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Gamma Rho Kappa

Ancient Greek Honor Society

Author

Kevin Southerland

I am an incoming Ph.D. Student at Asbury Theological Seminary.

In Defense of Koine Era Pronunciation – Kevin M. Southerland

We have had some general reasons for the use of KEP elsewhere on the blog, but one thing we have not done is shown detailed evidence for pronunciation here. The following passage of poetry is from Callimachus (c. 310-240BC), from the early Koine period, which began with the conquests of Alexander the Great (died 323BC). Poetry is good for reconstructing sounds because of the use of rhyme and other aural devices. This particular poem is variously numbered as Epigr. 28, 29, or 30 (e.g., LSJ calls it both 28 and 30):

Ἐχθαίρω τὸ ποίημα τὸ κυκλικόν, οὐδὲ κελεύθωι

χαίρω τίς πολλοὺς ὧδε καὶ ὧδε φέρει,

μισέω καὶ περίφοιτον ἐρώμενον, οὐδʼ ἀπὸ κρήνης

πίνω· σικχαίνω πάντα τὰ δημόσια.

[5] Λυσανίη σὺ δὲ ναιχὶ καλὸς καλός — ἀλλὰ πρὶν εἰπεῖν

τοῦτο σαφῶς, Ἠχώ φησί τις ‘ἄλλος ἔχειʼ.


I despise the circular [that is, conventional] poem, nor the road

do I enjoy which carries many here and there,

I hate also the wandering one that is loved, nor from a spring

do I drink; I loathe everything publicly held.

But, Lysanius, you are indeed beautiful, beautiful — but before

Echo says this clearly, someone says “another has [Lysanius]” (my translation).

The bold words are set up in an echo. Echo was an Oread who was tasked by Zeus with stopping Hera (Zeus’s goddess wife) from discovering Zeus’s affairs with the nymphs by having longwinded conversations with Hera to give Zeus time to escape detection. When Hera found out, she punished Echo by making her only able to repeat the last things that someone spoke to her. Later, she fell in love with Narcissus and died of a broken heart after he rejected her and fell in love with himself, leaving only her voice to echo.

Like Echo, Callimachus is spurned by his love interest. In this poem, the poet is hoping that Lysanius will echo back the ναιχὶ καλὸς καλός, but instead someone else informs the poet that Lysanius “wanders” in his love by saying ἄλλος ἔχει. This makes a kind of decaying echo in KEP, while it is obscured in the traditional Erasmian pronunciation (the following is in approximate English pronunciation rather than IPA):

  Erasmian KEP
καλὸς ka-LAS ka-LOS
ἄλλος AL-las AL-los
ναιχὶ nai-CHI ne-CHI
ἔχει E-chay E-chi

While καλὸς and ἄλλος sound the same in Erasmian with inverted accent placement (last syllable-first syllable), ναιχὶ and ἔχει do not. KEP, however, treats the αι monophthong as equivalent to the ε AND treats ει as equivalent to ι. Thus, aurally, KEP keeps the same inverted pattern with similar sounds, like one would find in a decaying echo. While this example does not prove all of KEP (such work would take many more samples of this and other differences), it demonstrates the KEP is clearly closer to Callimachus’s pronunciation than Erasmian, which obscures the aesthetics of the poem.

The Pronunciation of Koine Greek – T. Michael W. Halcomb

The following post originally came from Appendix §30 of Fredrick J. Long, Koine Greek Grammar (Wilmore, KY: GlossaHouse, 2015) and was written by alumni member T. Michael W. Halcomb, Ph.D.

In the same way that it is in our best interest to learn the grammatical and syntactical ins and outs of Koine Greek, as this book has helped us do, it is to our benefit to have some understanding of the issues surrounding the matter of pronunciation. Because the majority of English-Greek grammar books employ the so-called Erasmian Pronunciation (I say “so-called” because Erasmus himself did not adopt it), and because professors have been using such textbooks for the last several hundred years, the overwhelming majority of students have accepted this framework without much question. Indeed, many have been taught that recovering any semblance of how Koine originally sounded is beyond possibility. Such a claim, however, simply misses the mark.

