BLC Blog

More on Why Jesus was a Hebrew speaker

20 June 2014

I appreciated the title of a recent essay (June 9, 2014) by Seth Sanders on Religion Dispatches entitled, “Why the Argument Over Jesus’ Language is More Complicated and More Interesting Than Media Experts Have Claimed.” In fact, many of Sanders’ points that elucidated the complexity of the language situation in the first century resonated with […]

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Did Jesus Heal the Sick before or after the Sabbath Had Ended? (Luke 4:40; Mark 1:32; Matt. 8:16)

28 April 2014

A little story begins in Luke 4:40 after the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39): Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλοις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς. While the sun was setting all as many as were having sick people with various diseases, […]

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The Language Background and Literary Function of the Cry from the Cross Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

17 April 2014

We are finally able to provide the published text of the article on the “cry of dereliction” from the Brill volume, The Language Environment of First Century Judaea,  Randall Buth and R Steven Notley edd., (Brill, 2014, ISBN 9789004263406). The PDF of Randall Buth, “The Riddle of Jesus’ Cry from the Cross: the Meaning of […]

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So what, in fact, does ἑβραϊστί mean?

17 April 2014

A rather lengthy article “Hebraisti in Ancient Texts: Does ἑβραϊστί Ever Mean ‘Aramaic’?” by Randall Buth and Chad Pierce has appeared in the Brill volume, The Language Environment of First Century Judaea,  Randall Buth and R Steven Notley edd., (Brill, 2014, ISBN 9789004263406). The article looks at the meanings and claims about the meanings of […]

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New Volume on First Century Language in Land of Israel

17 April 2014

The Language Environment of First-Century Judaea, edited by Randall Buth and R. Steven Notley, (Brill, 2014, ISBN 9789004263406) has finally appeared. Here is a PDF of the table of contents and preliminary chapter “Introduction: Language Issues are Important for Gospel Studies” 9789004263406_01-Buth Intro May you enjoy the Volume.

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Getting the Right Handles on the Greek Perfect

29 November 2013

At SBL 2013 there was a session devoted to a description of the Greek perfect. Basically, there were three positions and they had been published previously. Stanley Porter argued that the perfect was a third aspect category in Greek with a meaning of “stative”. Buist Fanning argued that the perfect entailed a complete action with […]

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What is wrong with calling the Hebrew verb “an aspect”?

27 May 2013

The biggest problem with calling the Hebrew verb “an aspect” is the English language. This problem also applies to any language that clearly differentiates aspect from tense, like most of the European languages including Greek. Unfortunately, because Hebrew is quite different from Greek or English, the verb is often described as an “aspect” system that […]

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A review of “Living Koine Greek Introduction Part One”

10 January 2013

On January 3rd, a review of BLC’s “Living Koine Greek Introduction Part One” was posted on the blog “Priceless Eternity.” While the reviewer is anonymous, the blog “is run by a college student… currently aiming for a major in Pre-Seminary Bible and also Mathematics,” and I am assuming that the same college student wrote the […]

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Why fluency workshops?

22 August 2012

The BLC/FPU workshops are providing the field of New Testament studies with a unique opportunities for professors of Koine Greek. The community and environment created at these workshops is literally the only place where the field can experience what spoken fluency in Koine Greek may offer to the field. As such, the testimonies of the professors present should not be dismissed off hand.

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2012 Koine Greek Fluency Workshop

09 August 2012

2012 Koine Greek Fluency Workshop

It’s hard to believe that already a week has gone by since the end of BLC’s second Koine Greek Fluency Workshop.  For those of us involved in the planning and/or the instruction, it was obviously a very busy time for us.  I won’t recap all that took place, as a detailed summary has already been […]

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Eureka! I found a new approach to Greek.

29 April 2012

This is a guest blog by Paul Nitz on Learning Another Language Through Actions , expanded 7th edition, by James J. Asher, Originator of the Total Physical Response known worldwide as TPR. Paul teaches Greek in Malawi and will be attending the Fresno BLC workshop this summer. Comments are welcomed: I had been looking for […]

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On Speaking and Scholarship

16 March 2012

Students at our ulpans often ask about the relationship between speaking a language and scholarship. The question arises because most in the related academic fields do not currently advocate or practice speaking the language (and we are all greatful for the generations of scholarship in both Biblical Studies and Classics), yet we at BLC and […]

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Literacy development linked to oral development. Hmmm-?

