Category Archives: Greek Class

Mark, και, και ευθεως, and my week.

The gospel of Mark has an interesting little structure. A whole bunch of the verses start with και, which is often translated “and” but can be, and often is, left untranslated since it’s just there to keep the story going from point to point. So, it’s something like “…and then they did this, and then they did that, and then they did the next thing…” Occasionally you’ll see και ευθεως, which is “and immediately”. Overall, in Mark you get the sense of a very fast moving narrative.

Well, I thought I’d give my week’s highlights in Markian prose:

Last week I went out of town
και I needed to get back for a funeral
και the winds were high so taking a small plane back began to look iffy
και ευθεως we decided I should fly commercial
και there was a flurry activity getting me on the flight
και I got back that evening
και I showed up at church in the nick of time to set up for the funeral
και I went home and slept
και ευθεως in the morning I was back at church doing sound checks
και the funeral was lovely
και so was the rest of the afternoon
και we were all getting hungry so we grabbed a bite to eat
και, despite reassurances, my Spidey-Sense noted peanut oil, so I didn’t eat the fried food
και we took the kids to get our Christmas tree (a week later than usual)
και I lost my company iPhone somewhere
και ευθεως we called the restaurant and they found nothing
και ευθεως I searched in the dark tree lot and I found nothing
και I reconciled myself to buying a replacement
και we left the tree lot
και we realized that in our distraction we’d not paid for our Christmas tree
και ευθεως we went back to the tree farm
και taking one more look for my iPhone, a teen came up and asked “Is this yours?”
και I could tell it pained him to return it
και ευθεως we went home
και after a jam-packed Friday at work, the weekend came
και we awoke to snow
και the yard wasn’t ready for snow, so I got the yard ready
και one then another kid got something like the stomach flu
και ευθεως I did, too
και I spent 18 hours in bed
και I missed church (which is rare)
και Helen got it later on Sunday
και I’m tired

It’s been a fast moving narrative.

I’ve turned off the Koine Greek podcast

The traffic was just burying my server. Heh heh.

No, I just realized that the podcasting plugin I was using was tagging everything on the site as though it was a podcast. But really, I didn’t even really record Intermediate Greek since it just wasn’t a lecture-style class. Most of what would have been recorded would probably have been me mistranslating something, thus discovering fresh new heresies.

So, TTFN to the exciting world of podcasting.

You’d think I was addicted


I got myself another [Koine Greek grammar book][1]. This one was on the church discount new-but-scratch-and-dent cart, so I at least got a good deal on it. It’s been fun finding so many additional Koine Greek resources lately (like the [free iTunesU classes][2] I noted earlier), but it can be a little confusing.

Each of these authors and teachers brings their unique perspective to understanding the language, and sometimes their little memory trick or their explanation serves to mess up something I had solid in my head.

But far more often it just reinforces “Oh yeah, I know that,” and sometimes there’s just a little turn of the phrase that gels something together I hadn’t had together before. Which is nice.

The grammar is coming along pretty nicely for me, and I think I have charting mostly figured out (both grammatical and syntactical), so the big thing I’d like to nail in the next months is vocabulary.

Free University-level Greek Instruction


Apple’s iTunes Store announced today the availability of iTunes U: free college classes from places like MIT and Stanford. Audio and video. And among the offerings are [Greek classes from Concordia Seminary][1].

I’ve downloaded a few. They seems really good. So far, it’s stuff [Pete’s already taught me][2], but nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll be downloading and listening. It’s often useful to heard things explained in a different way.

Free Koine Greek Vocabulary Help


Inspired by the very cool work at [](, I’ve started to put together a vocabulary tool using their freely available, incredibly portable code. It’s just started, and I’m trying to find a source for the vocabulary words in order of frequency of occurrence, but at least you can give it a little run and see what you think.

[Ken’s Greek Vocabulary Tool](

Just choose a frequency range (I’ve purposely grouped it into tracks as they appears on Pennington’s [*New Testament Greek Vocabulary Guide*][cd] CDs), and then click “memorize” next to the word “definition”. There’s a flash card mode and a matching mode, both available from the bottom of the table. I only have about words down to about 100 occurrences right now.

Feedback appreciated in the comments here.

Typing Greek Letters on the Mac

I asked a question on the wonderful Mac site Macintouch about multiple keyboards and multiple input languages. Basically, I want to be able to easily switch between typing Greek and English. There were some excellent responses, one in particular which had a link which led me to a little Googling, and man, are there some great resources out there.

A nice thing about Macs is they are Unicode-ready (Windows probably is now, too, but I’m not as familiar with it). Unicode is a “format” which allows for a huge number of possible “letters”; far more than we normally use. But in order to type these characters on a regular keyboard, you need key combinations; like hitting shift-4 to get a dollar sign.

Well, here’s my “something back” to the vast I-want-to-type-Greek-on-my-Mac community.

Setting up your Mac

Go to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > International > Input Menu and check the checkbox for “Greek Polytonic”. For me, that gives me two active Keyboard Layouts “U.S” and “Greek Polytonic”.

Then under “Input Menu Shortcuts,” set a Keyboard Shortcut for “Select next input source from menu”. You will use this shortcut to switch between the two layouts. I use option-space.

Also, choose “Allow a different input source for each document” under “Input source options.” This is really nice; it does just what it says.

Last, check “Show input menu in menu bar.” It is convenient to know what keyboard you’re in. This will show you a little flag in your menu bar.

Get a Good Font

Macs and PCs ship will a few fonts built in. Old-timers Times and Arial are among them. Recent versions are aware of Unicode and have a lot, but not all, of the special characters. There are some other free Greek fonts around. I like Gentium. Download and install by double-clicking the font and choosing install, or by opening Font Book and choosing the Gentium folder.

Print My Cheat Sheet

To type Greek characters, you’ll need to use special key combinations. It will be a while before you have them memorized, so Mac users please feel free to download my little cheat sheet here.

Take Her for a Spin

Now, it goes like this:

1. option-space
2. start typing καί θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
3. option-space to get back to your normal keyboard
4. send me great piles of money

That’s it! I hope that helps someone get started quickly. If you see any errors or something that it would be useful to add, please let me know in the comments.

Intermediate Greek – Class 6

**First the bad news:** The iPod didn’t record this time. I don’t know why. It said it was, but it never counted up. I’ll have to babysit it next time. Too bad, too. It was a really interesting class on genitives.

**Now the good news:** Bethlehem Baptist said yes to us using a room! Starting this Thursday, if we want! Ahhh, parking and tables. And a nearby Dunn Brothers, too.

Intermediate Greek – Class 5


There’s only one unpleasant thing about my Greek class: the parking. There’s a dreadful lack of parking. And surly, uninformed lot attendants stand guard on the only nearby lot, where we are supposed to have sufficient spaces. Grrr. Time to give Bethlehem Baptist a call and see if they can allow us in again.

We went over nominatives, vocatives, and accusatives, and got up to speed on a new set of worksheets that we’re going to be using for a while. Looks like good stuff. Did OK on the test. (Look! English can carry the subject in the verb, too!)

[Here][1] is the audio of the class. Complete with me complaining about the paper in the ESV, as I’m [wont to do][2]. No, it’s not worth downloading just for that. iTunes subscribers will get this automatically.