Historical Greek Sounds


Letters, Column        


Bringing to the avid learner of Greek, whether at the beginning, advanced, or professional level, the authentic sounds of Greek.

The Purpose of this Site is to:

  1. Present a diachronic view of the development of the historical Greek sounds (Vol. I);
  2. Bring into focus the phonological features Biblical Greek (‘Koine’) and Neohellenic (‘Modern’ Greek) share, with due emphasis also on orthographical, morphological, semantic, and other linguistic similarities (Vol. I);
  3. Create an awareness of the ramifications of the artificial pronunciations of Greek that are used in centers of higher learning (Vol. I); and
  4. Provide appropriate learning tools for reading, pronouncing, and comprehending Greek (Vol. II & Vol. III).

CONTACT: NTGreek@att.net


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EXCERPTS from Vol. I regarding W. Sidney Allen’s VOX GRAECA:




HGPHere are THREE BOOKS ( Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III ) and FOUR VIDEOS designed for the learner of Greek and the professional who wishes to explore the Historical Greek Pronunciation (HGP):



Recommended for students and professionals, this insightful Reference book focuses on the historical evidence of Classical Attic sounds and the development of the Koine pronunciation. The book also explains why, despite that evidence, the pronunciation applied to Koine in most institutions of higher learning is un-Greek and highlights the effects that practice has had on Greek learning since the Renaissance. A bonus chapter compares and contrasts the Greek and English phonologies, while the appendices analyze the spelling and sounds of sample Attic inscriptions from the 5th and 4th centuries BC.  VIDEO 1 is based on Vol. I.

To order Vol. I through AMAZON click  HERE

To order Vol. I through PAYPAL, forward $27 to NTGreek@att.net. FREE SHIPMENT within the continental US. Outside of USA buyers, please add $15 for partial cost of shipment.  8.5” x 11” spiral-bound, 140 pages.

“I am glad that you have written this book and I congratulate you. I am sure it is needed in America. I think, therefore, that your book ought to find a market and quite a few readers should profit from its fine presentation with excellent examples illustrating the discussion. This should prove an indispensable textbook for seminaries and colleges teaching NT Greek.” — Dr. Chrys C. Caragounis, professor of New Testament exegesis at Lund University, Sweden (author of The Development of Greek and the New Testament: Morphology, Syntax, Phonology, and Textual Transmission). (Click on the title above for more endorsements.)


Vol. IIThis Workbook serves as a reading, writing, listening, and pronouncing guide to Biblical Greek as well as Neohellenic. It may be used as supplementary material in a college course, homeschool setting, or self-directed study. It includes written exercises, tests, answer keys, and audiovisual drills and reading passages that are also on the CD. The exercises and sound files will prove helpful to those accustomed to other (non-Greek) methods of pronouncing Greek. VIDEO 2 is based on Vol. II.

To order Vol. II through AMAZON click HERE 

To order Vol. II through PAYPAL, forward $24 to NTGreek@att.net. FREE SHIPMENT within the continental US. Outside of USA buyers, please add $15 for partial cost of shipment.  8.5” x 11” spiral-bound, 79 pages, CD 16 files, 1.05 hrs.

“Dr. Zachariou’s … acoustically pleasing audio files make this book a valuable learning aid both to the beginning Greek student and to the established scholar who would like to switch from Erasmian pronunciation to an accurate Historical Greek Pronunciation.” —Dr. George Gunn, Shasta Bible College and Graduate School, Redding, California

“Your book is helpful and has good exercises. I am very impressed with your very clear and crisp recordings. I really appreciate them.” —Dr. Taylor Williams, Professor of Greek and Hebrew, Texas


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Grammar Essentials will benefit the mid-beginning and intermediate student of Greek as well as the advanced seminarian and can be used as a resource by the professional. An all-in-one grammar book, pronunciation guide, and workbook featuring transliterated exercises, grammatical aspect, and translational insights, Grammar Essentials is a select collection of lessons I have shared with learners of Greek over many years. A companion CD goes with select reading exercises.

To order Vol. III through AMAZON click HERE

To order Vol. III through PAYPAL, forward $29 to NTGreek@att.netFREE SHIPMENT within the continental US.