The reality is that we can know how Koine sounded. There are a number of resources readily available and at our disposal that can assist us in this regard. Before I mention just a couple of those, however, it will be helpful to understand a bit about the context out of which “Erasmian” took root and grew. For me this historical data is important and should not be divorced from discussions about whether Erasmian should continue to be used. At the same time it is not the “nail in the coffin,” so to speak, or the strongest bit of information we have to move away from Erasmian to the Koine Era Pronunciation (KEP).

With regard to context, the 1400s-1600s A.D. in Europe are worthy of note, especially the locales of Greece and England. Given that I cannot provide an in-depth discussion of every significant event or person worthy of mention here, I must be selective. I want to draw our attention first, then, to the fact that in the years preceding the 1400s French and Latin were prominent across Europe but French was the language of power, politics, and social prestige. There came a shift around the 1500s, however, when French began to be replaced by English.

While there were many dialects of English a standard began to emerge as it was developed at the behest of royalty. The chancery (the chapel of the king) consisted of scribes and writers who worked at creating an English standard among themselves. Eventually this standard began to proliferate as it was used increasingly outside of the chancery. As English replaced French as the norm and as the chancery’s English standard gained momentum, other institutions, especially the academy, began to take note and follow suit. These changes happened quite organically and, relatively speaking, over a period of hundreds of years.

This move toward an English standard also played a role in what is known as The Great Vowel Shift.[1] I cannot explain the shift here at length but it is worth pointing out that basically the vowels a, e, i, o, and u, along with ai, all shifted and took on a different sound. The influence of this change is hard to overestimate because even today’s English remains directly affected by it. As it was occurring across the late 1400s to mid 1600s those living at the time were also dramatically affected by it. We need to realize that Erasmus himself lived during this period, a period when matters pertaining French, Latin, and English, especially the latter, were very socially and politically charged. The pronunciation of English was at the forefront of many debates and discussions.

But this brings us to another matter, namely, the pronunciation of Greek. Following the Turkish invasion and conquering of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire in 1453 A.D., for the first time a sharp distinction was beginning to be made between Ancient Greek and Modern Greek. Prior to this point no one had ever really differentiated the two in such a substantive way and in such an aggressive historical manner. In the minds of many, the political misfortunes of the Greeks confirmed that they were weak and intellectually backward; this caused non-Greeks to despise them and avoid their language. This also caused Greeks to strive to “maintain their ethnic identity,” which led them to turn in upon themselves, “jealously preserving their language and culture.” As one author says, “The use of the Modern Greek pronunciation for the ancient language was only part of this larger phenomenon.”[2] Thus, for the Greeks, the pronunciation of the language was a matter of national pride.

Yet, here, for the first time, Ancient Greek—and for our purposes, Koine Greek—was essentially declared dead. What had existed unbroken for thousands of years despite its various permutations and changes was now considered deceased. But the question must be asked: Who declared it a dead language? And the follow-up question: Why? We cannot necessarily pin the event of rendering Koine a dead language on one person. But when we look to figures such as the Spanish humanist Antonio Nebrija, who asserted that Hebrew, Greek, and Latin had ran their courses, and who spoke of “national awakening in all parts of the West,” we learn that he may have been an early catalyst for changing the pronunciation of Greek.

Nebrija knew Erasmus and, in fact, Erasmus may have first heard of the non-historical pronunciation from Nebrija. It should be pointed out here that Erasmus himself never adopted what later became known as the “Erasmian Pronunciation.” In fact, Erasmus held to a Modern Greek pronunciation. What happened was that Erasmus wrote a fable about a lion and a bear using different Greek pronunciations, one which was based on Modern Greek and the other which was based on English, and this tale became widely popular.

