The Distinctiveness of BibleMesh’s Approach to Greek

Are you interested in studying New Testament Greek? And are you currently comparing online Biblical Greek programs? If so, know that in this age of booming distance education, searching for the right Biblical Greek program can lead the uninformed down the wrong path. To that end, you need to know what makes BibleMesh and its approach to Greek distinctive, and how BibleMesh will guide you in the right path.

Part of BibleMesh’s distinctiveness is that you can enroll in the Biblical Greek program’s self-study track or the credit-bearing track. In either case, you will find that each Greek lesson progressively steers you through all components of the program: grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing, listening and pronouncing, translation, and assessment. At the same time, you will find that, unlike other programs, the BibleMesh Greek program does not require you to purchase any pricey Greek textbooks, lexicons, commentaries, workbooks, CDs, or other material—not that such helps are unnecessary.

But what truly sets BibleMesh Greek apart from other online programs is how it uses Cerego, a cutting-edge program that helps optimize your retention of information. While other popular programs also use Cerego, they use it with the Erasmian or “academic” pronunciation, a sound system that is artificial and un-Greek. In contrast, BibleMesh uses Cerego with the authentic Hellenic pronunciation, also known as the Historical Greek Pronunciation. And that, in a nutshell, is a prime feature that characterizes the distinctiveness of BibleMesh Greek.

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Some related terms and definitions seem apropos here:

Hellenic: Hellenic means “Greek,” an Anglicized form derived from Latin Graecus, which originates from Γραικός Graikos, the name of a Greek tribe that migrated to Italy in the 8th century B.C. Technically the name Hellenic, which is used by BibleMesh, may refer to the Greek of any period, including Biblical Greek and Modern Greek.

Neohellenic: This name combines Neo “new” with Hellenic to form the official name for Modern Greek.

Hellenistic: Hellenistic refers to the time period between 300 BC and AD 300. The term comes from Ἑλληνίζω “I Hellenize,” i.e., “I make Greek.”

Historical Greek Pronunciation (HGP): HGP comprises the Greek sounds represented by the 24-letter Ionic alphabet, a script that was adopted by classical Athens (officially in 403 BC). Preserved in Modern Greek, the HGP can thus be traced to NT times and to Classical Greek.[1]

Koine: Κοινή (in Erasmian pronounced “coy-neigh” and in HGP “kiní”) is often used to refer to NT Greek. Κοινή means “common” (tongue) and is identified with Hellenistic Greek. Thus the Κοινή of NT Greek is Hellenistic Greek.

Modern Greek: See “Neohellenic” (above).

Philemon Zachariou is a native Greek, a retired Greek professor, and the author of Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek: Historical Pronunciation versus Erasmian. He currently develops New Testament Greek instructional material, is an adjunct professor of English at Northwest University, and a BibleMesh Greek tutor.

[1] The description of the development of the NT Greek pronunciation and the HGP are expounded in Philemon Zachariou, Reading and Pronouncing Biblical Greek: Historical Pronunciation versus Erasmian (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2020).