Outside of USA buyers, please add $15.00 for partial cost of shipment. 8.5″ x 11” spiral-bound, 250 pages.

Vol. I & II (tilted)

Special offer…

Order Vol. I and Vol. II as a bundle for $38 (save over 25%). FREE SHIPMENT.

Forward amount to NTGreek@att.net through PAYPAL.

Offer within the continental US only.


VIDEO 1 Development of the Historical Greek Pronunciation

mqdefault-1-300x168This video has the best explanation of spurious diphthongs and why we don’t pronounce iota subscript that I have ever seen. It also does a great job with the historical pronunciation of the rough breather. Then there is the helpful connection between similar types of vowels. … I think this video is very helpful.” —Dr. John Schwandt, Director, Institute of Biblical Greek

“Immense gratitude to you … for the marvelously comprehensive and engaging presentation on  Greek pronunciation, enhanced by the valuable historic introduction. And excellent photography, typography, technology! I learned SO much from it and shall pass it on to our students.” —Dr. Edith Pennoyer Livermore, Loyola University, Chicago

VIDEO 2  Alphabet, Sounds, Listening, Reading, Pronunciation

mqdefault-300x168“You have produced a very useful tool for introductory students. It is very clear, detailed, but not too long. Thanks.” —Dr. Bradley McLean, University of Toronto, Canada

“[T]his is a very useful video – indeed this is one I can pass on to students. I particularly liked the fact that you read out a passage at the end. All in all, a very useful resource.” —Dr. Chris Tilling, St. Mellitus College, England

“I watched [this video] several times to make sure I had it down.  I did not like the textbook way of pronouncing, so this was a blessing! I feel like I can read Greek quickly and naturally!” —Alexander Strickland

VIDEO 3  1 John — A Reading and Pronunciation Exercise using the entire First Epistle of John

The reading in this video is intentionally slow in the beginning, then progressively approximates conversational speed, all along allowing the reader to practice repeating the parts being read.

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VIDEO 4  A very short video offering pronunciation tips

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A brief historical, linguistic, and scriptural evidence that Jesus conversed and ministered in the Hellenic tongue

A Captivating Bibliography


An eBook by the same author

The PROSELYTIZER (2011) — From Asia Minor to Crete, Greece. This book is the record of a man’s deeds, thoughts, and motives as he captured them with his pen first, as a refugee teenager, then as a worldly young man, later as a growing Christian, and finally as a minister of the gospel. This gripping account portrays an energetic young man in quest for meaning in life but who, in utter despair, turns suicidal. Miraculously spared from the “claws of Death,” he seeks God and becomes inwardly transformed. Eager to reach his fellow citizens with the message of Christ, he learns unconditional obedience to God as he witnesses divine intervention during business failures, poverty, war, captivity in a German concentration camp, mass execution, hardship, persecution by religious leaders and the authorities, false accusations of proselytizing with gifts and money, and repeated imprisonment for sharing the gospel. A legacy of faithful Christian service, this true story will touch you, encourage you, and uplift you. Foreword by Everett Stenhouse and Glen D. Cole.

Buyer’s review: “…This story begins with tragedy and yet is incredibly inspirational from start to finish. I will treasure this book … as one of the best books I have ever read. This book clearly shows the Holy Spirit’s powerful work in an ordinary man’s life by making his life extraordinary.” —Michael Isham

iPad, iPod touch, iPhone – iTunes click HERE.  Kindle, Mac, PC, etc. – AMAZON click HERE.

For a hard copy through PAYPAL, please forward $10 to NTGreek@att.net  (FREE SHIPMENT within the continental US.) 20 chapters, 290 pages.

Book excerpts:


Contact the author at: NTGreek@att.net

PhilemonAbout the author

Philemon “Phil” Zachariou graduated from high school in Greece and from a Bible school in England, and holds a B.A. and M.A. in applied linguistics and a Ph.D. in religious education. Retired, he writes and teaches Greek and English. During most of his career as an educator and public school administrator he taught, among other college subjects, Greek at California State University, the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Adult Education, and Capital Bible College. He currently teaches at Northwest University.