As matters of language change were on the rise and as Greeks were ousted from their academic teaching posts in ancient literature departments and replaced by non-native Greek speakers, as the historian and grammarian A.N. Jannaris notes, “The first act … was to do away with the traditional pronunciation—which reflects perhaps the least changed part of the language—and then to declare Greek a dead tongue.”[3] Many jumped on the bandwagon with this thinking. Then, with enough academic elites and social powerhouses on board, the new English-based pronunciation began to spread quickly.

Friedrich Blass, a professor and author living in the 1800s, who, even in his time referred to the Greeks of his day as half-barbarians and their pronunciation as barbaric,[4] along with numerous other leading thinkers such as Martin Luther, “Philipp Melanchthon, Johann Sturm, and their many associates and followers,” had “adopted Erasmus’ teaching methods and textbooks as the basis of their educational reforms.”[5] To be sure, Erasmus talked about pronunciation in some of his works, especially the aforementioned fable. This led people to believe that he himself was an advocate of the pronunciation that became attached to his name.

These circumstances reveal that the socio-political climate of the day was ripe for the proliferation of the Erasmian pronunciation. Thus, there was not simply one person responsible for the so-called death of Koine, but rather many in the academy. Declaring Greek dead was a socio-political move; indeed, it allowed the academy to drive a wedge between Ancient and Modern Greek. In doing so, the academics could refer to Ancient Greek as “their Greek,” while the Modern Greeks could deal with Modern Greek. This division––a false historical dichotomy between Ancient and Modern Greek––has persisted even until today in the academy; the main progenitors of it have been Western colleges, universities, and seminaries.

In my opinion, it would not only be a just act but also a historically responsible one to move away from Erasmian to the KEP. And in spite of the oft-heard claim that we cannot know it, we surely can, as I have suggested already. One of the main ways that we can recover the KEP is by comparing “orthographical substitutions,” that is, spelling interchanges between documents containing the same text or the same words across different documents. I prefer to call these spelling differences “interchanges” rather than “mistakes” or “errors” as some like Bart Ehrman do, because they were in fact not errors. To arrive at such a conclusion one must force modern expectations about reading and writing back on to ancient authors and scribes. Before the rise of modernism, what was written (literary works, letters, documents, etc.) was meant to be read aloud and were composed for the ear. Thus, as long as what was on the page produced the proper sounds and words when spoken, it was considered good, acceptable, and meaningful.

To use a very simple example from English, we might say that when spoken aloud, the word “meen” in the statement “The boy is meen” produces the correct sound to hearers, although it is (mis)spelled “meen” rather than our modern standard of “mean”; yet “meen” would nonetheless have been understood by hearers. In fact, if one were to write an entire lecture with words whose spellings were considered atypical, the audience would likely never know about the spelling interchanges. The only way they would know is to look at the manuscript. If they were to view the manuscript, they would then see the non-standard spellings rather than the well-known standard spellings. If listeners were to do this, they would realize that in English “ee” and “ea” make the same sound and are, to the ear, completely interchangeable. This is actually one way that we can go about figuring out how Koine sounded, too. If we compare how words were spelled in ancient writings to a more common standard spelling, we can recover which letters sounded alike or different. For instance, one ancient work spells the number three as τρις. When we compare this with the standard spelling τρεις, we learn that Koine ι and ει were often interchanged and thus sounded (nearly) exactly alike.

In addition to comparing non-standard spellings with standard spellings, we can often just compare words across a single document. For instance, in Papyrus 66 the scribe used both τρις and τρεις; even though they are spelled differently in the document, they made the same sound when read aloud and were thus considered good and acceptable. Beyond this type of analysis, many other ways to recover the KEP exist: We can read, for example, ancient texts that talked about pronunciation; we can look for rhyme and assonance in poetry (this gives us clues as to which letters and syllables sounded alike); we can use tools from the field of historical phonology/linguistics to help chart both synchronic and diachronic sound change.

