More biblical Greek

About six weeks ago I wrote about four words in biblical Greek, namely μαθητής mathetes (singular), μᾰθηταί mathetai (plural), usually translated as disciple (from Latin discipulus), απόστολος apostolos (singular), απόστολοι apostoloi (plural), usually apostle, γραμματέας grammateas (singular), γραμματείς grammateis (plural), usually scribe, and ῥαββί rhabbí, rabbi.

About a week ago there was a post on Language log about “A revolutionary, new translation of the gospels” by Sarah Ruden. It links to the Kindle sample of her book, including an extensive introduction in which she explains some of the principles she developed to guide her work (among them “to deal with the Gospels more straightforwardly than is customary”), and “A discursive glossary of unfamiliar word choices in English”, including the four words I wrote about.

One noticeable choice she made is to render the names of people and places as straight transliterations of the Greek, so she has Iēsous travelling from Galilaia through Ioudaia to Ierousalēm with Simōn Petros, Andreas, Iakōbos and Iōannēs (and others), making them all sound rather more Greek than they actually were.

Some people may find her translation too straightforward, but they should not let that stop them from reading and reflecting.