12 March 2012

I’ve been reading about reading again. A quote from a national report on literacy research caught my eye and seemed appropriate for general discussion on a blog. “It is not enough to teach language-minority students reading skills alone. Extensive oral English development must be incorporated into successful literacy instruction. The most promising instructional practices for […]

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What Happened at “Jesus in Jerusalem”, Koine Greek Immersion Workshop (2012)

28 January 2012

A group of sixteen facilitators and participants recently gathered in Jerusalem (Dec 28, 2011-Jan 6, 2012) to speak Koine Greek, while reading select New Testament texts associated with Jesus in Jerusalem and visiting the ancient sites connected with those narratives. The group gathered in Jerusalem’s Old City for over 50 immersion Koine Greek hours, interacting […]

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The Need for Some Speed in order to Read

08 December 2011

I’ve been reading Frank Smith, Understanding Reading, A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning to Read, fifth edition, Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,1994. It is nice to be reading a fifth edition. That says that there has been some previous usefulness and that the author/publisher is trying to keep up. More germane to the […]

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Soma Song

09 November 2011

As a result of the BLC’s Koine Greek immersion programs, and especially the Workshop for Instructors this past summer in Fresno, CA, there has been growing interest in a song written and composed by BLC’s Sharon Alley.  See for example this thread on the b-greek list. Here is an original recording of the song sung […]

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Another Report on the Greek Workshop

04 November 2011

A while back I wrote my own report on what transpired at this past summer’s Greek Workshop held in August 2011 in Fresno, CA. I don’t know how I missed it until now, but a couple weeks ago Fresno Pacific University posted its own independent account of the workshop.   Wayne Steffen (editor of FPU’s […]

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Daniel Streett on the state of Greek studies

16 September 2011

Daniel Streett, whom I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time last year at SBL, has recently written a series of blog posts on the state of Greek studies in the academy.  It is not pretty. To wet your appetite I will only mention a test he did with about 30 Greek profs […]

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What Happened at the Greek Instructors Fluency Workshop in Fresno, Aug 2011

16 September 2011

What Happened at the Greek Instructors Fluency Workshop in Fresno, Aug 2011

From August 3-11, the Biblical Language Center (BLC), in association with Fresno Pacific University, led a fluency workshop for instructors of New Testament Greek in Fresno, California.  The effort to renew the speaking of New Testament Greek was the first of its kind in North America.  To ensure the highest quality possible, the workshop was led […]

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Why study biblical languages?

20 July 2011

First Things, published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an inter-religious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society, just posted an article entitled “Why study biblical languages?” In the post, the author Nicholas Frankovich highlights the difference between savoir and […]

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Learning from Greek Inscriptions in Tiberias

09 June 2011

Last year in the Greek immersion workshop in Galilee we were able to view some inscriptions in situ. The inscriptions are fun to read and provide a good learning experience. They can even be viewed over the internet. I’ve uploaded a picture of a text. Can you read any pieces of it? What can we […]

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The Irony of Samaria: Σαμαρεια / Σαμαρειτης in the Greek NT

26 September 2008

The following is a little long for a note, but hopefully fun.There are several ironies in the spelling of Σαμαρεια/Σαμαρια in our Greek texts. Readers of United Bible Societies Greek text and the Nestle Aland text will be familiar with the following spellings: Σαμάρεια (the place), andΣαμαρίτης (a person of the place, male)Σαμαρῖτις (a person […]

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Intensive Koine Greek, spoken immersion summer session

17 February 2008

The Biblical Language Center, at Qibbutz Tzuba, just west of Jerusalem is offering its second annual, immersion Greek SXOLH this summer 2008. Two teachers in class teach in Koiné Greek, 90%+ of the time. Outside languages (e.g. English, Hebrew) are restricted to 10% within the classroom. From the beginning students start to play in the […]

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