At the end of the day, it is simply erroneous to claim that we cannot know how Koine sounded. The bald claim that such a task is beyond recovery, finally needs to be put to rest. As scholars, researchers, teachers, and learners, our role should not be to regurgitate statements we may have read or heard along the way without checking to see whether or not they can be substantiated. Instead, if we are in the business of teaching truth and doing so in a true manner, then we will let the evidence lead us. I am convinced with regard to the pronunciation of Koine that such evidence abounds; for this reason I have left Erasmian behind and embraced the KEP.

                [1] For an accessible discussion of this see Seth Lerer, The History of the English Language, 2nd ed. (Springfield, Va.: The Teaching Company, 2008), 37-45.

                [2] T. Michael W. Halcomb, “Never Trust A Greek…Professor: Revisiting the Question of How Koine Was Pronounced,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference, Knoxville, Tenn., 14 March 2014.

                [3] A.N. Jannaris, An Historical Greek Grammar Chiefly of the Attic Dialect As Written and Spoken From Classical Antiquity Down to the Present Time: Founded Upon Ancient Texts, Inscriptions, Papyri and Present Popular Greek (London: Macmillan and Co., 1897), viii.

                [4] Attributed to F. Blass in Chrys C. Caragounis, “The Error of Erasmus and Un-Greek Pronunciations of Greek,” Filología Neotestmentaria 8 (1995), endnote #12. I was unable to gain access to the cited source firsthand.

                [5] Judith R. Henderson, “Erasmian Ciceronians: Reformation Teachers of Letter-Writing,” Rhetorica 10/3 (Summer, 1992): 274.

The Anatomy of a Research Paper: One Man’s Venture into a Comparative Study of Mark and Matthew – Jerry Breen

In this blog I would like to discuss my adventures of writing a research paper for an Advanced Greek class. Although this will detail a particular study concerning New Testament Greek, the basic pattern presented here may be experienced while writing any style of research paper, especially those that study original languages.

Stage 1: The Topic

            Every good research paper begins with a solid topic. That sounds easy enough: find a good topic and all will go swimmingly. The issues arise when you find a compelling question but you have no idea whether there has been any dialogue concerning the question you have discovered. For Advanced Greek, I had the good fortune of discussing my topic with the professor ahead of time. I wanted to do a comparative study of Mark and Matthew and he suggested that I study the verbs, infinitives, and participles in Mark 8:27–10:52 and their corresponding sections in Matthew. Easy enough.

Stage 2: A Deeper Analysis of the Topic

There are 385 verbs, participles, and infinitives in this section of Mark. Did I really tell the professor that I would do this paper?

Stage 3: Gathering Data

            Research papers built around study of original languages generally require a great deal of personal study with the original text (as opposed to primarily gathering other people’s opinions about the topic). This particular paper required that I identify all of the verbs, participles, and infinitives in Mark 8:27–10:52 and then compare them to corresponding passages in Matthew. Some passages did not have any corresponding passage and others appeared to have more than one. I had to decide whether certain passages in Matthew mirrored Mark enough to suit the study. I placed my information in a spreadsheet, and after 15-20 hours of analysis and 479 lines comparing verbs, participles, and infinitives, I had culled the data necessary to proceed. In addition to this study of the primary source, I also researched articles and books with relevant information that could assist my analysis of Greek verbs, participles, and infinitives.

Stage 4: Reassessing the Data

As I pored over passages again and again, I found verbs, participles, or infinitives that I had missed. My OCD kicked in and I found myself feverishly working through the data to ensure I had an exact analysis. Each foray into the passages, however, revealed slightly different results. I could feel my hair turning grey. Regardless, I formulated calculations based on the data and recorded percentages of various categories.

