I've taught Greek since 1995, and currently have the honor of teaching it to not only high school students at The Potter's School but also for the folks at American Lutheran Theological Seminary. Sometimes people are interested in New Testament Greek so they ask me the first step to learning. I've found over the years that the first thing we want to do is start seeing the Greek characters and associating them with their sounds. This works better for most people than trying to memorize the alphabet and then trying to learn the sounds of the letters. You can find a chart of the Greek alphabet and its sounds in many places on the Internet, but here's one I think is kind of handy. I'm going to play a little game on Twitter for a while, typing English words using Greek characters. If you can identify the English word you apparently are figuring out what the Greek character sounds like. For instance, we might say βαλλ and you can identify it as the word "ball." πενσιλ is the English word "pencil." Follow the exercise on Twitter @WittenbergCoMo and see what you can do.
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About Throwing Inkwells
When Martin Luther was dealing with struggles in his life he once saw what appeared to be an angelic being. Not trusting that he was going to be informed by someone other than the God revealed in Scripture, he took the appearance to be untrustworthy and hurled his inkwell at it. The chipped place in the plaster wall is still visible at the Wartburg Castle, though apparently the ink stain on the wall has been refreshed periodically by the caretaker.
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