vowel
must be fronted with a special symbol to indicate whether or not it should begin with the H sound.
Typically all words that begin with a vowel will have one of these two symbols over
them. Sometimes, if the word begins with two vowels, the mark will be placed over the second vowel, though the H sound will
still be at the front of the word. However, we are going to make this course extremely easy for you and only include the
` when the H sound is required, and only at the front of the word. Remember, you aren't learning
conversational Koine Greek - and since no one speaks it anymore, who would you hold a conversation with anyway?
No, a Diphthong [dif-thong] is not some weird type of
Bikini. Diphthongs are your friends. In fact, you've known Diphthongs since the very day you learned to speak - you just probably
didn't even know it; so don't let the name rattle you.
A diphthong is two or more letters placed together that create
a different sound than when they are pronounced individually. Some English diphthongs include EIGHT, ELEPHANT,
TOOL, CHEW, SHOE, SALVATION, TIGHT, THOROUGHLY, and THIGH.
On rare occasions the letters of a Diphthong are pronounced individually, as in PEORIA. Below is a list of Koine
Greek diphthongs. It is vital that you memorize these.
Ah, the nightmare of Greek accents.....
No, we are not talking about foreign
dialect accents, but the stress accents on a word, such as the way we pronounce "bible" as "bi-ble" With
rare exception, every Koine Greek word contains one of three - yes, three - different kinds of accent marks to indicate
where the stress accent is in a word. The accent system is so complicated that I've seen Greek scholars refuse even to teach
the subject. Why the ancients Greek felt the need for this, only they truly know. There is a reason, but it's so stupid
that no one who is anyone really cares. In fact, throughout this course, to save your sanity, we have completely removed
the accent marks altogther, indicating the accent in the word's pronunciation with italics as mentioned earlier. The only
reason we are even telling you about it is because we do not want you to be confused in the future when you come across the
accent marks in ancient Greek writings. If you are seriously interested in learning the accent system, I highly recommend
the exhaustive book GREEK: AN INTENSIVE COURSE available in our Valuable Resources section.
Again, your welcome. Didn't I tell you this
would be easy?
Memorize these!!! There are only four.
For the record, the question mark is also
used for exclamation points.
Capitol letters are only used in two instances:
- as the first letter of a paragraph
- as the first letter of a proper noun
All other sentences in a paragraph begin with lower
case, as well as titles accompanying a name. For example:
Thousands of people were at the mall,
including governor Smith and mayor Johnson. no one bought anything. all of the stores
went out of business, except Dillards department store.
NAMES AND TITLES OF GOD
In the New Testament, God's Hebrew name "Jehovah"
(or "Yahweh", which ever pronunciation you prefer) is written as "Kurios", meaning "The Lord". The word "God" is written
"THE" AND "A/AN"
The use of these in English and Greek are very different
and can become confusing in translation.
First it should be noted that there is no such word
in Greek as "A" or "An", such as "a hat" or "an apple". In English "A/An" denotes a quantity of "one". In Greek, just the
word hat or apple would be used. In other words, you would say, "I have hat" or "I have apple". If there is a specific thing
or specific number of things that must be specified, the Greek will write it as, for example, "the/that/this/those/his/her/its/their
hat", "one/two/three/etc hat(s)", such as "I have the hat" or "I have her hat" or "I have 5 hats".
However, "A/An" are words that are required
in English grammar, and without them some sentences cannot be completed. Therefore, if the context requires and allows,
it can be added when transliterated from Greek to English. Also, it is typical that Greek uses the word "the" where we would
not use it in English, and therefore, in certain instances it is grammatically appropriate to drop the word in transliteration.
For example, often the word "God", referring to Jehovah God, is written "the God" in Greek. The context implies "the
one and only" God - that is, "the God" in which the entire biblical text has been referencing all along. It even
further differenciates it from all other gods, because if there is no other REAL gods, then the only real God must be "THE"
God. But this is not how we speak in English. In English, the one and only Almighty God is differentiated from all other
gods by using a capital or lower case for the first letter (God/god), and therefore we drop "the" from "the God" when transliterated
from Greek to English.
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