Stage 5: Panic

In addition to the realization that I probably would not arrive at perfection concerning the data, I experienced the sudden dread that now that I had invested nearly 20 hours into this topic and had no idea if this study would reveal any exegetically relevant findings. At this stage I was beyond the point of return. There was not enough time to choose a new topic (that would require planning that surpasses my particular skills). And so I pressed on and attempted find something, anything that might pass as original and plausible. This is where we as students become extremely close to God. We pray fervently and diligently that He will enlighten us with profound insights that will amaze our professors.

Stage 6: Hope

As I stared desperately at the calculations I had compiled from the data, I began to see patterns emerge. My analysis was not in vain; I discovered insights that I did not previously know. Is it possible that these are original insights?

Stage 7: Inclusion of Secondary Sources

            After consulting secondary sources I discovered that many of my findings were indeed original, or at least little mentioned. Would the professor deem my findings compelling? Will he read the paper? Either way, I knew I at least had enough information to write an acceptable paper. All was well.

Stage 8: Coherence

            In addition to finding original and (to me) compelling information, I was able to ask a key question (and provide a corresponding answer) for each type of analysis of the data that had been suggested by the professor.

My questions were:

  1. Lexical Question: If Matthew is drawing directly from Mark’s text, why does the author deviate from Mark’s choice of words so frequently?

Simple Answer: The two had different rhetorical goals.

  1. Modal Question: Why would Matthew convert these aorist subjunctives to future indicatives?

Simple Answer: Matthew followed the LXX and Mark followed conventional uses of his day, choosing aorist subjunctives (over present imperatives) to emphasize the simple event.

  1. Aspectual Question: Why would Matthew favor the more external, static aorist tense over the internal, dynamic action inherent in the imperfect tense?

Simple Answer: Matthew chose the aorist tense over both the present and imperfect for its static portrayal of events. In contrast to Mark’s longer, dynamic narratives, Matthew moved quickly through narratives and instead favored long discourses.

  1. Time Question: Why would Matthew reverse his own pattern of converting the present tense to aorist by converting the aorist tense to present?

Simple Answer: Who knows for sure? But they function to disrupt the discourse, perhaps to emphasize a new character, scene, or signal a turn in the conversation.

These questions became the basis for the paper and allowed me to present the statistics from the many hours of work I had enacted.

Stage 9: Victory

With my own work and the assistance of helpful secondary sources, the paper came together well. The inclusion of a title paper, colorful charts, and a bibliography put the finishing touches on a successful paper. I knew that I may not receive the paper back, but I had accomplished what I had set out to do: I had asked compelling questions and found somewhat plausible answers. And sometimes in this field of study, that is enough.

Prominence and Marked Constructions in Romans 1:16–Fredrick J. Long

Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a beginning Greek class and began by looking at Romans 1:16. To that point, the students had learned the alphabet, the Present Indicative endings, the article, a handful of conjunctions, first and second declension nouns, and the Present tense of εἰμί. In Rom 1:16, I was surprised by how much they were capable of recognizing in the verse. It was a fun way to begin class.

Here is the text with some coloring coding from a visual filter I created within Logos Bible Software (blue are adverbs, green conjunctions and particles, purple prepositions, and red non-Indicative moods—there are other colors not found in this verse).

Rom 1:16 Οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι, Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel; for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone that believes, both for the Jew first and for the Greek.

It is standard to understand that Rom 1:16 belongs to the thesis statement (1:16-17; however, I would maintain that the thesis extends from 1:14-17). Indeed, the verse encapsulates much of what Paul will argue in the following chapters. It centers on Paul’s positive affirmation of the Gospel, although his affirmation comes as a denial of any shame that he might have concerning it. By stating that he is not ashamed, he thereby implies that he is rather darn right proud of it. (The rhetorical figure used here is called litotes.) The next statement beginning with γάρ for indicates the reason why: because the Gospel is the power of God for salvation. The ideas expressed here are naturally prominent since they concern the core of what people in the Greco-Roman society longed for: power, connection to God (or gods), and salvation. A book that treats this is Ramsay MacMullen’s Paganism in the Roman Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).

