In light of the COVID-19 crisis, it is with great regret we have had to take the decision to cancel this year’s First Steps into the World of New Testament Greek. It is extremely disappointing and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We hope to run this course next year.
6th – 10th July 2020
Would you like to hear and read the New Testament in the language in which it was originally written? Have you ever thought of learning New Testament Greek but were afraid that you were just not clever enough? Would you like to spend five days this summer having fun with a group of like-minded people as they begin to discover an old language that shaped the world?
First Steps into the World of New Testament Greek is a fun and informal 5 day course that introduces you to Koine Greek (the type of Greek used by the writers of the New Testament). It assumes absolutely no prior knowledge of the language and will begin with the alphabet. We will work as close as possible to New Testament texts (including working from some manuscripts) and by the end of the course you will be able to read simple sentences from the New Testament.
The First Steps into New Testament Greek summer school that we run each year at Newman University is always something a little bit special. Firstly, it is more than just an intensive learning crash-course in New Testament Greek. Initial language acquisition is an integral part of the week, but we also spend time looking at the world in which the language was used and that produced our early Christian writings. We also spend time working with the Greek text in a variety of forms and contexts that include; critical editions, online texts, manuscripts and inscriptions.
The rather hectic second semester is now drawing to a close with a flurry of marking, deadlines and planning meetings for the new academic year. After the colourful chaotic bustle of the last few weeks, the campus is now settling down into quiet summer reflection, where research rather than teaching and assignments become the main focus.
Looking back, it has been a great semester. It was a real joy to have Steve Moyise with us in February and we are looking forward to hearing from him again at our conference in a few week’s time (see below).
Unfortunately, it was not logistically possible to hold the evening seminars. However, looking ahead, we are hoping to be able to host more events in the summer and autumn. Continue reading →
The end of the year is almost upon us. The University has been decked out in all its festive finery and now the corridors and classrooms are emptying as students head homeward for Christmas vacation…
OPEN SEMINAR PROGRAMMES
It has been an exciting year for the NRCBR at Newman. We started by launching a programme of PUBLIC seminars in the spring.
The title of the series was ‘Encountering the Gospel through First-century Eyes‘. Over five seminars we explored the prologue of Mark in its first-century Jewish and Graeco-Roman setting and we began to discover an extremely provocative and very challenging voice. Continue reading →
Finding something on the internet that is fun, absorbing AND good for research is always something to be welcomed and widely shared!
Here is a chance to work with ancient papyrus documents from Graeco-Roman Egypt that have never before been properly examined on a project calledAncient Lives. You could find yourself working on a third century letter, or a sixth century set of accounts, or even a second century biblical text…!
The Egyptian urban centre of Oxyrhnchus (roughly 160 km south west of Cairo) was excavated by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt between 1886 and 1907. One of the most apparently unpromising places of their excavations turned out to be the most valuable: the town’s rubbish dumps. Because of the lack of rain and arid conditions, they discovered thousands upon thousands of papyrus documents dating from the third century BCE to the seventh century CE. Their contents, mainly written in Greek, provide us with valuable information of day to day life at this time. As well as numerous letters and accounts of daily transactions, the collection also include early Christian writings, biblical texts and classical works.
Numbering over 500,00 pieces, means that there are still many fragments that have yet to be properly examined. One of the major tasks is their transcription. Transcription is the process where the writing on the papyrus is retyped using a formalised alphabet making the text a lot clearer to read.
The innovative Citizen Science platformZooniverse, together with the University of Oxford, have provided a way for every one to be involved in transcribing ancient papyri without having to have any specialist knowledge – and you do NOT have to be able to read Ancient Greek (although familiarity with the alphabet would be a help). Together they have set up a transcription workspace on theirAncient Lives project.
Images of the fragments can be viewed on a screen with facilities to rotate and zoom. There is also the capability to record and measure each fragment. There is a short tutorialexplaining the functions of the workspace tools after which you will be presented with an image of a papyrus fragment and you can get straight to work!
The transcription process is easy. Clicking on a letter on the fragment places a coloured spot over it, you can then decide which letter or symbol it matches most closely to on your keyboard that is positioned just below the screen. In this case kappa, upsilon and theta have already been transcribed. The next letter is highlighted with a blue dot and the cursor (not seen in the screenshot) is over the letter ‘rho’ and highlighting it. The ‘map’ in the inset screen on the right indicates where you are in relation to the complete fragment. Alongside transcription, each fragment requires measuring. This is done by clicking on the ‘MEASURE’ tab.
Another valuable feature is the Talk facility that allows you to write comments, questions and join in discussions about the particular image on which you are working. Once you have finished transcribing and measuring the fragment, you can review your work by using the ‘Light Box’.
This displays all the fragments on which you have worked. Information about each fragment (how many times it has been transcribed, measured and any discussion about it) is revealed by clicking on the image.
This is a wonderful opportunity for those who would like to get involved in working with ancient manuscripts. Although this work can be done without any knowledge of ancient Greek, a familiarity with its alphabet (remember only majuscule – approximating to the Western upper case) was used at this time. It is absolutely ideal for those who attended the Summer Greek course in August and want a fun way to avoid getting rusty! Additionally there is a very helpful blog administered by the ‘Ancient Lives’ team and regular twitter updates – @ancientlives.