Thus far, the Greek sentences have been fairly straightforward. However, the end of 1:16 explodes with emphatic and marked elements that pack quite a punch. First, the παντί “everyone” entails what I call quantitative emphasis that here stresses the inclusive scope of those potentially impacted by the salvific power of God in the Gospel. This inclusive scope of the reach of the Gospel re-affirms the Pentecostal event in Acts 2 and Peter’s quoting of Joel 2:28-29 there. But Paul is not yet finished. He could have stopped here and his message would have been clear. However, he provides additional specificity by using an appositional statement in which two ethnic recipients are specified: Jew and Greek. The construction of apposition thematically highlights these two groups. Why? Indeed, Paul prepares for his subsequent argument where these two groups reoccur explicitly several times in the next chapters (2:9-10; 3:9; also 10:12).

However, here in 1:16 we must also observe the adverbial modifier πρῶτον first, which also conveys quantitative emphasis in terms of sequential “ordering.” With this single adverb Paul encapsulates the story of salvation history in which God first revealed himself to Abraham and his descendants, but always with a view to blessing the nations. Then, Jesus came as the Jewish Messiah. However, Jesus is also the Messiah for the entire world, for everyone that believes. The παντί expressed that point as we have already seen. However, a further type of emphasis is seen in 1:16 with the use of τε … καὶ both … and. This pairing of particles signals a type of correlative emphasis with the τε marked for “+sameness,” not of identity but here of equality of opportunity (see Long, Koine Greek Grammar, 275). Although there was a historical sequence to God’s salvific plan––the “firstness” for the Jews––Paul affirmed in Rom 1:16 that there is now an inclusive scope––the “allness” that reaches broadly into the Greek speaking world. Indeed, 1:16 encapsulates quite succinctly what Paul argues in the rest of Romans.

An Ancient “Bless Your Heart” Insult – Kevin Southerland

(This post originally appeared on the author’s own blog site in a shorter form that had a more general audience in mind.)

“As long as you say, “Bless your heart,” you can say anything you want about them afterward.”
–Comedian whose name is not remembered (bless the author’s heart).

While it can be used to express sympathy for someone who has suffered some misfortune (e.g., “Your broke your leg? Bless your heart!”), “Bless your (or “his/her/their”) heart, . . .”  is often, especially in the southern US, an insult that is “softened,” typically followed by some statement as to the stupidity or wrongheadedness of the person whose heart is “blessed.” Typically, it is a statement that is trying to assert that, while “[your/her/his/their] heart is in the right place” (i.e., one is sincere in one’s motives or beliefs), the person is (sincerely!) wrong and/or thoughtless in his/her actions or application.

In Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, V.105.3  (which is an ancient account of the war between various Greek city-states led by rivals Athens and Sparta in 431-404 BCE), there is a speech of the Athenians to the inhabitants of the island of Melos, whom the Athenians wanted to defect from their alliance with Sparta. In the back and forth between the two groups, the Melosians declares that they are going to trust in the gods and in Sparta. The Athenians respond that they do not expect the gods to disfavor themselves. As far as the Melosians trusting in Sparta, they say the following: τῆς δὲ ἐς Λακεδαιμονίους δόξης, ἣν διὰ τὸ αἰσχρὸν δὴ βοηθήσειν ὑμῖν πιστεύετε αὐτούς, μακαρίσαντες ὑμῶν τὸ ἀπειρόκακον οὐ ζηλοῦμεν τὸ ἄφρον. “But of the expectation [of help] in the Lakedaimonians [i.e., Spartans] which, because of the shame [the Spartans might acquire], you believe it would be necessary of them to come to your aid, blessing your simplicity, we do not envy your drivel.”

“Simplicity” here means something like innocent sincerity. In our vernacular, it might be able to be corresponded to the metaphor of one’s “heart,” as in the motivation behind the choice. The word translated as “drivel” can be glossed more literally as “foam,” but like the English word “drivel,” which can literally mean something like slobber, it also figuratively refers to foolish talk. Put it in a form that some of the author’s Southern family might say and it comes out something like: “Bless your heart, your talk ain’t worth spit.” In other words, the Athenians think there is no way that the Spartans will be driven to help them by necessity of virtue or fear of shame, as they go on to say in the following line.

Thus, what might seem like an expression of the relatively recent past of English in America appears, at least in the general meaning of the insult form, to go all the way back to more than 2,400 years ago in Greece!

A Note of Welcome From ATS Chapter President – Jerry Breen

Welcome

Gamma Rho Kappa (ΓΡΚ), the Greek Honor Society at Asbury Seminary, welcomes new students, returning students, and ΓΡΚ alumni to the 2016-2017 academic year! We invite you to invest time with us as we recognize outstanding achievements in Ancient Greek language, literature, and culture. Study and appreciation of biblical languages is important for every Christian leader, and ΓΡΚ wants you to engage with us in relevant conversations concerning biblical language, literature, and culture while you are at Asbury and after you have graduated. Our monthly meetings provide opportunities for discussion and critical analysis of presentations from visiting scholars, Asbury faculty, and recognized students who present research concerning Greek language, literature, and culture. Now is your time to join the conversation.

Why Join?

I know you may be asking why you should want to join a Greek Honor Society, so we have provided some compelling reasons, such as:

  • To engage in current dialogue concerning the study of Ancient Greek language, literature, and culture.
  • To discover current thoughts and trends concerning the study of Ancient Greek language, literature, and culture.
  • To network with scholars and students interested in Ancient Greek language, literature, and culture.
  • To receive greater access to Greek tutoring and resources for studying the language.
  • To receive exposure to critical feedback given to presenters and personal work.
  • To recognize the hard work you as a student have accomplished concerning the Ancient Greek language.
  • To receive recognition of your work as a student in the study of the Ancient Greek language upon graduation in the form of a ΓΡΚ
  • To advertise your involvement in ΓΡΚ in your resume or CV.

We want to assist you in your study and love of Ancient Greek and will be there to support you on your journey. Join us, and help cultivate a love for Ancient Greek in your heart and the hearts of others!

Requirements for Membership

What do you need to do to join? First you should evaluate whether you meet our requirements for membership, which, simply stated, are:

  • Graduate students must have taken Greek 1, Greek 2, and Intermediate Greek with a B average or above.
  • Post-graduate students must have taken Greek 1, Greek 2, and Intermediate Greek with a B+ average.
  • Students may petition the committee for membership for equivalents of requirements.

If you meet these requirements, you will then be asked to pay a membership due before you are officially considered a member. Membership dues are $20/year, but we are going to discuss and vote on a change in the constitution to allow for a one-time due of $40 that would provide a lifetime membership. If this measure passes, those who have paid dues in the past will be able to count those previously paid dues towards their one-time fee.

Our requirements for membership are quite stringent, and you may find that you will not meet the requirements until you have been at Asbury for a year or two. Do not let that stop you from attending our monthly meetings and engaging in engaging, practical, profound, and insightful conversation.

Meeting Dates and Times

Our monthly meetings are the last Tuesday of the month in September, October, November, February, March, and April. The meetings are officially from 12pm-1pm, but we invite you to come a little early and stay a little late. The meetings take place in the special rooms in the cafeteria known as Cordella A (for the last meeting) and Cordella B (for the first five meetings).

So consider taking part in Gamma Rho Kappa this year so your love of studying the biblical text is enriched by a greater understanding of the Greek language, literature, and culture. Once this love grows in your heart it will become infectious to all with whom you come in contact!

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